Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ruby Cake with Hidden Chocolate and Raspberry Filling


I made this cake for a potluck at work, and at the end of our glutton-fest and my shift I placed the leftovers in my covered portable cake dome and left it on my desk.  I thought it would be safe there from the daytime shift, and my colleagues could eat the rest the next day.  When I returned that next day and looked at my desk, I was amused to find there was less cake than I remembered!  I put it back out on the communal table, and a few minutes later I saw a higher-up (who shall not be named) pass by and cut a piece, then shove it whole into his mouth.  Hmm ... maybe that explains the cake shrinkage.

Ruby Cake Slice

The Ruby Cake is a buttery bundt with a dense and moist crumb, and a bit of tang from some sour cream.  It gets its name from a hidden filling of raspberry jam and chocolate.  I'm not sure whether it's the nature of this cake, or if I was too careful with keeping the filling away from the walls of the cake pan so it wouldn't burn, but the filling takes up very little of the cake.  Plus it rose up through the batter while baking.  I simply wanted more of the chocolate and raspberry.

Ruby Cake How-to 1
Clockwise from top left: the cake batter; piping in circles of batter; digging a trough and adding jam to it; topping the jam with chopped chocolate.
I LOVE this beater attachment.  If you have a stand mixer, get one of these beaters that scrapes the bowl as it mixes.  No need to stop the mixer and scrape the bowl periodically.

Ruby Cake How-to 2
Next, more circles of batter are piped on top, then smoothed. In the final step, a chopstick is inserted into the batter in swirling motions to distribute the chocolate and raspberry filling.
I have to say I think you can dispense with the piping bag and circles, and just scoop the batter in.  The extra steps -- scraping the batter into a bag, piping the batter, then washing the bag later -- seemed unnecessary.


Bundts also call to mind this baking pan I saw recently at the Museum of Science's exhibit on Pompeii.  This is what I would have used in Roman times!

Ruby Cake Baked

For me this cake was good but not amazing, though that could change by doubling up on the chocolate and raspberry next time.  But that's just my opinion; you might also want to ask the person involved in the cake's disappearing act.

This post was shared with:
Tea Party Tuesday
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Sweet Treats Thursday
Sweets for a Saturday
Themed Baker's Sunday

Ruby Cake
From Sarabeth Levine's Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours

Softened unsalted butter and flour, for the pan
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine sea salt
16 tbs (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch cubes
2¼ cups superfine sugar (I used regular granulated and it worked fine)
1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
1½ cups full-fat sour cream
⅓ cup plus 1 tbs raspberry jam
¼ cup finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°.  Butter and flour the inside of a 10- to 12-cup fluted tube pan and tap out the excess flour.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.  Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.  Gradually beat in the sugar, then add the vanilla, and beat until very light in color and texture, scraping occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Gradually beat in the eggs.  Reduce the mixer speed to low.  In thirds, starting with the flour mixture, and alternating with two equal additions of the sour cream, beat in the flour mixture, beating after each addition until smooth.

Transfer half of the batter to a large pastry bag (you won't need to fit it with a pastry tip if the bag opening is about ¾ inch wide).  Pipe a thick layer of batter into the bottom of the pan.  Pipe two circles of the batter into the pan, one around the circumference of the tube, and another around the circumference of the pan.  Using an offset metal spatula, create a shallow trough between the circles of batter.  Place the raspberry jam in a second pastry bag, fitted with a ¼-inch diameter plain pastry tip, such as Ateco # 802, and pipe it into the trough, being sure not to touch the sides of the pan or it will burn.  Sprinkle with the chocolate.  Place the remaining batter into the bag, pipe it into the pan, and smooth the surface with a silicone spatula.  Insert a chopstick in the batter and move it in spirals to distribute the raspberry and chocolate fillings in the cake.  Do not let the chopstick touch the sides or bottom of the pan.

Bake until the top of the cake springs back when gently pressed with your finger, and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Invert and unmold the cake onto the rack to cool completely.  (The cake can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.)


  1. This is really beautiful. I can understand why it didn't stand a chance against co-workers. :)

    1. Thank you! Better the calories on them than me, anyway.

  2. Mmmm - looks amazingly wonderful. The story of your coworkers make me chuckle. I love using pastry bags, but I usually buy giant disposables from my local baking supply place. large zip-top freezer or storage bags work for this kind of thing too. Have a great weekend.


    1. Thanks! I have some disposable piping bags also, and I used a ziploc for the raspberry jam since it was such a small task.

  3. All I have to say is: whoa. This is gorgeous--how do you get everything you bake to turn out so perfectly?! If I worked with you, I probably would have wrapped some slices in a napkin and put them in my purse to take home! :)

    1. Aw, thanks! There are definitely some failed baking projects now and then. :)

  4. This is perfect.....of course I love the name of the cake, ha!

  5. It looks good - I'm not surprised it didn't last long at work.

  6. This is a very beautiful cake! Looks great and delicious
    I'd love a slice to two (make it 3) right now with my cup of tea

  7. yum love a good bundt cake. This looks yummy. Pat

  8. Gorgeous cake. No wonder your co-workers couldn't keep their hands off. will definitely make this weekend BUT with more chocolate:)

    1. Good call! Would love to know how it turns out.

  9. The recipe may not be a winner, but it's definitely a head turner. Perhaps if you marble the raspberry and chocolate throughout the cake instead of just on top? It may give it a more thorough flavour (but it may not look so goddamn pretty :) )

    1. I like the idea! Though the recipe says not to let any filling touch the sides of center of the pan or it will burn.


Thanks for visiting! Feel free to leave some comment love.

Please post any questions in the comments, but if you need to e-mail me I can be reached at secondbreakfastblog at gmail dot com.