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In honor of her big birthday on August 25, we wanted to make a cake as awesome as our namesake! We give you the Rach: an Italian extravaganza with layers of chocolate–olive oil cake and cherry and Sicilian pistachio gelato (but ice cream works, too) crowned with a cloud of Luxardo cherry–topped mascarpone whipped cream. It's a heck of a lot of fun, just like the woman herself. Happy (Almost) Birthday, Rach!


Credit: Photography by Aaron Dyer

Recipe Summary test

5 hrs
10 to 14


Chocolate Cake
Fillings and Toppings


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Brush two 8-inch springform pans or cake pans with oil. If using cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk 2/3 cup oil, the sugar, and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing equally, and spread in an even layer. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 15 minutes. Let the cakes cool completely in the pans on a wire rack.

  • Drain the cherries and reserve the syrup. Cut 3/4 cup of the cherries in half. In a bowl, fold the halved cherries into the cherry gelato. Spread over 1 cake. Spread the pistachio gelato over the second cake. Cover each cake with plastic wrap; press down on the ice cream to create a tight seal. Freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.

  • In a medium bowl, beat the cream, mascarpone, and sugar until medium-firm peaks form, about 4 minutes. Run a long thin knife under hot water; wipe dry. Run the knife along the inside of the cake pans to release the cakes. Transfer the first cake to a plate (remove the parchment if you used any). Top with the second cake (remove the parchment). Pile the whipped cream on top. Garnish with the remaining cherries. Drizzle with some of the reserved cherry syrup.