This Raspberry Almond Cake is my version of the classic Bakewell Tart in cake form. Almond cake layers, almond & raspberry buttercream, with fresh raspberries and almond slices. The perfect Bakewell Cake!
This didn’t start out as a Bakewell Cake. I wanted to make a simple Raspberry Almond Cake to pair my favourite Almond Cake Recipe with my favourite berry. As I was researching classic raspberry almond flavour pairings I came across the Bakewell Tart.
The Bakewell Tart consists of a pastry base filled with jam (often raspberry), frangipane (sweet almond paste), and flaked almonds. It’s associated with the town of Bakewell in Derbyshire, England though there is some contention around where it originated. I think I first heard of it during an episode of The Great British Bake Off.
Since I consider myself an honorary citizen of the UK (until I can be an actual one – dare to dream), this Bakewell Cake needed to happen.
How to Make this Bakewell Cake
For the cake layers I used my very favourite almond cake recipe. I’ve raved about this recipe before and have used it, or versions of it numerous times. Swapping some of the regular flour with almond flour makes such a delicious flavour and texture difference.
I use amaretto liqueur to add more of that almond flavour in, but you can use almond extract if you prefer to skip the alcohol. See Tips section before the recipe for what changes to make.
Raspberry Simple Syrup
My intent for drizzling the cake layers with raspberry simple syrup was twofold:
- add a hit of raspberry flavour
- have pretty pink streaks through the cake layers
#2 was an obvious fail.
In hindsight, I don’t know why I thought the pink would come through. I used store-bought raspberry simple syrup that I got from a berry farm, but you could easily make your own. The syrup is a pretty, deep pink color, but it just didn’t come through (at all) in the cake layers.
Raspberry & Almond Swiss Meringue Buttercream
For the frosting, I used my favourite Swiss meringue buttercream split it in two and made one raspberry and one almond. I wanted two tones as a contrast of the two flavours.
For the almond, I added the tiniest bit of almond extract to it. I don’t love to use extracts, and almond can be particularly strong and overpowering, but it does a good job of adding the flavour. I only used 1/4 tsp (at most) of the almond extract in the buttercream.
For the remainder of the buttercream I used freeze-dried raspberry powder to add an amazing hit of flavour and color. Freeze-dried fruit and powders are not the easiest to find, at least not in Canada.
If you’re local to Vancouver you can find them at The Gourmet Warehouse (good selection) or Whole Foods (hit or miss). If you’re in the US, Trader Joe’s stocks a variety of freeze-dried fruit that you can grind up into a powder at home (I use a coffee/spice grinder to do this).
You can read more about freeze-dried fruit in my Strawberry Cake post.
I used the almond buttercream inside the cake on the layers and as a crumb coat. I thought this would contrast well with the bright red fresh raspberries I put in between the layers.
I frosted the whole thing with the pink raspberry buttercream and added some simple dollops of the almond buttercream on top using a 6B tip.
For the very top, I placed fresh raspberries on top of each dollop them filled the middle with some sliced almonds, chopped freeze dried raspberries, and small white nonpareils.
I also tossed some of the nonpareils onto the side of the cake for more texture and depth and pressed some sliced almonds along the bottom. Overall the decorating is actually very simple, but I think it has a big impact without going over the top.
If you love a good Bakewell Tart, I hope you love my cake version. Raspberry and almond are such a delicious combo — the flavour and texture of this cake is amazing. Let me know if you give it a try!
Looking for more berry dessert recipes?
- Strawberry Shortcake Cake
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cake
- Raspberry Mango Cake
- Strawberry Cheesecake Cookie Cups
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
Tips for making this Raspberry Almond Cake
- The recipe as-is will also work in two 8″ pans. For three 8″ pans 1.5x the recipe.
- To make cupcakes, all you need to do is reduce the baking time — start checking at 15mins or so.
- If you don’t have almond flour and can’t be bothered buying it, you can just leave it out and increase the flour to 2 1/4 cups.
- If you prefer a non-alcoholic version of the cake layers, you can use almond extract instead. For the cake, use 1 tsp almond extract (at most) and increase the milk to 1 cup. Almond extract is strong and it’s easy to overdo it. Less is more here.
- You can use other berries if you like, or cherry, which is a common alternative.
- Be sure to check my Swiss Meringue Buttercream post for tips and troubleshooting.
- Learn how to keep your cakes moist using Simple Syrup.
- To help ensure your cake layers bake up nice and flat, check out my Flat Top Cakes post!
Bakewell Cake (Raspberry Almond Cake)
Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour three 6" cake rounds and line with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, almond flour, baking powder,and salt until well combined. Set aside.
- Combine milk and Amaretto. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on med-high until pale and fluffy (3mins). Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk). Fully incorporating after each addition.
- Bake for approx. 35mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10mins then turn out onto wire rack. Allow cakes to cool completely.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.*
- Place bowl over a pot with 1-2" of simmering water and stir constantly with a whisk until the mixture is hot and no longer grainy to the touch or reads 160F on a candy thermometer (approx. 3mins)
- Place bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (approx. 5-10mins)).
- Switch to paddle attachment. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth.**
- Remove 3 cups of buttercream. Add 1/4 tsp almond extract to those 3 cups and whip well (I did this with a spatula). Add 4 Tsp freeze-dried raspberry powder to remaining buttercream and beat well to combine.
- Trim tops of each cake layer just slightly (to help absorb the syrup). Drizzle each with 1-2 Tbsp raspberry syrup (or coulis). Spread with an offset spatula to cover.
- Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with 1/2 cup of almond buttercream and spread evenly. Gently press about 6 Tbsp fresh raspberries into the top. Repeat with next layer and place final layer on top. Frost and smooth the outside with a thin crumb coat of the almond buttercream. Chill for 20mins.
- Press toasted almonds into the bottom and fill in the middle of the top of the cake. Sprinkle chopped freeze dried raspberries on top if desired.
** The buttercream may look like it's curdled at some point. Keep mixing until it is completely smooth. Note:
- If you don't have almond flour and can't be bothered buying it (I don't blame you), you can just leave it out and increase the flour to 2 1/4 cups.
- If you prefer a non-alcoholic version, you can use almond extract instead. For the cake, use 1/2 tsp almond extract (at most) and increase the milk to 1 cup. Almond extract is strong and it's easy to overdo it. Less is more here.