These raspberry vanilla mini cakes are layered with a creamy vanilla frosting and raspberry jam.
Can you believe it’s October?? How the heck did that even happen? October is my favorite month of the year. It’s officially Fall, Thanksgiving next weekend, then my birthday and Halloween at the end of the month. This month pretty much rocks.
October is also Breast Cancer Awareness month. My friend Rebecca over at Sugar & Soul has put together a “Cooking for a Cure” round-up, with some pretty pink recipes from some pretty fabulous bloggers. Not that I ever need an excuse to bake something, but it’s nice to have a worthy cause to inspire a new recipe. I chose to make some pretty pink raspberry mini cakes for this theme so that I could break in my new 4″ cake rounds.
My ongoing search for the perfect vanilla cake recipe continues. For these mini cakes, I adapted Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Downy Butter Yellow Cake recipe from The Cake Bible. I changed it up a bit, as the original recipe called for only egg yolks and I didn’t want to waste the whites. The original was also for two 9″ rounds, so I had to do some math and volume calculations to convert it for three 4″ rounds. That was super fun.
My plan was to make three 3-layer cakes, but the cakes didn’t bake up quite as high as I’d wanted, so I pieced them together to make two 3-layer cakes and they turned out quite well. Since they didn’t bake up very high, I could have just divided the batter into two pans instead of three and then cut the cakes into 3 layers each. So really you could just use two 4″ rounds to make these (as long as they’re 3″ tall) instead of three like I did.
The buttercream is a simple vanilla buttercream recipe that I added a bit of color gel to. I was intially going to make raspberry buttercream and mix some jam into it, but I thought the jam would make a nice, striking layer inside the cake instead.
The delicious raspberry jam comes from my sister-in-law, Nissa. She made a whole bunch this summer and sent us home with a few jars when we were visiting Calgary. The cake layer itself is actually quite salty, and I was a bit worried, but it goes perfectly with the sweet buttercream and jam. It’s definitely a cake that needs a super-sweet buttercream.
Oh, and I overbaked the cake, so… don’t do that. It baked up quicker than I thought, considering the pans were deeper than the ones I usually use. Start checking at 20mins. Thankfully the jam and frosting added additional moisture, and in the end it turned out perfect!
Raspberry Vanilla Mini Cakes
- 4 tsp raspberry jam
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease three 4″x 3″ cake rounds*, line with parchment.
- In a small bowl whisk flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar on med-high until pale and fluffy, approx. 3mins. Add egg and mix until combined. Add vanilla.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk), fully incorporating after each addition.
- Divide batter evenly amongst pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (approx 25-30mins).**
- Cool in pans for 10mins, invert and cool completely on wire rack.
- Cream butter medium high until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed and slowly add in sugar. Beat until smooth and add vanilla and color gel. Beat until combined.
- Using a serrated knife or a cake leveler, cut each cake in half horizontally.***
- At this point you can either have three 2-layer cakes or make two 3-layer cakes.
- Place a cake layer down and add 1/3 cup buttercream on top, spread evenly. Add 1 tsp jam on top of buttercream and spread evenly. Place another cake layer on top and repeat the process, finishing with buttercream on top and fresh berries.