I am a die-hard chocolate fan, as you all know… But this is THE vanilla cake recipe that made me like vanilla as well. Paired with a tart homemade raspberry jam filling and sweet, tangy, silky vanilla bean frosting, this is a well-balanced classic.
The star of the show here is of course, the vanilla. If possible, get your hands on some vanilla bean paste – it is a game changer. My favourite is Nielsen-Massey; it’s a little more expensive than imitation vanilla extract but I promise you, it’s SO worth it.
Important to remember is to get all of your ingredients to room temperature before prepping this batter. It will make the mixing process go much smoother, and helps prevent curdling of the butter. If you realize too late that your eggs might have been a bit cold, and things are a little lumpy, don’t worry! Just mix a little longer until it comes together. If the mixture looks curdled, also don’t worry! It well still end up tasting alright, but be extra careful not to overmix when adding the flour. This makes the cake dense. While the cake bakes, you can prepare the filling. I absolutely love using raspberries as they provide a good kick of sour to balance out the sweetness of the cake and frosting. But feel free to mess around with other fruits! Blueberry, blackberry, strawberry… Can’t really go wrong with cake and berries!
Once you’ve cooked up your jam, you want to let it cool fully so it’s nice and thick, which will help when stacking the cake layers. This is prime time to make your frosting!
Another tip for stacking up cake layers with filling, is to grab a 1M piping tip (or other large star), and pipe a border of frosting around the edge of your first layer. This serves as a dam to keep the filling in place. Then stack and crumb coat as per usual, making sure to let the cake fully set in the fridge before finishing off the decorating.
Vanilla Raspberry Cake
- 1½ cup all purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup butter room temperature
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 whole egg room temperature
- 2 egg whites room temperature
- 1½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 tbsp sour cream or Greek yogurt room temperature
- ½ cup buttermilk room temperature
Raspberry Jam Filling
- 2 cups frozen raspberries
- 3 tbsp white sugar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- ½ tsp salt
Toppings – Optional
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- Prepare two 6” cake pans by lining with parchment paper and spraying with oil.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Beat butter and sugar in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment for at least 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Drizzle in canola oil while beating.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition. Add sour cream and vanilla.
- Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl.
- Alternate adding buttermilk and dry mixture in parts to the mixing bowl, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix!
- Spoon into prepared pans, weighing for accuracy (or eyeballing!).
- If using cake strips, bake 38 mins. Without, bake 34 mins.
- Check the cakes – tops should bounce back when lightly touched with your finger, and a toothpick inserted to the centre should come out with only a few crumbs – not wet.
- Remove the cakes and let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool fully.
Raspberry Jam Filling
- While the cakes cool, prepare the filling.
- Place raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a frying pan set to medium heat. Cook until the raspberries thaw and soften, keeping it near a boil and stirring often (about 10 minutes).
- Whisk cold water and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Reduce heat of the pan to low, and pour in cornstarch slurry. Whisk together until combined, and remove from heat, continuing to stir. Jam will thicken as it cools.
- Make buttercream according to instructions (check the "Classic American Buttercream Recipe" page!)
- Once fully cooled, place first cake layer on a plate or serving dish. Spread a thin layer of frosting, to coat the top.
- Fill a piping bag with buttercream, using the tip of your choice. I like to use a star tip as I find this holds in the filling the best.
- Pipe a border around the edge of the cake.
- Fill this ring in with the jam! It should be cooled, so it's not too runny.
- Place the next cake layer on top, and press down lightly.
- Coat the cake in a thin layer of buttercream. Then place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, to allow the filling and buttercream to set.
- Wrap that baby up in a final coat of buttercream, and top with fresh raspberries.
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