Raspberry Layer Cake

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Today's homemade Raspberry Cake is the perfect dessert for spring and summer celebrations!

This layer cake is moist, soft, and light, and has wonderful raspberry flavor from the raspberry puree reduction mixed into the cake batter.

Sliced Raspberry Cake on a pink glass pedestal. Cake is topped with fresh raspberries.

Why we Love It

There are so many reasons to love this delicious Raspberry Cake! Here are just a few:

  • Perfect spring and summer cake recipe!
  • Delicious, tender raspberry cake layers. (Don't miss our Raspberry Cake Mix recipe also!)
  • This is a great year-round recipe as frozen raspberries can be used! (The same is true for the strawberries in our strawberry cake.)
  • We love the combination of soft raspberry layers with homemade raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting!

How to Make Raspberry Layer Cake

If you love raspberries, you're going to love this flavorful layer cake! You can find the full, printable raspberry cake recipe further down in this post- but here is a quick rundown of our steps!

Raspberry Puree for the Cake Batter

We've found reducing pureed fruit (as we also did with our Blueberry Cake) really enhances the flavor of the cake layers without having to introduce too much liquid into the recipe.

The same is true for today's cake. I love the flavor that the cooked and reduced raspberry puree adds to the cake recipe. *With raspberries, we do have the extra step of running the puree through a strainer to remove the seeds! This may take about 10-15 minutes but it is worth it.

First, thaw the raspberries. We used about 10 oz or approximately 1 ½ cups of thawed raspberries.

Puree and Strain out the Raspberry Seeds!

Puree in blender (we used our little bullet blender) and run through a small strainer. I used the back side of a spoon to help push the puree through-- don't forget to scrape the additional puree that tends to cling to the back of the strainer!

 

Raspberry Reduction

Next, add the strained puree to a saucepan along with ¼ cup water a 2 Tablespoons sugar.  Cook over medium high heat and stir frequently.

Cook until the raspberry puree has reduced to ¾ cup.  If you happen to reduce too much, just add the amount of water needed to reach the ¾ cup mark. This may take about 10-15 minutes or so. 

 

Before adding to the cake batter, you'll want to let the raspberry puree cool down a bit. (You can also make the puree the night before and refrigerate if you'd like!) 

Baking the Raspberry Cake

First, preheat the oven and grease and flour three 8 inch x 2 inch round cake pans. We also like to line our cake pans with parchment circles.

For this cake recipe, we're using the traditional creaming method (rather than reverse creaming), for raspberry cake layers that are fluffy and light.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients-  flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together for 30 seconds. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine these wet ingredients: sour cream, cooled raspberry puree and vegetable oil. Blend with fork and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the softened butter until smooth, Gradually add the sugar and mix on  medium speed 3 to 5 minutes or until fluffy and lightened in color.  *If using a hand mixer, you may need to mix a bit longer.    

Add the eggs one at a time mixing until the yellow of the yolk disappears.

Add the flour mixture and the sour cream mixture alternately, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (We do 3 additions of dry ingredients, 2 additions of wet ingredients).   

Add pink coloring gel at this time (optional). I added just a small amount to brighten the color.  Mix until combined and smooth.  (Be careful not to mix above medium speed or to mix too long.)

Bake at 350 degrees F for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.

*Baking times will often vary depending on your oven, the types of pans used, etc. Peek in at the layers as you approach the estimated baking time.

We baked three cake layers because we like the extra layer of filling that this allows. However, the layers are not super thick-- they will bake up to approximately 1 ¼ inches.   

 

 

Raspberry Filling

For this recipe, we are pairing our raspberry cake layers with raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting.

Thick and Flavorful Raspberry Filling for cakes! Recipe by MyCakeSchool.com.

 

Can Seedless Raspberry Jam be used as a Filling?

Yes it can! If you would like to use seedless raspberry jam instead of the cooked raspberry filling pictured above, that would be delicious also (and faster)!

