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 favorite Almond Cake Recipe with my favorite berry. As I was researching classic raspberry almond flavor 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 favorite 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 flavor and texture difference.
I use amaretto liqueur to add more of that almond flavor 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 flavor
- 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.
Perhaps something like a raspberry sauce or coulis would work better. It’s what I’d try next time anyhow.
Raspberry & Almond Swiss Meringue Buttercream
For the frosting, I used my favorite Swiss meringue buttercream split it in two and made one raspberry and one almond. I wanted two tones as a contrast of the two flavors.
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 flavor. 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 flavor 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 flavor 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)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup milk room temperature
- 1/4 cup Amaretto liqueur see Notes section for alcohol-free option
Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- 6 large egg whites
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 Tbsp freeze-dried raspberry powder
- 4-6 drops almond extract
- 12 oz fresh raspberries roughly chopped, plus more for topping, 340g
- 4-6 Tbsp raspberry syrup (or coulis) (optional) store-bought or homemade
- sliced almonds
- 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 Tbsp 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.
Hello! I wanted to try and substitute with cherries. What would you recommend and how would you substitute? Fresh cherries?
Hi McKenzie! For the filling, I would do fresh cherries or a cherry jam or a homemade compote. For the buttercream, freeze dried cherry powder would be idea but you could use cherry jam instead.
I made this cake for my daughter’s birthday. She said it was the best cake she’s ever had. I made the raspberry sauce you recommended and used half the sugar. It was so delicious.
Hi Katy! So happy you both loved it. Thanks for the feedback!
Charles Shinogle says
Best cake I have ever made. My wife loved it and now it will he her go to birthday cake.
Hi Charles! I’m so happy to hear that! Thanks for the feedback 🙂
Great recipe! Very delicious. I would have never thought of turnIng a Bakewell tart into a cake. I did add a layer of marzipan (in addition to the raspberry jam) between the cakes because my family loves almond and I don’t think you can ever have enough. This recipe is definitely going in the “make again” category.
Hi Brie! So glad you loved it 🙂 The marzipan layer is a great idea, I’ll have to try that!
Hi! I’m new to using almond flour in cakes…. can you tell what it does to the cake’s texture? Is it a crunchier or denser feel than using AP flour? Thanks so much!!
Hi MaryAnn! I love using almond flour in cakes specifically for the texture! It’s a little coarser and adds moisture to the cake layers. Really delicious. Should not make the cake more dense.
I made these cakes twice and both times the cakes collapsed on one side and were entirely lopsided making them impossible to assemble. How do you get your cakes to be flat on top and not collapse on one side?
Hi Sara! Collapsing on the side is strange! Do you use a convection oven? I’ve never heard of cakes to be flat on one side. They either cave in the middle, dome, or bake flat. I use baking strips to help ensure my cakes bake flat every time (https://livforcake.com/flat-top-cakes/) but I suspect this issue might be due to your oven heating unevenly.
I did use the baking strips that go around the sides of the pans. I’ll have to try with a different oven next time to see if it changes anything.
Oh, that is bizarre then. Don’t suppose you have a picture you could send me? So I can help diagnose 🙂
Hi Liv, gorgeous recipe! I’m making this for a friend and I can’t wait to try it. I’m going to fill and frost the cake with ABC as I don’t have the proper equipment to make SMBC, to fill and frost three 6inch cakes how much ABC do you recommend I make? Thanks a mil.
Hi Lauren! I would make one full recipe of this ABC. It might be cutting it a bit close (I like to have extra buttercream vs too little to be safe) so you could scale it up a bit if you want by changing the Servings.
This cake was a huge hit, thank you! All of the elements paired beautifully. I ran out of eggs and only had enough SMBC for the almond layers and used your American BC recipe for the raspberry exterior. Worked great as a pivot! I also used a food processor to make my own freeze-dried raspberry powder (bag of whole freeze-dried raspberries was only $5 USD). Thank you again! I can’t wait to make more of your cakes! Photo here: instagram.com/getlostbec
Hi Rebecca! I’m so happy you loved it and thanks for all your tips! Your cake is gorgeous!
Hi! I set out to make a bakewell birthday cake for my birthday and I was browsing for inspo. I knew I wanted to add amaretto but wasnt sure what ratio, this is so helpful!
One question, how tall were your cake pans?
I was planning on making a cake using 5 x 7″ x 1″ pans but they are obviously very shallow, so I’m struggling a bit with how much I should scale up the recipe or if the sponge would even work in a tin that size.
Thanks so much, big fan from England!
Hi Emma! My cake pans are all 2″ tall. Converting pan sizes is always tricky. Here’s a site I use as a guideline: http://www.joyofbaking.com/PanSizes.html
I was just wondering if I can can use egg white powders for the Swiss meringue buttercream?
