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.
Is it possible to use ground almonds instead of almond flour? The flour is hard to find and very expensive in the UK, whereas ground almonds are pretty easy to come by and I know works well in other cake recipes. If so, how much would you swap out?
Hi Lottie! Yes, that’s basically the same thing. Swap one for one.
I tried this recipe but with a flavour change. I exchanged the raspberry ingredients for cherries and it was heavenly. Everyone loved this cake. It was fun to make as well.
Hi Tanya! I love the almond and cherry combo – classic Bakewell! So happy you loved it 🙂
this cake looks amazing and I’m planning to make it for my 50th birthday on Saturday. I am planning on making it in 9.5 inch pan and will scale the recipe to 2x. I saw one of the commenters said they put marzipan in between the cake layers, I love this idea, how would you incorporate that, did she mean almond paste (frangipane) or rolled out marzipan? I also am going to fill it with whipped cream mascarpone (with amaretto) instead of SMB.
Hi Lorraine! I’m actually not sure but I think either would work. I would just go with whatever is easiest for you/what you have on hand. Personally, I would try the paste if it’s spreadable. I think that would give a good texture too. Happy birthday to you! I hope you love this cake 🙂
I am so excited to try this! How would you recommend adjusting the baking time for three 5-inch cake pans?
Hi Sarah! Baking times are just a guideline as it depends on a variety of things. Are your 5″ pans at least 3″ tall? If not the batter will overflow. Be sure not to fill the pans more than 2/3 full. Here are my tips for testing if a cake is done:
1. Peek through the oven window. To see if the cakes are a nice golden brown (doesn’t really work for chocolate cakes).
2. Nudge the oven. Gently nudge your oven (assuming it’s free-standing and not built-in). If there is any jiggle in the center of the cakes, leave the oven door closed and bake for a few minutes longer.
3. Nudge the pans. Open the oven and gently nudge the pans. If there is any jiggle in the center of the cakes, close the oven door and bake for a few minutes longer.
4. Poke the cake. Gently poke the top of the cake with your finger. If the cake is firm and springs back, it’s ready for the next step.
5. Toothpick test. Insert a toothpick into the middle of the cake. When there are a few crumbs on the toothpick, the cake is ready. You want crumbs on there because the cake keeps cooking when you take it out of the oven.
I would like to know the ingredients of this cake to get 5, 6 inches cake.
Hi Hemanda! This cake uses three 6″ cake pans.
Hi, I have made this twice. The first time I added strained raspberry jam – about 3 TBSP – into the Swiss buttercream and it was delicious. The second, I have used the powered freezes dried raspberry and it turned almost red. It isn’t really as pale as your cake – 4 TBSP used – and it’s near fuchsia and I am wondering why this would be? Thanks very much.
Hi Emily! Interesting! It definitely adds more color than jam would but I’m impressed that you were able to get yours near fuchsia. It might just come down to the brand of FD raspberries used.
This same thing happened to me with the raspberries – I used homemade freeze dried. I have also used jam and we preferred it that way. Delicious. I have also frozen and works beautifully.
Maddy Flood says
Hi Liv, could I add less freeze dried powder to get the pale pink colour or will that alter the flavour?
Hi Maddy! You could definitely add less but it would affect the flavor. It’s not a big deal though, the raspberry should still come through just not as strong.
If you didn’t want to do the almond icing how much raspberry powder would you use?
Hi Jennie! I would add 1 more Tbsp but you can really add however much or little you like to taste.
Amazing. One of the best cakes I’ve ever had in my life.
Thanks Kathleen! I’m so happy you liked it 🙂
Hi! I haven’t made this yet but was wondering how long to bake if I do 9-inch layers instead of 6-inch
Hi Shelley! Are you planning on scaling the recipe up to bake in 9″ tins? If used as is I think the cake layers will be too thin. https://www.cookipedia.co.uk/recipes_wiki/Cake_tin_conversion_charts
Hi – this cake was delicious. Can the assembled cake be frozen and thawed before serving? I saw that the SMBC can be frozen, but what about the cake?
Hi Sharon! Glad you liked it. And yes, you can totally freeze the whole thing :).
This cake was fabulous! So light and packed with flavor. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Hi Jen! So happy you loved it 🙂