Assembling the Raspberry Cake

To assemble the raspberry layer cake, place the first raspberry cake layer on a cake pedestal or cake plate.

Next, pipe a dam of cream cheese frosting about ½ inch from the edge of the cake layer. (I do this using a disposable piping bag with the tip snipped away). Spread inside of the dam with a layer of raspberry filling- I do a fairly thin layer.

The purpose of the dam is to keep the raspberry filling from escaping from the sides of the cake as you stack your cake layers. 

 

Pipe over the top of the raspberry filling with cream cheese frosting. (Or if you would rather, you could spread the next cake layer with cream cheese frosting and apply to first layer frosting-side-down- this option is easier if the layers are partially frozen and less fragile.)

Repeat these steps for the next cake layer and top with the final cake layer.

Piping cream cheese frosting over a thin layer of raspberry filling

 

Fill in any gaps between cake layers with frosting. (I like to fill in any gaps with the same piping bag that I used for piping my dam). Frost a thin crumb coat of cream cheese frosting over the cake.

Decorating the Raspberry Cake

**At this point, I like to chill the tier for about 15-20 minutes to firm up the frosting. This is an optional step but I find it very helpful to firm things up! Next, frost the final coat of frosting. 

I textured the frosting around the sides of the cake with a small offset spatula, and then piped a border around the top of the cake using a star tip 21 (using miscellaneous stars, shells, and rosettes.) I also piped a shell border around the bottom of the cake. 

We have a video on Buttercream Piping with Star Tips (for borders, etc.) if you would like to learn more!

 

I filled the top of the cake with fresh raspberries-I love the color that they bring to the finished cake!

 

 

FAQs

Yes, because of the raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting, this cake should be refrigerated.

However, for best flavor and texture, remove the cake from the refrigerator a couple of hours before serving. This will allow time for the cake to warm and soften.

Yes, you can bake the raspberry cake layers in advance and freeze them. When wrapped properly, the cake layers will stay fresh for three months!

After baking the raspberry cake layers have cooled (or almost cooled completely), wrap tightly with plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. Into the freezer they go. We often wrap the layers while they are still warm.

To thaw, move the layers to the kitchen counter, still wrapped. Allow to sit for 30-45 minutes before unwrapping and continuing to thaw. (Some bakers prefer to assemble their cakes while the layers are partially frozen as they are less fragile.)

Yes, a popular alternative to our cooked raspberry filling would be seedless raspberry jam.

In our Raspberry Cake from Cake Mix, we used a filling of seedless raspberry jam paired with homemade whipped cream.

Many raspberry cakes are actually vanilla cakes or other flavored cakes with with bits of raspberry in the cake batter. Others are cakes that have raspberry swirls or a layer of raspberry filling. (For instance, our White Chocolate Raspberry Pound Cake, White Chocolate Raspberry Cake, or Almond Raspberry Swirl Cake.)

These are delicious cakes also, but they don't have nearly the amount of raspberry flavor as today's recipe, which is flavored with a raspberry reduction.

Making a raspberry reduction allows us to have more raspberry flavor in our cake batter without having to add as much liquid.

More Fruity Cakes

We've made so many fruity cake recipes over the years! We love cake recipes from scratch as well as cake mix recipes.

We love these recipes year-round but they are especially popular options in the spring and summer months! We're listing some of our favorites below. A few of our most popular are: Pineapple Cake, Pina Colada Cake, Lemon Cake from Scratch, and Orange Cake!

You can find the full roundup of our favorite fruity cakes here: Best Cakes for Spring and Summer.

Enjoy the Recipe

Yield: 15 servings

Raspberry Layer Cake

Moist and delicious Raspberry Layer Cake

This moist Raspberry Layer Cake from scratch is so delicious flavorful! We use frozen raspberries for this recipe, making it a .year-round favorite!

