Vanilla Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling & White Chocolate Buttercream

So this one time, I made a wedding cake…
cake 1

…and turned out really great! Last June (a year ago yesterday!) I made this lovely cake for one of the loveliest ladies I know, my sister-in-law Lauren. Her wedding was so glam and clean and feminine. I was honored to make this cake and was totally nervous about making sure it was level and just the right shade of pink.
cake 2

We spent months trying different recipes and finally settled on this fluffy vanilla cake with white chocolate buttercream icing and a layer of raspberry jam in the middle. The cake was a great consistency, stayed moist, which was key since I had to make it the day before the wedding, and the flavor of the raspberry and white chocolate was so decadent.

Looking at these pictures makes me want to eat this cake again! Maybe I should make it for their anniversary…

for the cake, you will need:
5 large egg whites, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1 cup whole milk, divided, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour, sifted
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 24 equal pieces

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare your 8 inch cake pans. Grease pans with butter, line with parchment paper, put another layer of butter on top of the parchment and then dust with flour.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites, egg, ¼ cup of milk and vanilla and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, gently mix the flour, baking powder and salt until combined.

With the mixer on low speed, add the butter to the flour mixture, one piece at a time about every 10 seconds. The mixture should be a fine and crumbly texture once all of the butter is added. Add the remaining milk and mix on low speed for 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

On low speed, add the egg mixture in 3 separate additions, scraping down the bowl after each addition. After the third addition of the egg mixture, turn up the speed of the mixer to 3 or 4 and mix for 4 minutes, until batter is light and fluffy.

Divide mixture evenly in the two cake pans (you can weigh the pans for exactness if desired) and then pick up and drop the pans a couple of times to get out the air bubbles and level out the batter.

Bake until cake tester comes out with only a few crumbs on it, about 28-30 minutes. Start checking the cake at 20 minutes and every 5 minutes after. Let cakes cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Let them cool completely on wire racks before handling.

You can wrap the cakes tightly in plastic wrap and store for a couple days before using, but it is best prepared the day it was baked.

for the raspberry filling, you will need:
1 cup fresh raspberries
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir frequently until berries break down. If mixture comes to a boil, turn down to only a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes or so. Let cool completely before using in cake. You can store in a jar in the fridge for

Or you could just use Sarabeth’s Raspberry Key Lime preserves and call it a day. Her preserves are magical and it saves you a step 🙂

for the buttercream, you will need:
2½ cups (5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6-7 cups powdered sugar (depending on consistency)
pinch of salt
8 oz. good quality white chocolate, chopped
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup heavy cream

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 6 cups of the powdered sugar in 2 cup batches and mix slowly until combined. Mix in the salt, cooled white chocolate and vanilla extract and beat until combined.

Add the cream and whip until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes more. At this point the consistency should be fluffy but not runny at all. You should be able to hold it upside down on a spoon without it dripping off. Add more powdered sugar if necessary to reach a good consistency for icing the cake.

To assemble everything:
Level each of the cake layers and then cut each cake in as close to equal halves as possible. You will have 4 layers of cake to work with.

Place one cake layer, flat side down, on an 8″ cake board. Top with a few big, heaping tablespoons of buttercream. Spread icing with an offset spatula, covering all of the cake except for a small border around the edges.

Place another cake layer on top (use one of the top layers, saving the other bottom layer for the very top), lining it up with the bottom layer as much as possible. Use the raspberry filling for this layer, layering it on nice and thick.

Place another top cake layer on top of the raspberry filling, lining up the sides as much as possible. Repeat the same routine with the buttercream as the first layer. Top the cake with the final layer of cake, which should be your second bottom flat layer.

Try your best to keep the icing layers even so you don’t have a leaning cake, but not to fear if you do. That is why you have so much buttercream frosting. You can really lather that stuff on there and then can make the cake look even by using the spatula and turning the cake on rotating cake stand.

Now its time for the crumb coat of buttercream. Once your layers are completed and your cake is assembled, start covering the top and the sides with a thin layer of icing. Use a big offset spatula and make it as smooth as possible, scraping off excess and wiping it into a separate bowl. It is important to not get crumbs in the final icing layer, so be mindful of where you wipe the excess. Place the cake in your fridge for an hour or so for the icing to firm up. This makes it much easier to put on the top, fancy layer.

For the final layer of buttercream, start with the top. Place heaping dallops of icing on the top of the cake and start swirling the spatula around to flatten in out in a messy fashion. When the icing moves to the edges, wrap it down onto the sides. Keep adding icing and swirling around the spatula to get the desired look you want. You will have a lot of icing to work with so just keep adding the icing if necessary.

I am a big fan of messy looking cakes, but this cake would be lovely with a smooth coat of buttercream as well.

I used this tutorial to help me get the messy icing look on the buttercream…it is very helpful and much more descriptive than my explanation above. Some tools that will be helpful for making a cake like this are: large offset spatula, small offset spatula, scraper, and a rotating cake stand.

I did not decorate the cake with flowers, Lauren’s awesome florist did. She got her flowers from The Farmer’s Daughter and they were fabulous!

yields: one 2 layer, 8 inch round cake with thick frosting
serves: 10-12
cake recipe adapted slightly from: Sweetapolita

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  1. Audrey
    Posted November 2, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Cake looks lovely. Would like to try. Question. I do not eee sugar listed in the ingredients. . Can you tell me amt to include and when to include. I did try to find this recipe on sweetopia website but did not see on the site. Thank you!!

    • Ali
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Hi Audrey! There is no sugar in the actual cake recipe…only in the icing. I hope you make this cake, it’s so delicious! Let me know how it turns out!

      • Audrey
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        wow. interesting. thanks so much for your response!!

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