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Blackberry Chocolate Cake with Blackberry Buttercream

  • Author: Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 1 8-inch double layer cake 1x



for the blackberry chocolate cake

  • 12 oz (2 pints) blackberries, plus more for decorating
  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar, divided
  • 11/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp espresso powder¹
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

for the chocolate buttercream frosting


for the blackberry chocolate cake

  1. Add the blackberries and 1/4 cup sugar to a medium sauce pot, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes, smashing with the back of a spatula now and then, until the berries burst and become jammy.
  2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the blackberry liquid. You should end up with about 1/4-1/2 cup of blackberry syrup. Set the blackberry mash aside to cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper rounds and lightly grease with butter or baking spray. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Stir in the oil, milk, egg, and vanilla, and mix until completely combined, but not overmixed. Use a spatula to fold in the blackberry mash, until combined.
  6. Divide the batter between the prepared baking pans, and smooth into an even layer with an offset spatula. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a cake-tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes. Carefully flip the pans over to remove the cake, and let cool completely before frosting.

for the blackberry buttercream:

  1. Using a stand up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a hand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the sifted cocoa and powdered sugar, a half cup or so at a time, until the frosting is thick and creamy. Drizzle in the reserved blackberry syrup until the buttercream frosting reaches your desired consistency. It should be spreadable, but thick enough to hold its shape on the cake.

assemble the blackberry chocolate cake:

  1. Place one of the cake rounds on a cake stand or plate. Spread a generous layer of buttercream over the top, using an offset spatula to create an even layer, about 1/2-inch thick. Top with the second cake, top side down.
  2. Generously frost the top and sides with the remaining buttercream,² and top with fresh blackberries. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes for easy slicing before serving. Enjoy!
  3. Store any leftovers in a covered container at room-temperature or refrigerated if longer than a day.


¹ The espresso powder can be omitted, but I like to add just a pinch to chocolate recipes. It won’t add much of a coffee flavor, but enhances the natural chocolate flavors of the cake.
² I kept the frosting rustic on this cake (and didn’t spend the time to do a crumb coat). For a smoother, less “homemade” look, spread a thin layer of buttercream on the sides to lock in the cake/crumbs, refrigerate for at least an hour, then spread on a final, smooth layer of buttercream.
³ If you’d like to make this blackberry chocolate cake into cupcakes, look no further.
⁴ The original recipe happens to be vegan, but, worried about the stability in layer cake form, I did add an egg. You could likely replace that with a flax egg, or take your chances without, but I haven’t tested it.