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Vanilla Raspberry Cake with Raspberry Frosting

Soft, light and moist vanilla raspberry cake – your favourite vanilla layer cake from childhood meets your new favourite raspberry frosting. If you ever need a cake to welcome spring, this is it!

(Love raspberries? Me too! Check out this delicious – and no-bake – raspberry white chocolate raspberry tart. So much fun to make and eat! Or start your day by drizzling this this super quick and easy homemade raspberry sauce on your waffles or pancakes. It’s ready in 15 minutes.)

Vanilla Raspberry Cake with Raspberry Frosting

Today marks the official start of spring. Well, at least that’s what they say in the news.

Never mind that I still wear my parka out. If it’s on TV, it must be true right? Right.

Whatever the weather where you are, you’re sure to have a spring in your step (sorry, couldn’t help it!) after having a slice of this cake. It’s perfect for Easter too. Or Mother’s Day. Or I-Deserve-A-Cake Day (a.k.a. everyday).

Raspberry layer cake makes for a fun birthday cake too!

This vanilla raspberry cake makes for a delightful birthday cake too. Once frosted and decorated, it looks so bright and happy (who can resist that colour?) and just waiting for a birthday song.

(Just so happens it’s my brother’s birthday today so yay! Happy birthday J! Much love xoxo.)

How to make vanilla raspberry cake

Vanilla Raspberry Cake with Raspberry Frosting

So on to this cake. First the vanilla cake layers. I like a unique cake as much as the next person (ginger matcha persimmon carrot mocha cake anyone?) but I always go back to the classics.

Like chocolatelemon and, of course, vanilla.

We probably all grew up having a vanilla cake on one of our birthdays and I just love the simplicity of it.

The cake base here is the same one I used for my equally fun and festive rainbow cake but I amped up the vanilla flavour even more.

Making the vanilla cake is straightforward – first combine your dry ingredients, cream your wet ingredients until light and triple in volume, then add back your dry ingredients alternating with milk.

Transfer to pans, bake and cool before frosting.

How to make raspberry frosting

Vanilla Raspberry Cake with Raspberry Frosting

For the frosting, I used ready-made raspberry jam. It had seeds in it but that didn’t bother me one bit. Of course, you can opt for a seedless jam.

Also, you can make your own. I bet that would be incredible.

And making raspberry frosting is even easier than making the cake! Just combine butter and jam until smooth and creamy. Then add the confectioner’s sugar (or powdered sugar or icing sugar). That’s it!

Recipe for vanilla raspberry cake

Not only is this raspberry layer cake easy to bake, the ingredients are simple and easily available too:

For the cake layers you would need pantry staples like:

  • All purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Large eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla paste (though you can also use use vanilla extract, you just won’t get those lovely specks of vanilla)
  • Canola oil
  • Milk 

The ingredients for the raspberry frosting are just as uncomplicated:

Like I mentioned, feel free to use fresh raspberries to make your own raspberry jam or raspberry puree to make the frosting.

Recommended tools for cake decorating

You don’t need special equipment to bake the cake – if you have 8-inch cake pans and a mixer – handheld or stand mixer – you’ll be fine.

To be honest, you don’t really need special tools to decorate a cake either. If you have an offset spatula, you can frost a cake.

But let’s face it, as bakers, we’re kinda sorta hoarders when it comes to cake decorating tools, right? Just me? Only my baking drawer is overflowing with knick knacks I hardly use? Say it ain’t so!

To be honest, I have bought so. many. things. over the years. Ninety percent of which I’ve only ever used once or not at all (shhhh don’t tell Red).

These are some of the ones I use all the time though. So next time you’re shopping for your next baking toy (which is all the time amiright?), they are definitely worth looking at:

  • A cake turntable makes it so easy to, well, turn the cake as you’re frosting it.
  • While a cake leveller is super useful if you want even layers; you can use a serrated knife to do this but I’ve never been good with a knife so I love this little gadget.
  • Piping bag – I have a couple of reusable ones and some disposable ones. You can use a Ziploc bag with one of the tips cut off although this is a little but more difficult to control.
  • Decorating tips. I would caution against buying those tip sets where you get something like 100 tips for $50. You really won’t need all of them unless you decorate cakes for a living. Start with everyone’s favourite tip, the giant star tip for less than $5 and maybe a few smaller ones for another $5. That’s really all you need.

These are technically not cake decorating tools but every baker needs:

  • A kitchen scale. You’ll find you’ll get better results if you weigh your ingredients instead of measuring them out by volume.
  • Every oven is different so an oven thermometer will let you know for sure if you’re baking at the right temperature.

Vanilla cake with raspberry frosting

Vanilla Raspberry Cake with Raspberry Frosting

So now that you’ve baked the perfect cake and made the fluffiest buttercream, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labour!

