Salty Tricks or Sweet Treats – Chocolate Cake with Rasperries and Licorice

A few days to Halloween, and do you want to know one of my (baking) tricks? I very often try to find something slightly bitter to “break” the sweetness of the cakes. Whether it´s adding a few drops of lemon juice to buttercream frosting, or using raspberries with a chocolate cake, I find that adding some bitterness makes the cake taste “fuller”. And to this cake I’ve even added some salty licorice, so prepare to put your taste buds to the test. Salty Tricks or Sweet Treats? Yes, please!

225 gram (7,9 oz) melted butter
3 eggs
3 dl (1 1/4 cup) sugar
6 dl (2 1/4 cup) plain flour
4 tbsp cocoa
3 tsp baking powder
3 tsp vanilla sugar
2, 25 dl (1 cup) milk (and maybe add a little red color to get you in that Halloween mood)

Raspberry cream
2 dl (1 cup) heavy cream
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
200 gram (7 oz) raspberries
2 tsp licorice powder

Chocolate buttercream
150 gram (5,3 oz) melted chocolate
100 gram (3,5 oz) softened butter
200 gram (7 oz) powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
3 tbsp milk/heavy cream

Licorice, sprinkles.

How to do it

  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC /390ºF.
  • Butter and line 1-3 round cake tins (22 cm/ 9 in) (and/or use parchment paper).
  • Melt the butter and let it cool down a bit.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs together with sugar for a few minutes until you have a thick and fluffy mixture. I use a stand mixer with a whisk, but you may just as well use an electric hand mixer.
  • Add the melted butter to the mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and vanilla sugar.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients and the milk to the mixture, and mix until you have a smooth batter.
  • Transfer 1/3 of the batter to (each) cake tin.
  • Bake each cake/layer in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes, or until a skewer put in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Let each cake/layer cool.
  • For the raspberry cream: if you use frozen raspberries, heat them to boiling point, and let them boil for a few minutes (this to make sure that the berries don’t contain any bacteria). Let the berries cool to (at least) room temperature.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together heavy cream, sugar and vanilla sugar to whipped cream. Use a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer. The whipped cream should “well done” rather than fluid (because you´re going to add raspberries, which will bring quite a bit of fluid to the mix).
  • Add the cooled raspberries and blend them in with a spatula.
  • Mix in the powdered licorice with a spatula, and keep the cream in a cool place while making the chocolate buttercream.
  • For the chocolate buttercream: beat the butter and add some of the powdered sugar. Use a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer.
  • Mix in the melted chocolate, and then slowly add the rest of the powdered sugar and the vanilla sugar. Then add the milk/heavy cream while mixing until you have a smooth buttercream (it should be quite soft – the buttercream will become stiff when the melted chocolate has cooled down).
  • When the cake layers are cool, put one layer on a tray. Make a circle of buttercream around the edges of the layer (this will keep the raspberry cream in place), then cover the layer with half of the raspberry cream (see picture).


  • Place the second layer over the first one, and cover it with buttercream and raspberry cream just like on the first layer.
  • Place the third layer on top, and cover the entire cake (top and sides) with chocolate buttercream.
  • Decorate the cake with licorice and sprinkles, or maybe with some fresh raspberries.

Happy Halloween!

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