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Vanilla Layer Cake with Chocolate Buttercream & Raspberry Jam


Serves twelve

Yields one four-layer cake.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 78

  • 1 recipe Vanilla Butter Cake
  • 3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 3 Tbs. Chambord or other liqueur
  • 1 recipe Buttercream Frosting, flavored with melted bittersweet chocolate (see Variations)
  • 2 cups toasted sliced almonds, for garnish
Assemble the cake layers:

Level the cakes, if necessary, and slice each cake into two layers making a total of four layers of cake.

In a small bowl, stir together the raspberry jam and Chambord. Place the bottom cake layer on a flat serving platter or a cake stand lined with strips of waxed paper to keep it clean while assembling the cake. Top the layer with a scant 1-1/2 cups buttercream, spreading it evenly with a metal cake spatula almost to the cake’s edge. Spread a third of the jam on the next cake layer, then lay it, jam-side down, over the buttercream filling. Repeat with the next two layers.

Frost the cake:

First apply a light coat of frosting (called crumb coating) to seal the cake crumbs in: Spoon about 1/2 cup buttercream into a small bowl. Spread it in a very thin layer over the entire cake with a small metal cake spatula. You should be able to see the cake layers through the icing. Chill the cake for about 20 minutes or until the icing is firm.

Spread the remaining buttercream thickly and evenly over the entire cake with a large metal cake spatula. Don’t worry about getting a smooth, perfect finish; just make sure the cake is completely covered and the frosting is spread uniformly. You shouldn’t be able to see the layers underneath the buttercream.

With the back of a teaspoon, smear the icing and pull it upward to form curls and swirls over the entire cake. Gently press the sliced almonds all around the sides of the cake until the sides are completely coated.

Photo: Scott Phillips

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