The vanilla and the raspberry complement each other so well here. The result is a cake that’s bursting with flavour.

The frosting does not bring down the lightness of the vanilla cake. The vanilla flavour does not get overpowered by the raspberry frosting.

It’s not overwhelmingly sweet either (and I’m not just saying that so I can eat more than 1 slice at a time). Perfect with coffee, tea or, you know, just because.

So whatever you’re celebrating, add this vanilla raspberry cake to your spread. It’s delicious, bright, light and just all-around cheerful.

Celebration cake recipes

Got a celebration coming up? Whether it’s Easter, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day or someone’s birthday, here are more celebration cake recipes that’s sure to make everyone smile:

Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Frosting

Vanilla Raspberry Cake with Raspberry Frosting

Author: Jolina
Soft, light and moist vanilla raspberry cake - your favourite vanilla layer cake from childhood meets your new favourite raspberry frosting. If you ever need a cake to welcome spring, this is it!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine North American
Servings 8 people
Calories 1023 kcal


For the Vanilla Cake:

For the Raspberry Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup raspberry jam
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar more may be needed to achieve desired consistency
  • 3 tbsp milk more may be needed to achieve desired consistency


For the Vanilla Cake Layers:

  • Preheat oven to 350F and grease the sides and the bottoms of 3 8-inch pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper for easy release.
  • In a medium bowl, combine 3 cups flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  • Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the 4 eggs, 2 cups sugar and 1 tablespoon vanilla paste until light and triple in volume (7-10 minutes). Start on low speed then gradually move up to medium-high speed. Drizzle the 3/4 cup canola oil while beating.
  • Switch to low speed and add a third of your flour then half your milk. Another third of your flour, the rest of your milk and finally the rest of your flour. Make sure each addition is incorporated well. Beat the batter until smooth (3-5 minutes). Remember to scrape the bottom and sides of your bowl.
  • Transfer your batter into prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or with minimal crumbs.
  • Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Raspberry Frosting:

  • Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 cup butter and 1/2 cup raspberry jam on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy (2-3 minutes).
  • Switch to low speed and add confectioner's sugar a little at a time until well incorporated. Once you've added all the sugar, add 3 tablespoons milk and beat the frosting on high speed for 2 minutes until very smooth and fluffy. At this point, check your frosting and decide if you're happy with the consistency. If not, add more sugar or milk about 1/2 teaspoon at a time and continue beating until you get the consistency you want. Be sure to taste the frosting as you go.

For the Assembly:

  • Trim the tops of the cake to ensure they are level. Evenly spread frosting on top of first cake layer. Do the same for next two layers. Then proceed to cover the rest of the cake with frosting and decorate as desired.



Calories: 1023kcalCarbohydrates: 149gProtein: 6gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 178mgPotassium: 282mgFiber: 1gSugar: 107gVitamin A: 780IUVitamin C: 1.9mgCalcium: 133mgIron: 2.4mg

Nutritional information are estimates only.

Keyword Easter, Mother's Day, Spring, Valentine's Day
Tried this recipe?Tag @iamtheunlikelybaker I'd love to see your creations!

Happy baking!

Did you make vanilla raspberry cake or the raspberry frosting? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

And let’s get social! Find me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Flipboard.

(This post was updated on 12 February 2019.)

Rate the Recipe


Saturday 18th of May 2019

I substituted strawberries/strawberry jam for raspberries & this cake was awesome!!! The cake itself was perfect & icing was divine! Adding to my recipe staples for dessert!


Thursday 30th of May 2019

Yum! That sounds delicious Mandielei! And you get to keep that nice natural pink/red tint too :)


Tuesday 7th of May 2019

Can I make the buttercream ahead of time? If so how much ahead?


Friday 10th of May 2019

Hi Tierra! It's best fresh but yes, you can refrigerate it 1-2 days (I won't go beyond two days). Make sure to cover it properly so it doesn't absorb fridge smells :) When you're ready to use it, allow the buttercream to cool to room temp. You'd need to whip it again and possibly add milk/sugar to fluff it up and make it spreadable or reach the consistency you like. Enjoy!


Wednesday 12th of April 2017

I made this cake, I thought it was a bit dry, but overall good. I added some fresh raspberries in the cake. Thank you for sharing.


Wednesday 29th of March 2017

This cake looks absolutely perfect! Thanks for sharing this recipe!


Tuesday 28th of March 2017

This cake looks so pretty and delicious! I love the idea of a raspberry frosting - I feel like I tend to only see raspberry thrown in with other flavors like lemon or chocolate.


Tuesday 28th of March 2017

Thanks Kate! I must say the raspberry frosting steals the show here. I may or may not have eaten it with a spoon haha. Hope you get to try's a great spring frosting.