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes

Ingredients

Raspberry Cake Layers

  • 1 ½ sticks (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups (342g) cake flour - if you do not have cake flour see Notes below
  • 2 teaspoons ( 8g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 1 cup (227g) sour cream
  • 10 oz frozen raspberries, thawed (approximately 1 ½ cups thawed). Puree them in blender, and strain through fine strainer (to remove the seeds). **Then cook with ¼ cup water and 2T sugar over medium heat until reduced to ¾ cup (180g). Cool before using.
  • ¼ cup (54g) vegetable oil ( I use canola oil)
  • * Pink Coloring Gel - Optional. We used a small amount to brighten up the color.

Raspberry Filling

  • (*You can also substitute seedless Raspberry Jam for the cooked Raspberry Filling if you'd like.)
  • 12 ounce (340g) package frozen raspberries
  • ½ cup (100g) sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons (26g) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) lemon juice

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 sticks ,1 cup, (226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (total weight 452g) I use full fat cream cheese. Using reduced fat or the spreadable cream cheese will cause the frosting to be too soft. Soften slightly.
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt (2g) optional - it will cut the sweetness, popcorn salt is best to use because it is fine and dissolves faster
  • 6 to 6 ½ cups (690g to 747g) powdered sugar

Decoration

  • We used fresh raspberries for the top of the cake. Star tip 21 was used to pipe top border (of stars, shells, and rosettes). Texture was added with a small offset spatula around the sides of the cake

Instructions

Preparing the Raspberry Puree

  1. It is good to prepare the raspberry puree for the batter first. Thaw raspberries (if using frozen). Puree in blender (we used our little bullet blender) and run through a small strainer. It helps to use the back of a spoon to push it through- Don't forget to scrape the other side of the strainer for additional juices.
  2. Add the strained puree to a saucepan along with ¼ cup water a 2 Tablespoons sugar.  Cook over medium high heat until reduced to ¾ cup (180g).  This may take about 10-15 minutes. If you happen to reduce too much, just add water to reach the ¾ cup mark. 
  3. Allow the raspberry puree to cool before using.  Can be made in advance and refrigerated.   

Preparing the Batter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour three 8 inch x 2 inch round cake pans. We like to line our pans with circles of parchment paper also.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk to blend for 30 seconds.   Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, raspberry puree and oil. Blend with fork and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the butter until smooth, Gradually add the sugar and mix on  medium speed 3 to 5 minutes or until lightened in color and fluffy.  If using a hand mixer, you may need to mix a bit longer.    
  5. Add the eggs 1 at a time mixing until the yellow of the yolk disappears.
  6. Add the flour mixture and the sour cream mixture alternately, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (3 additions of dry ingredients, 2 additions of wet ingredients).   
  7. Add pink coloring gel at this time (optional). I added just a small amount to brighten the color.  Mix until combined and smooth.  Do not mix above medium speed or mix too long.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Keep an eye on it, ovens can bake differently.     
  9. Let cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes, then turn out.

Cooked Raspberry Filling

  1. Completely thaw the frozen raspberries. If in a hurry, and your raspberries are in a plastic bag you can thaw them more quickly by placing the bag in a bowl of hot water.
  2. Pour thawed raspberries into blender and puree. Place a fine wire strainer over a bowl. Pour the raspberry puree into the strainer. Using the back of a spoon, press the raspberry puree through the strainer- we are doing this step to remove the seeds. This will take several minutes. When finished be sure to scrape off raspberry pulp that will be clinging to the bottom of the strainer into the bowl. Discard the remaining seeds and pulp that would not go through the strainer. You should get about ¾ cup of strained puree. Add enough water to this to make 1 ¼ cups
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the raspberry juice, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. Whisk to blend. Cook over medium heat whisking constantly until the mixture thickens.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Can be refrigerated in a covered container for a week.

