Updated: Jan 31
This is my favourite cake (well for the moment anyway). Its a nostalgic vanilla cake with the perfect addition of raspberries for a sweet tang, I would usually make this with a vanilla buttercream or Swiss meringue buttercream but have also made it with a raspberry buttercream, lemon cream cheese icing or even just with jam and cream! It's my go-to cake and I was reluctant to share the recipe but hey isn't that what I'm here for? I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Vanilla & Raspberry Cake
250g butter, at room temperature
370g caster sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla extract (If there's ever a time to use a good quality vanilla, it's now! I prefer to use vanilla bean paste that has the beautiful flecks of vanilla bean, I use Heilala Vanilla)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
250g frozen raspberries, tossed in 2 Tbsp flour
125g butter, at room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
4 Tbsp milk
Pinch of salt
Food colouring of choice
Some other icing options -
Preheat oven to 180˚C.
This batter makes enough for one large 8 inch (22cm) cake, or I prefer to make it into 2 x 6 inch (15cm) tins which I can layer.
Make sure you butter is at room temp, if not, whack it in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until it is soft - be careful, you don't want to take it too far!
Place butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl or bowl of your stand mixer. Use electric beaters to cream them together for 8 minutes (this is not a joke, time it, 8 minutes, it will be beautiful and light in colour and texture).
Add the eggs, one at a time (seriously) incorporating well after each addition.
Add the baking powder, salt and half the flour and gently stir in with a spatula. Add half the milk and gently stir, then add remaining flour, stir, remaining milk, stir until all is just combined - don't stir too long though or your cake will be tough!
Toss your frozen raspberries in flour (this will prevent them all sinking to the bottom of the cake) you can stir them into the mixture if you like, but I prefer to press them into the mixture once it's in the tin, so I get an even spread. So transfer the batter into your prepared tins, then evenly spread your raspberries over the top, pressing them in so they are mostly covered by the batter.
If you don't already have one, invest in a kitchen timer, they are super affordable, you can get them from the supermarket or here and they will help you achieve consistent baking results. Depending on the size of the tin you chose, the cook time will change. For an 8 inch tin, this will take 50-75 minutes, depending on your oven. Check at 50 min, then every 5 min after that. For 6 inch, it is more like 45-55 minutes.
As with any cake, it is imperitive you let the cake cool completely before icing, otherwise the icing will just melt! I am impatient. So to speed up the process, I wrap my cake layers in cling film (to keep the moisture in) and put them in the fridge so I can get to the icing quicker.
I almost always cut my layers in half, so I can fill it with icing or other goodness. Click here for a quick video from my pastry idol Zoe, showing you how to cut a cake layer with a serrated knife.
To make the buttercream, place the butter in a large bowl or bowl of your stand mixer and use electric beaters to beat for 8-10 minutes, until almost white. Add the icing sugar, milk, salt and food colouring and mix ON SLOW SPEED for another 10 minutes (yes I'm serious - the longer you beat, the more fluffy and beautiful your buttercream will be).
Decorate your cake in whatever way pleases you, in these pictures, I've used American buttercream and coloured it Messie Jessie pink 😇💓 For beginner decorators, the easiest and most impactful way of decorating I've found, is to use a dessert spoon and make swooshy patterns in your icing. Add flowers or sprinkles or whatever tickles your fancy to make it beautiful.
Et Voila! Enjoy 🥰