These little cakes are perfect for sharing with a loved one, or, if you’re so inclined, for consuming alone while watching reruns of The Love Boat. Either way, they are delish. Each little cake features two layers of rich, chocolate buttermilk cake, filled with a fresh raspberry center and with dollops of whipped cream throughout. Since the cake needs to be frozen before cutting out the heart shapes, I recommend making it the day before serving and freezing it overnight. The next day, you just need to cut out the heart shapes, make the raspberry filling (which takes about 5 minutes) and the whipped cream, and then assemble the cakes. They can be assembled up to 8 hours before serving – store them in the refrigerator and serve chilled.

Makes 6 individual cakes

Special Equipment: 3 1/2 -inch heart-shaped cutter


Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups (170 grams) cake flour
  • 3/4 cup (72 grams) Dutch-processed (alkalized) cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 18 tablespoons (255 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups (350 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups (322 grams) buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
  • 4.5 ounces (127 grams) finely chopped bittersweet chocolate or 3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate morsels

Raspberry Filling

  • 1 ½ cups (170 grams) fresh raspberries
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (9 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Grand Mariner or orange juice

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup (232 grams) heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons (18 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Optional Garnish

  • Pink and white sprinkles


Make the cake

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease the bottom and sides of a 12 x 17-inch rimmed baking sheet (a.k.a. a half sheet pan). Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed for 2 minutes, until very creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes, until the mixture is well blended and light. At medium speed, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

4. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and vanilla extract. At low speed, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating it with the buttermilk mixture in two additions, and mixing just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir in the finely chopped chocolate or miniature semisweet morsels. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan.

5. Bake the cake for 22 to 28 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan set on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

6. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the cake and invert a baking rack on top of the sheet. Invert the whole set up, then peel off the parchment paper from the cake. Let the cake cool completely.

7. Once cool, place a clean sheet of parchment on top of the cake and then place a clean baking sheet upside down over the cake and invert it. Remove the baking rack, cover the cake (in the pan) with plastic wrap, wrapping it well, and freeze until firm, about an hour (this will make it easier to cut into clean heart shapes).

8. Once the cake is frozen, unwrap it and use a 3 ½-inch heart shaped cutter to cut out as many heart shapes from the cake as possible (you should be able to get 12 hearts from the cake). Set the cakes aside at room temperature until ready to use. Gather up the cake scraps and store them in a sealable plastic bag in the freezer – they make a great midnight snack!

Prepare the Raspberry Filling

9. Set aside 6 of the nicest rapsberries for garnish. Put 1/3 cup (38 grams) of the remaining raspberries in a small bowl and mash them with a fork until they are chunky. Add the remaining raspberries, the confectioners’ sugar and the liqueur or juice and combine well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the Whipped Cream

10. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream with the vanilla at medium-high speed until soft mounds begin to form. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and whip until medium-firm peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a pastry bag fitted with a medium (I used an Ateco #5) plain tip.

Assemble the cakes

11. Place one of the heart cakes on a small square of parchment paper. Pipe some of the whipped cream onto the center of the cake and spread it into a thin, even layer just over the top. Pipe dollops of the whipped cream next to each other around the edge of the top of the cake. Pile some of the raspberry filling in the center of the cake. Top with another heart cake and then pipe dollops of cream all over the top of the cake. Garnish with 2 raspberry halves and some pink and white sprinkles. Repeat with the remaining heart shapes and refrigerate the cakes until ready to serve.

Recommended Equipment:

Heart Cookie Cutter 3 3/8″ Valentines Heart


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Tish Boyle
Tish Boylehttps://pastryathome.com
Tish Boyle is the Managing Editor of Pastry Arts Magazine, a food writer and cookbook author with expertise in baking, desserts and chocolate. A graduate of Smith College and La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine, Tish has written several dessert and baking books including Chocolate Passion, Diner Desserts, The Good Cookie, The Cake Book and Flavorful. Co-writing credits include Payard Desserts and the Grand Finales series of books.

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