For those of you who follow my blog, you know how picky my family is about desserts. Picky, picky, picky. I could complain about it, but guess who’s also a picky, picky eater? ME! That’s why I started cooking and baking. If you don’t like something, make it yourself! The one dessert that will always make my husband and girls happy eaters is a moist, tender, buttery, vanilla cake. My girls also happen to love white chocolate. So one day while I was enjoying a crisp piece of toast slathered in butter and homemade raspberry jam, I thought, why not make a yummy vanilla cake and layer it with this raspberry jam.
Once I had the inside of the cake decided, I asked my girls what would be a good frosting for the cake. After a lot of silly suggestions (like cheddar cheese frosting and pancake frosting), my six-year old suggested white chocolate. And boy was that the perfect suggestion. White chocolate and raspberries are a classic combo, and it’s for a very good reason. White chocolate can be super sweet, so if you pair it with some tart raspberries, it’s perfection.
This frosting is actually a Swiss meringue buttercream. I’ve tried making an American style frosting with white chocolate (butter, powdered sugar, white chocolate, cream, and vanilla), but it always turned out way too sweet. I think the difficulty with an American frosting made with white chocolate is that you have to add even more sugar to an already sweet white chocolate. But that’s not the case with buttercream. While buttercream is also made with some sugar, the whipped egg whites and butter give the frosting it’s silky consistency, not the sugar. So you use much less sugar in a buttercream, allowing for a more balanced cake topping. With a Swiss meringue buttercream, you basically cook your egg whites and sugar before whipping them into a meringue. Then, you add the butter – lots and lots of butter. Give it a good mix, then like magic, it turns into the smoothest, most delicious frosting ever.
While this recipe may seem daunting, it’s actually very easy. If you have a KitchenAid mixer, it’s even easier because the mixer does all the work for you! I used my KitchenAid to cream my butter and egg yolks for the cake batter, and my KitchenAid whipped my egg whites into the fluffiest meringue for my white chocolate buttercream. Wanna make this recipe but don’t have a mixer? Don’t worry because you can enter below to win your own KitchenAid mixer!
Some of my blogging friends and I got together to offer our readers a chance to win a one of these awesome mixers! You can enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This raspberry white chocolate cake is so versatile. It would make the perfect celebration cake, or you could make it for an afternoon tea. I made this one when we went over to a friend’s house for lunch. Their kids are also vanilla cake fans, so it was the perfect treat to share. I wish I had a slice left over to enjoy right now. I may be pulling out my mixer tomorrow to whip up another one!
- 4 large eggs, separated at room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar divided (1 1/2 cups and 1/2 cup)
- 1 tbs vanilla bean paste (I use Nielsen-Massey brand)
- 1 cup whole or 2% milk at room temperature
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup prepared raspberry jam
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups unsalted butter cut into cubes, cool but not cold
- 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup white chocolate melted
- Preheat the over to 350 degrees F.
- Butter and flour 2, 8-inch cake pans and line them with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups of the granulated sugar until it’s light and creamy. It will take about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
- With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and milk in three additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
- Empty the batter into a large, clean mixing bowl and set aside.
- Clean the bowl of the mixer. Using a paper towel dampened with vinegar or lemon juice, wipe down the sides of the bowl to make sure it is grease free.
- Beat the egg whites until foamy.
- Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
- Gradually add in the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold a bit of the egg whites into the cake batter. Then add the rest of the egg whites to the cake batter and gently mix until just combined.
- Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean).
- Allow the pans to cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pan and allow to cool completely.
- While the cake cools, make the frosting.
- For the frosting: In the bowl of a mixer, lightly whisk the egg whites and granulated sugar.
- Place the bowl of the mixer on top of a pan of simmering water. Place a candy thermometer in the bowl. Continually whisk the mixture over the heat until it reaches 160 degrees F or until the sugar is completely dissolved, and the mixture is warm to the touch.
- Place the bowl in the mixer, and using a whisk attachment whisk the egg mixture until it’s glossy, thick, and white. The bottom of the bowl should also be neutral to the touch. If it’s even a bit warm and you add the butter, the butter will melt and ruin the butter cream.
- While the egg whites are whipping, melt the white chocolate. Set it aside, and allow it to cool a bit as the rest of the frosting is made.
- Once the egg whites are cool and thick and glossy, switch the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment.
- Continue beating the meringue adding one cube of butter at a time. Add another piece of butter once each piece is completely incorporated into the meringue.
- Once all the butter is mixed into the meringue, add the white chocolate. Mix until incorporated.
- To assemble the cake: Once the cakes are completely cooled, divide each layer into two, cutting them lengthwise. Creating a total of four layers.
- Divide the jam evenly and fill each layer of the cake.
- Frost the cake with a thin layer of the white chocolate butter cream. Refrigerate the cake for about 20 minutes until cold and firm to the touch.
- Add the final layer of butter cream, and add any decorations. (I drizzled the top of the cake with raspberry jam and piped a border with a star tip.)