Makes 1 ¼ cups.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Cut the butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
  2. Cut the softened cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated. If you are using a hand mixer you may need to soften the cream cheese a bit more.
  3. Add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended. Cover the bowl with a towel to keep down the cloud of powdered sugar.
  4. Increase mixing speed and beat until fluffy. Don't over beat or it will become too soft. If it becomes too soft, just refrigerate a short while to firm it up a bit.
  5. This frosting will pipe best if used while still chilled. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it soften slightly (do not microwave) and remix.

Will frost a 3 layer 8 or 9 inch cake.

Assembly of Cake

  1. Place first raspberry cake layer on pedestal or cake plate. Pipe a dam of cream cheese frosting about ½ inch from the edge of the layer. Fill with a thin layer of cooled raspberry filling (or jam), pipe on a layer of cream cheese frosting. Top with second cake layer. Repeat steps. End with final cake layer.
  2. Fill in any gaps between cake layers with frosting. Apply thin crumb coat. At this point I like to chill the cake for about 15 minutes in the freezer to firm up the frosting. Apply final layer of frosting and decorate.
  3. I textured the frosting around the sides of the cake. I piped a border of miscellaneous shells, stars, and rosettes around the top of the cake. I filled with fresh raspberries.

Notes

SUBSTITUTION FOR CAKE FLOUR

Using all purpose flour (plain in the UK) for each cup of flour in a recipe, remove 2 Tablespoons of flour replace with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour in the UK).  This recipe has 3 cups of flour so you will measure out 3 cups of all purpose flour, remove 6 Tablespoons and replace with 6 Tablespoons cornstarch, whisk to blend.       

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33 Comments

  1. Suggestion from a non baker trying to make a cake. It would be helpful to repeat the ingredients in the instructions. Eg. beat butter with 3 1/2 c sugar. Mix 3 c flour with 2 tsp baking powder. Found it difficult to flip between ingredients and instructions and I got confused.

    1. I AM a baker and I always wish they did this. It's a habit from when recipe cards existed and it was easy to reference ingredients vs directions. Oh well

  2. This was a delicious cake! I used gluten free flour blend and switched yogurt for the sour cream because that is what I had. Best recipe! Gets 5 of 5 stars!

  3. Hi Kari, It's great to know that gluten free flour works well with this recipe. We're happy that you enjoyed the recipe, thanks for posting!

  4. How many cups of cake batter does this recipe make? I want to make a 2 layer cake using 6 x 2 inch heart-shaped cake pans. Thanks.

    1. Hi Rachel- I wish we had written that down but from the ingredient amounts my guess is about 7 to 7 1/2 cups.

    1. Hi KK- I think this recipe was about 7-7.5 cups of batter. We will make a note of it the next time we make it!

  5. Made this tonight and it’s already in the bin. The cake tasted ok but the sponge was a grubby grey colour - very unappealing. I don’t have any raspberries, so used raspberry jam instead, could this be the reason?

    1. Hi Margaret -I haven't tried making this recipe with jam but my guess is that it would have a different flavor and texture.

      As for the color, I added pink coloring gel to brighten up the cake batter- we often have to do this with our fruit cakes (strawberry, blueberry, etc.) - as the natural color isn't as pretty. So even if you had used the raspberry puree (rather than jam)- you would likely want to use a little pink coloring gel.

    1. Hi Cindy, We have not tried using buttermilk instead of sour cream in this recipe, so I am not sure of the outcome. I have read that to do so
      use 3/4 cup buttermilk plus 1/3 cup melted butter, mixed together. Again, I have not tried using this substitution.

  6. You don’t mention when to add the corn starch and lemon juice to the raspberry filling? I’m right in the middle of this and I’m not sure now.

    1. Hi Michelle! I'm sorry for the confusion.

      The cooked Raspberry Filling that appears further down in the recipe card is what contains the cornstarch and lemon juice (step 3). You may have been looking under the Raspberry Puree section of the card which is meant for the cake batter (rather than filling).