This vanilla and raspberry cake was the result of me craving a little taste of summer, despite it just having turned December… It can be made year round, as no fresh raspberries are used – although when they are in season they would make a lovely decoration. For a special occasion you could always heap the top of the cake with fresh seasonal berries using a thin layer of the whipped cream to hold them all in place, and then dust them lightly with icing sugar to finish.
I knew from previous cake baking that using fresh raspberries in the sponge, although tasty, would not create the speckled result I was after, even with chopped fresh raspberries the juice would make blurs rather than speckles. I found that dried raspberry crumbs were perfect for this, they created a speckled pattern without making the sponge soggy or heavy. You can find dried raspberry crumbs online as well as in some supermarkets (I purchased mine from Waitrose, Ocado also stock them).
My first thought when I got the cake mixture right was to make little raspberry cupcakes. I made these with raspberry buttercream swirls on top, but I felt that this mixture would be perhaps best put to use as a single Victoria sponge style cake. In making the mixture into cupcakes the delicate raspberry and vanilla flavour of the sponge had been overpowered somewhat by the buttercream topping. You could always pipe the whipped cream on the top and decorate with fruit if it is cupcakes that you are after (The below recipe would make about 26 cupcakes, I halved it!)
I chose to not use buttercream at all as the filling; instead I whipped double cream with icing sugar and a little vanilla extract to make a Chantilly cream to bring a freshness to the cake.
At this point I had a disagreement with my hand whisk – I balanced it in the bowl and the heavier handle slipped out backwards and hit the table, pinging whipped cream EVERYWHERE! If someone had walked in they would have been doubled over laughing, it was in my hair, all over the floor and scattered across pretty much everything on the sides in my kitchen. The lesson here is don’t leave a hand whisk balanced in a bowl filled with whipped cream ever again!
To check the cakes are cooked, press the top gently with your fingertip – if the cake springs back then it is ready. You can also insert a thin skewer into the center of the cake – if it comes out clean then the cake is cooked through. Don’t be tempted to check the cakes or open the oven door until at least 20 – 25 minutes into cooking or the cake might sink. Once assembled the cake should keep for two to three days, although it really is best eaten within 24 hours.
Slice a wedge off and enjoy with a cup of tea, or a glass of Pimms!
Speckled Raspberry and Vanilla Cakes: Equipment
For this recipe I used two 8″ round cake tins. If possible don’t use ‘springfrom’ cake tins as they do have a habit of leaking cake mixture everywhere.
For the whipping of the cream a larger bowl helps the cream whip better, as does a balloon whisk. However I used a standard hand whisk for my Chantilly cream and it was fine, just took a little longer.
If you like this you may also like: Coffee Cupcakes
I have linked up my Speckled Raspberry and Vanilla Cake with Cake Club hosted by Kerry Cooks:
- 226g (8oz) Caster Sugar
- 226g (8oz) Margarine
- 4 Medium Eggs
- 2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
- 226g (8oz) Self Raising Flour
- 4 Tablespoons of Dried Raspberry Crumbs
- 2 - 3 Tablespoons of Seedless Raspberry Jam
- 200ml Double cream
- 2 Generous tablespoons of Icing Sugar
- Few drops of Vanilla Extract
- Preheat the oven to 190'C. Grease two 8" round tins, lining the base with a circle of baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Sift the flour into a bowl.
- Using a whisk, whisk each of the eggs into the mixture one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the sifted flour with each egg.
- Add the vanilla extract and gently whisk to combine.
- Add the rest of the self raising flour along with the dried raspberries and gently fold until the flour has been mixed in and the dried raspberries have been well distributed across the mixture.
- Tip half of the mixture into each cake tin - weigh the tins to check a fairly even divide between the two if needed.
- Place the cakes on a shelf in the center of the oven, and bake for about 30 - 35 minutes or until well risen and golden, they should spring when pressed gently with a fingertip.
- Once baked leave in the tins to cool a little before gently sliding a palette knife around the edge.
- Remove the cake from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely. You should also remove the baking paper disc from the base once the cake is cool enough to handle.
- Once the cakes are completely cool add the double cream to a large clean, dry bowl along with the icing sugar and vanilla extract.
- Using a clean whisk, whisk the ingredients together (taste it once the the ingredients are combined and add more icing sugar as preferred) until the cream thickens and becomes a consistency with which you could pipe it easily from an icing bag.
- Using a rubber spatula, tip the whipped cream onto the top of one of the cake halves and spread evenly to the edges.
- On the base of the other cake spread about 2 - 3 tablespoons of seedless raspberry jam until completely covered.
- Place the cake with raspberry jam on the base on top of the cream cake.
- Dust the cake with icing sugar using a sieve and serve.