I really wanted to call this “Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie Layer Cake.” But holy smokes, that title is a mouthful! But what else do you call a 3-layer cake that is 2 parts decadent brownies, 2 parts homemade raspberry sauce, and 1 part cheesecake? Yeah it’s a tough one.
Umm, yeah there’s cheesecake. Enough said!
This recipe looks difficult (especially with that alternate title), but I promise, it’s not as hard as it looks. Two boxes of brownie mix, a few cheesecake ingredients, some raspberries and chocolate, and you’re good to go.
Oh, and most importantly–you need parchment paper. Stop what you’re doing right now and go get some if you don’t have it. If you don’t use parchment paper, your first attempt will end up being a pile of brownie pieces that you’ll be snacking on all day. Ok, then maybe you should “ruin” the first batch *hehehe* just kidding! Trust me, non-stick cooking spray isn’t cutting it here, folks.
It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, but with all of that chocolate and cheesecake going on, it’s a super rich dessert that you’ll be making for many occasions!
Oh yeah, did I mention a Chocolate Ganache topping? Yet another reason to make this for yourself, I mean, for someone you care about for Valentine’s Day.
Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Cake
For the Brownie layers:
- 2 9-inch round cake pans
- 2 boxes Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix
For the Cheesecake layer:
- 1 9-inch springform pan
- 16 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup sour cream (full-fat)
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Raspberry Sauce:
- 12 oz frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
For the Chocolate Ganache:
- 4 oz dark chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
Bake the Cheesecake layer:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a kettle of boiling water for later use. Place a large roasting pan in the oven to preheat.
- Prepare your springform pan by placing 2 layers of heavy duty foil around the bottom of the pan. Spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray, and line the inside bottom with a parchment paper round.
- In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until creamy. Scrape down and add the salt and eggs, beating for about a minute to combine well.
- Add the sour cream, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla and mix well. Pour into the prepared springform pan.
- Place springform pan inside the preheated roasting pan in the oven, and add boiling water to the roasting pan until it comes about 1/2″-1″ up the side of the springform pan (below the foil).
- Bake for 45 minutes. Turn oven off and allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven undisturbed for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Put in the refrigerator until ready to assemble cake.
Bake the Brownie layers:
- Prepare the round cake pans by spraying with non-stick cooking spray and lining the inside bottom of the pan with a parchment paper round.
- Mix each brownie mix according to package instructions. Pour one mix each into the prepared round cake pans. Bake according to package instructions (about 40 minutes). Allow to cool completely.
Make the Raspberry sauce:
- Place raspberries and sugar in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is bubbly and starts to thicken. Cool completely.
Make the Chocolate Ganache:
- Make the ganache when you are ready to assemble the cake. Put chocolate and heavy cream into a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds, then remove and stir. Heat for another 30 seconds, and remove and store until smooth and glossy. Let cool slightly. You want the ganache to still be pourable when adding to the cake.
Assemble the Cake:
- Start with the bottom brownie layer: Run a knife around the edge of the brownie to loosen, and carefully flip onto serving plate.
- On top of the brownie layer, spread about 1/2 of the cooled raspberry sauce, not quite to the edges of the cake.
- Next, the cheesecake layer: Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake, loosen the springform pan, and slide the cheesecake out of the round form. Very carefully flip the cheesecake on top of the first layer of the cake. If necessary, run a long, thin knife under the base of the pan to remove base and parchment paper from cheesecake.
- Spread the rest of the raspberry sauce onto the cheesecake layer.
- Remove the second layer of brownie from the pan and carefully flip out onto the top of the bottom two layers.
- Spread chocolate ganache over the top of cake, allowing to drip down the sides as desired. Add sprinkles or leave plain! Refrigerate cake until ganache is set, or until ready to serve.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!