Naked Chocolate Cake with Mixed Berry Ginger Frosting

by Erin

Three layers of rich, fluffy chocolate cake are topped with a quadruple-berry ginger buttercream for a cake you won’t soon forget.

Naked Chocolate Cake with Mixed Berry Ginger Frosting

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You know I thrive on food holidays and virtual themed blogger events and this week is no different – welcome to #BerryWeek!

Technically, as you may have guessed as it is Tuesday, today marks day two of the festivities but yesterday I announced my virtual bake sale with #BakersAgainstRacism, benefiting the Columbus Urban League, and didn’t want to overload myself.

To make up for showing up to the party a day late I am starting with this showstopper of a cake!

Mixed Berry Buttercream

I’m not much of a cake decorator. Occasionally I find the patience to do a proper crumb coat, and then use all the tools to artfully spread the frosting and decorate, but damn am I glad naked cakes became a thing.

Naked cakes are basically cakes that only have a crumb coat on them, showing little peek-a-boo shadows on the cake layers, giving them a more rustic appearance (all I needed was my cake leveler, turn table, and frosting smoother). Top with some carefully placed garnish and you have yourself a cake that’s just begging you to dive in.

This three-layer chocolate cake is complimented by a buttercream frosting made with four types of berries: strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry. I also added a bit of ginger and lime. The end result is a playful blend of flavors, none overpowering the other.

3 Layer Chocolate Cake Slice

But when you are a household of two, what on earth are you going to do with a three layer cake?

Our neighbors’ daughter is one of the many seniors this year to miss out on various high school memories, so I decided to gift it to them for her graduation which happened a day before I baked this cake.

I carefully stuck that slice of cake right back where it came from, smoothed it over (yes I told them, and yes they ended up giving us that slice and another for us to enjoy), added chocolate script, and carried it next door!

I love gifting unsuspecting people surprise baked goods, especially this baby that came out even better than expected!

Graduation 2020 Cake

Tuesday Berry Week Recipes

Naked Berry Chocolate Cake

Five years ago: Banana Split Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Six years ago: USA Soccer Cake

Seven years ago: Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Nine years ago: Homemade Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Naked Chocolate Cake with Mixed Berry Ginger Frosting


Yield: 12 servings Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat



  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 2-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1-1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 1-1/4 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 3 sticks (1-1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups (1-1/2 lb.) powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup pureed mixed berries* (about 3/4 cup whole berries)
  • 1-1/2 tsp fresh ginger
  • 1-1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Fresh berries, candied ginger, and lime zest for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat three 9-inch cake pans with nonstick spray or butter and lightly flour. Set aside.
  2. For the cake: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add the combined wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir to combine until smooth.
  4. Distribute cake batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and allow to cool completely on wire rack. If needed, slice off the tops of the cakes to make them level.
  6. While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. In a medium bowl, beat the butter until creamy then add the powdered sugar, pureed berries, lime juice, ginger, and salt. Continue beating until very light and fluffy (if needed, add powdered sugar or milk to reach desired consistency).
  7. Once the cake layers are cool, spread frosting over the top of each layer, stack, and cover the outside of the cake with more frosting, smoothing with a straight spatula or bench scraper.
  8. Decorate with fresh berries, candied ginger, and lime zest.


I used strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries

Did You Make This Recipe?
I want to see! Tag me on Instagram at @TheSpiffyCookie and hashtag it #TheSpiffyCookie.

Source: Cake adapted from Reese’s Oreo Chocolate Cake with Funfetti Cookie Dough Filling and Chocolate S’mores Cupcakes, frosting adapted from Strawberry Stuffed Cupcakes.

Did you make this recipe? I want to see!

Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it

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Christie Campbell June 23, 2020 - 6:47 pm

This fat chick LOVES cake. And this cake looks amazing. I’m drooling over the berry and chocolate combo with the ginger. All flaves I loves.

Erin June 24, 2020 - 11:24 am

Dude it’s so good you gotta try it!

Susan June 16, 2020 - 10:38 am

Even though I have never been much of a cake eater, this one looks too good to pass up. You can’t go wrong with that berry mix, ginger and lime. Being late to this party was well worth it – you chose a good cause to work for yesterday.

Erin June 16, 2020 - 11:50 am

I’m not normally a huge cake fan either, let alone chocolate cake, but that frosting is damn delicious! The cake balls I made with the cake tops from leveling them and the leftover frosting were insane too.

Wendy Klik June 16, 2020 - 10:11 am

What an absolutely gorgeous cake. Thanks for donating to such a great cause.

Erin June 16, 2020 - 11:49 am

Thank you! Trying to help even in little ways.


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