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image of chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and chocolate ganache drip

Sourdough Enriched Chocolate Cake

This cake is so heavenly! Each slice is layered with raspberry jam and soaked in a coffee syrup. The frosting is a vanilla buttercream and you could even top it with a chocolate ganache if you wanted to!
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 slices
Calories 595 kcal


  • Three 7-inch cake pans


for the coffee syrup

  • 300g brewed coffee
  • 150g sugar

for the three 7-inch cakes

  • 150g unsalted butter melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 6 eggs at room temperature
  • 270g sugar
  • 150g sour cream at room temperature
  • 135g sourdough starter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 375g all-purpose flour
  • 75g rye flour
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 255g milk at room temperature, any kind you want
  • 90g mini chocolate chips

for the raspberry jam

  • 360g fresh raspberries
  • 180g sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • light pinch of salt

for the vanilla buttercream frosting

  • 225g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 305g sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • ½-1 teaspoon salt to your taste


  • Firstly, make the coffee syrup. Set a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the coffee, sugar and vanilla and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then set the heat to low and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F and line three 7-inch cake pans with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the room temperature melted butter with the eggs until frothy and combined. Add the sugar, sour cream, sourdough starter, and vanilla and whisk thoroughly.
  • In a medium bowl, add the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and use a fork to combine. Measure out your milk and mini chocolate chips into separate small containers to have them ready.
  • Sift half the dry mixture over the wet, and use a spatula to fold it in a few turns. Then add the milk and fold the batter a few turns again. Sift the rest of the dry mixture in and fold until halfway mixed, then add the chocolate chips and fold until just fully smooth and combined. Transfer the batter evenly into the three cake pans, gently smoothing off the top.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick can poke the cake and come out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack. When the cakes are no longer hot, level off the tops by evenly slicing off any domes with a serrated knife. Poke the cake all over with a sharp knife or skewer and pour a third of the coffee syrup all over the top of each cake. Let the cakes cool completely, then wrap them well and let them hang out in the fridge for a few hours or overnight (it’s easier to assemble a chilled cake).
  • To make the jam, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the raspberries and sugar. Stir occasionally, and break up the raspberries with a wooden spoon. After 5 minutes, lower the heat a little bitand continue to cook the jam down until it is thick and no longer runny, about 15-25 minutes. At this point, stir constantly. Add the lemon juice and pinch of salt and continue to stir for a few more moments to fully thicken again. Turn off the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool completely. If you’re assembling the cake the next day, you can cover and store the cooled jam overnight in the fridge.
  • When you’re ready to assemble the cake, make the buttercream frosting. Add the butter to a large bowl on a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer. On high speed, whip the butter for one minute. Then add the powdered sugar with the mixer on medium speed, a spoonful at a time until it is sweet enough for you or you use it all up! When the frosting is at a thick and smooth consistency, add the vanilla and salt to your taste and continue to mix for one minute. If the buttercream is not cool to touch at this point, place the bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  • Pull the cakes out from the fridge and unwrap them. Set them on top of each other to see the order of layers. the top layer should have the flatter side up, so you can have a nice flat-topped cake. Pull out the jam from the fridge and grab a spoon.
  • Transfer a quarter of the buttercream to a plastic storage bag or piping bag and snip off a corner to pipe the outer edge of the bottom layer of cake with a thick amount of frosting.
  • Spoon jam into the center and spread to the frosting edge. Repeat with the next layer of cake. Place the final cake on top and frost your entire cake! I like to leave mine not fully frosted for the unfinished effect. I also linked a tutorial above if you need help frosting your cake. Let the cake chill in the fridge until serving or decorating any further! Hope you enjoy. Let me know what you think below in the comments or onInstagram @higheralchemybaking!


You can replace the rye flour in the cake recipe with all-purpose or any whole grain flour if you wish.
You can use any milk you wish, including any plant-based milks!