For the chocolate cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
Stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the milk, oil, vanilla and eggs, and beat on medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.
Stir in 1 cup boiling water (the batter will be thin), then pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then transfer from the pans to wire racks to cool completely.
For the raspberry meringue buttercream: Heat the egg whites, granulated sugar and salt over a double boiler, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves.
Using an electric mixer, whip the egg white mixture on high speed until peaks form and the mixture cools, about 5 minutes.
Turn the mixer to medium speed and add the butter, a little at a time. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla, and mix.
Fold in the raspberry paste extract right before icing the cake.
To assemble the cake: Once the cakes are completely cooled, cut each into two layers (you will have 4 layers total). Fill the first layer with a cup of buttercream and repeat each layer until all layers are assembled and stacked.
This recipe was created by a contestant during a cooking competition. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Ann Alaboud