Submitted by Ronen Abergel
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray the menorah pan liberally with the pan spray.
In the bowl of a standard mixer, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix until well combined.
Add in eggs, vanilla, mashed raspberries, coconut oil and vinegar. Mix on low just until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa powders and hot water and mix with a hand whisk until there are no clumps.
Add the cocoa mixture to the rest of the ingredients in the mixer bowl. Slowly mix by hand until combined, then turn on mixer and mix for 30 seconds – until fully combined, but do not overmix.
Pour the batter into the spray-covered menorah pan, making sure the batter reaches a little over 3/4 full, and bake until wooden toothpick dipped in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. I always start checking at minute 28 or so.
Remove the cake from oven when it’s done and let it sit in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Then take the cake out of the pan and let it cool completely.
You can also use your own favorite cake recipe. (Tip: Do not make the cake too chunky inside as it will make it more difficult to manage the cake after it’s baked). What’s important is to have enough cake batter to fill the pan just slightly over 3/4 full.
In a bowl of a standard mixer, mix the butter for about three minutes on medium speed using a paddle attachment if you have, otherwise with a whisk attachment is fine.
With the mixer on low (or stir) mode, slowly add the powdered sugar to the bowl. About midway through adding the powdered sugar, add one tablespoon of heavy cream and keep mixing until it is combined. Continue to add the rest of the powdered sugar.
Scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure there is no unmixed butter and sugar.
Add in the vanilla and salt and mix to combine.
Add the remainder of the heavy cream if the buttercream is too thick, or leave it out if the consistency is just right. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar. You’ll need to make a judgement call here. You want the buttercream to be thick enough to hold its shape when you’re piping it on to the cake, but not so stiff so that it’s hard to work with.
Use your own recipe if you wish. The recipe I use is from Chelsweets.com. You’ll need a lot.
The design of the cake is limited only by your imagination. I do recommend you have a basic color scheme in mind before you start. This will guide you when you’re coloring the frosting. Also – there is almost no such thing as a “mistake.” If you pipe the wrong color somewhere, simple use the tip of a knife to remove the wrong frosting and pipe the correct frosting over it. No stress. Have fun and get creative.