Sunday, 3 November 2013

Raspberry Cassis Layer Cake

This is a story about a cake wreck and a resulting cake scramble. 

For a long time now, I had been fantasizing about making a cake that’s covered in torched meringue.  They look so awesome with the white and caramelized brown edges. Plus how often do you come across a chance to eat a cake like that?

Well, an opportunity to make the cake opened up for a birthday. I knew that I wanted the inside of the cake to be light and fluffy, just like the meringue outside.  And I knew that I wanted it to resemble a pie – think lemon meringue pie, blueberry pie, coconut cream pie, banana cream pie. I landed on something like a mango pie.

This is how the mango meringue cake turned out.

This is what happened after about 15 minutes.
The chiffon cake was too soft, the meringue disk in the middle became a slip-and-slide for the mango curd, the meringue frosting was not stiff enough, and the entire cake shifted (even though I had put a dowel in it!). I couldn’t serve this (although, I was quite happy with myself for not having a mental breakdown and getting upset as I normally would have!).

So, I had 3.5 hours to put together a new cake with whatever I had. Out popped out a Raspberry Cassis Layer Cake.  Luckily, I had made baked meringue peaks with leftover meringue from the previous cake.

By the way, cassis is black currant and also the best flavour of ALL time.

Check out the verdict at the end of the post!

Raspberry Cassis Layer Cake

Vanilla Cake
Adapted from here.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup vegetable oil (e.g., canola)
1 1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla (+ ¼ teaspoon ground vanilla bean, optional but highly recommended)
2 cups cake flour
½  cup all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of 2, 6-inch cake pans with parchment and grease and flour the sides.
2.  Beat butter to soften. Add oil and sugar, and beat until fluffy.
3.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and beat to combine.
4.  In a separate bowl, sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine.
5.  Add flour to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk and beating on low just until combined.
6.  Divide into the cake pans and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
7.  Spoon about half of the vanilla simple syrup (recipe to follow) over the three cakes while in pans, and cool for 20 minutes.
8.  Turn out on rack and spoon the remaining syrup over the bottom of cake layers and cool completely.

Vanilla Simple Syrup
Combine ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup water, and 1/8 teaspoon ground vanilla beans in a small saucepan and heat on medium until sugar is dissolved.

Raspberry Cassis Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Adapted from here.

3 egg whites (75g)
½ cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar (125g)
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup fresh raspberries or thawed frozen raspberries
2 heaping Tablespoons black currant jam

1.  In a clean metallic bowl, with a clean whisk (no trace of grease/oil/fat), combine egg whites and sugar, and lightly beat over a pot of simmering water until the mixture reaches 140 degrees F.
2.  Take off heat and whisk on high until thick, glossy, and cooled.
3.  Switch to a beater and while on medium high, add cubes of butter one at a time.
4.  Beat on high until smooth and silky. Add vanilla, salt, raspberries, and black current jam, and beat to combine.

1.  Level cake layers with a bread knife.
2.  Place first layer on cake plate. Pipe a bridge of buttercream around the edge of the cake.
3.  Fill with black currant jam.
4.  Place next cake layer on top, and repeat. Top with final cake layer.
5.  Spread entire cake with a thin crumb coat, and final layer.

Verdict: The Raspberry Cassis Cake was a hit! No one had made a cake for the birthday girl before so she was really happy, PLUS, raspberry happened to be one of her favorite flavours! Yay, luck was on my side! The cake layers were fluffy and moist with a pretty delicate crumb and the baked meringue peaks gave it a texture contrast.

By the way, the mango meringue cake was phenomenal – super fluffy and cloud-like. Just what I wanted – at least now I know that it needs more of a sturdy structure. I’ll try again another time.


  1. wow the cake looks amazing!

  2. The cake was delicious! and pretty too! but for the record, I would have no problem eating your "cake wreck" cake either. :)