Chocolate & raspberry birthday layer cake

Who could resist our chocolate and raspberry cake? Like a Victoria sponge but better, try budget-friendly frozen raspberries for the cream

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal 549
  • fat 36g
  • saturates 12g
  • carbs 49g
  • sugars 33g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 6g
  • salt 0.6g


  • 225ml sunflower oil, plus extra for the tins
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 225ml milk
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 4 tbsp cocoa
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • For the raspberry layer
  • 150g raspberry jam
  • 100g frozen raspberries, defrosted
  • 300ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar



Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Oil and line two round 20cm springform cake tins with baking parchment. Whisk the oil, sugar, eggs and milk in a bowl until smooth. Sieve the flour, cocoa and bicarb into another large bowl, then gradually mix in the wet ingredients.


Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 35-40 mins until the cakes are risen and spring back when pressed. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


For the raspberry layer, stir the jam and the defrosted raspberries together. Once the cakes are cool, whip the cream with the sugar to soft peaks, then gently fold half the raspberry mixture through the cream to create a ripple effect.


Spoon most of the reserved raspberry mixture over one of the cakes, then dollop on half of the cream. Smooth over with a palette knife, then place the other sponge on top. Swirl over the remaining cream and swirl the last of the raspberry mixture through it. Will keep in the fridge for two days.



Making chocolate cakes and buttercream icing can be expensive, but using vegetable oil instead of butter, and cocoa instead of melted chocolate, keeps costs down. It means the cake also keeps well (it won’t go stale if it’s wrapped and left for a few days, or you can freeze the sponges to decorate later) and it creates a texture that ensures the layers will stack and slice beautifully. Adding lashings of whipped cream looks lavish, but it’s usually more cost-effective than making buttercream.