The Great Canadian Baking Show

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with White Chocolate Icing

Recreate Star Baker Terri's show stopper cake at home. This classic raspberry and chocolate combo won over the judges during cake week.

Terri Thompson's classic raspberry and chocolate combo won over the judges on The Great Canadian Baking Show. Recreate her show stopper cake at home! 


For cake:

  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup coffee, cooled
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted

For chocolate whipped cream filling and truffles:

  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped, divided
  • ½ cup 35% cream
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 cups raspberries, divided

For candied pistachios:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups raw pistachios, chopped
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

For white chocolate icing:

  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 5 cups icing sugar
  • ½ cup 35% cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 12 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled



Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inch springform pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with parchment.

Whisk sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat eggs on high until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Add buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; mix to combine. Add melted chocolate; mix on low until just combined. Gradually add sugar mixture. Mix on medium until fully incorporated.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake until cake tester comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove springform ring and cool completely on springform base, about 1 hour.

Chocolate whipped cream filling and truffles:

Place 4 oz chocolate in a heat proof bowl fitted over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure bowl is not touching water. Stir frequently until chocolate melts and a thermometer reads 50° to 55°C. Remove from heat, wiping away any accumulated condensation from bottom of bowl.

Gradually add remaining chocolate, stirring until melted and a thermometer reads 31° to 32°C.

Pour a small amount into 12-piece chocolate mould and swirl to coat. Invert over chocolate bowl, balancing edges of mould on 2 wooden spoon handles to allow excess chocolate to drip back into bowl. Scrape surface of mould to remove any excess chocolate. Allow to dry completely.

Meanwhile, whip cream, icing sugar and cocoa in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.

Mash and strain ¼ cup raspberries in fine mesh sieve over a small bowl. Discard seeds. Fold in ¼ cup of prepared chocolate whipped cream; place remaining mixture in fridge.

Spoon chocolate mixture into each mold, leaving ⅛-inch space. Use remaining chocolate (melt again over simmering water if hardened) to fill each mould, scrape mould surface to flatten and place in fridge until firm. Gently tap on counter to release from mould when ready to decorate.

Candied pistachios:

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add pistachios and sugar, stir to combine. Cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 7 to 9 minutes. Cool completely.

White chocolate icing:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter until fluffy and pale in colour, about 3 minutes. Stir in icing sugar 1 cup at a time until combined. Increase speed and beat until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add cream and vanilla, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in white chocolate until fully combined.


Using a serrated knife, cut cooled cakes in half to make four even rounds. Place a small dollop of icing on cake stand and cover with first cake round. 

With pallet knife, spread round evenly with ¾ cup white chocolate icing. Top with second cake round, pressing down lightly to adhere and flatten; spread with remaining chocolate whipped cream.

Place remaining raspberries evenly on whipped cream, reserving 5 or 6 for finishing the cake. Repeat with third layer of cake, spreading with another ¾ cup white chocolate icing. Top with fourth layer; spread entire cake with thin layer of white chocolate icing to crumb coat.

Place in fridge for 30 min.

Spread cake with remaining icing, smoothing to coat evenly.

Using the palm of you hand, press candied pistachios onto sides of cake. Sprinkle a half-moon shape along one side of top of cake. Top with remaining raspberries and chocolate truffles.

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Servings: Makes 16 servings


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