Who doesn’t love the combination of chocolate and raspberries? This recipe comes from my dear friend Judy who lived for a time in Paris in the late 70’s. Judy was a serious student of French cuisine during her time in France and got this recipe from an accomplished gourmet, Carol Cutler. Carol’s husband developed heart problems and she came up with this heart healthy recipe that doesn’t sacrifice flavor. With a simple dusting of powdered sugar it remains heart healthy, no eggs and butter. The cream cheese frosting is optional- while very yummy,  maybe not so heart healthy.

You will need two 8 or 9” round cake pans and parchment paper rounds to fit in the bottom.

for the cake:

2 cups sugar

3 cups flour

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa + more for dusting pans

2 t baking soda

1 t salt

4 t vanilla

1 cup canola or other non flavored vegetable oil

2 cups cold water

4 T white vinegar

about 1 cup raspberry jam or preserves for filling between layers

chocolate shavings (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease the round pans with butter or vegetable shortening. Cut the parchment to fit or buy parchment rounds and lay in the bottom and grease them as well. Lightly dust  the bottoms and sides with cocoa.

Mix the first 9 ingredients in a bowl in an electric stand mixer on med- low until everything is combined. Scrape and mix again until well combined. This doesn’t take long- about a minute. The batter will be very runny.

Pour into pans and bake about 20-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before before turning out on a platter.

Hint: If you are going to frost the cake with the cream cheese icing put the cake in the fridge for a half hour or so before frosting that way it won”t “crumb” up on you when you spread it.

To assemble the cake:

Assemble by putting the first layer on a serving platter. Spread with the jam. Put the top layer on. Spread the icing all over the top and sides. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate if you like or fresh raspberries when in season.

Cream cheese icing

1 stick of butter- room temp

8 ounces cream cheese- room temp

1 t vanilla

Blend everything together well in an electric mixer until well combined and very creamy and spreadable.