Hi Heather! Powdered egg whites won’t give you the same results I’m afraid.
Can I replace the all purpose flour with gluten free flour? Thank you!
Hi Sophie! Yes, as long as it’s a proper GF AP flour blend.
I’m in the process of making this cake for my lockdown birthday tomorrow..!
Would you recommend I complete the whole cake today, icing and all? So that it’s ready for tomorrow, or would you suggest I assemble tomorrow?
Looking forward to seeing how it turns out!
Hi Frey! Sorry for the delayed reply. I like to space out my baking so I’d spread it over a couple days, but either way works fine. Happy Birthday to you! I hope you love the cake 🙂
Made this cake and turned out just like your picture. Got lots of great remarks.
I have two questions. First how long should the cake sit out before serving because my buttercream was a little firm.
Second, had a hard time in transporting the finished cake from spinning plate to cake plate.
Thank you for your beautiful cakes
Hi Victoria! So happy everyone loved it 🙂 For transferring — it’s always tricky. Do you use a cake board under your cakes? That will help make it more sturdy. I also chill the cake before transferring and use a cake lifter to lift the cake up and move it. It takes some practice and is stressful any time I do it! The cake will take about 2-3 hours or so to come to room temp. You can speed this up by cutting slices and placing them on plates. I hope that helps!
I’ve made this cake twice. The first time I made the cake as written for my brother-in-law’s birthday. He loves almond cakes and said it was the best cake! I was pleasantly surprised by the nice nonartifical almond flavor the cake had. I ended up using amaretto in my SMB as well bc found out too late I was out of almond extract, oops. The second time I made the cake into cupcakes for a friend, I wasnt sure if she liked almond flavoring so I used all milk and added a little vanilla bean powder to the cake batter. The almond flour still gave the cupcakes a nice slight almond flavoring and everyone enjoyed them. I topped the cupcakes with SMB flavored with dried strawberry powder. I’m going to add this cake recipe to my favorites, love the adaptability! Thank you for a great recipe!
Hi Julie! Thanks so much for your tips! I’m so happy you love the recipe 🙂
How many cupcakes did the recipe do?
Hi Amanda! It should make about 18-24 depending on size.
Amy Buono says
Good morning Olivia! I love all your cakes and as it happens, so does my family!! I’m preparing for my daughter’s birthday and plan on making this cake. I noticed it calls for 4tbsp if raspberry powder in the buttercream ingredients but only 4tsp in the instructions. Could you clarify that for me? Thanks in advance!!
Hi Amy! Good catch, that was my mistake in the instructions — it should be 4Tbsp, but you can add more or less if you like 🙂 I hope your daughter loves it and happy early birthday to her!
Amy Buono says
Thanks a million!!
This is going to be very random–
We used to live in Vancouver and 5 years ago moved to Spain. It was here in Spain that I discovered your recipes because some friends asked me to make them cakes and treats for birthday celebrations. It’s now a small side job that I do from home and my go-to chocolate, almond and vanilla cakes are yours….I’ve made quite a few of your cakes and have remixed some of them for new combinations! I have three kids and our oldest happens to be named Olivia as well!!
Anyway, just wanted to say thanks and let you know what quite a few of your cakes (sometimes even decorated and finished in the exact same way!) have been enjoyed in Madrid 😉
Whereabouts in Vancouver do you live? With so many coincidences we might have even lived in the same neighborhood..hahaha!!
Many thanks from Spain,
Hi Daniela! What a coincidence! I live in the tri-cities, but we’re looking to move soon, maybe to North Van. Where did you live? So happy to hear you’ve been making (and enjoying) my cakes over there!
We lived in Northvan actually….haha!!
We havent been back in 5 years and have finally booked tickets to return this November. Should be interesting to see how everything has changed–especially Northvan I hear…
I made this cake for a family gathering and it was a hit! I used gluten free flour instead of AP flour and it worked perfectly. The cake was moist and had a great texture. I added a thin layer of raspberry jam in the middle of the layers and a drizzle around the top of the cake for an extra raspberry punch. I will definitely make it again! Thank you!
Hi Jolene! I’m so happy to hear that. Glad everyone loved it and thank you for your tips!
Kezia Burton Ward says
This looks delicious- can’t wait to try it, I love Bakewell tarts!
Question for you – how many days would you keep this for given that it has fresh fruit in it?
Hi Kezia! The cake will be fine for 2-3 days in the fridge — after that it will start to dry out.
Dalila G. says
What a lovely cake Olivia!
I can see myself making this for my friends.
I’ll be a ‘superstar’ for a bit……until there’s no more cake! LOL!
Have a nice day Olivia and thank you for another wonderful recipe to jump into.
Thanks so much Dalila! I hope you try this one soon 🙂
This is the most gorgeous cake I have ever seen!!
Thanks so much Sue!