Raspberry Valentine’s Cake

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A moist and zingy raspberry cake filled with white chocolate buttercream and covered in a soft pink ombré of Italian meringue buttercream and dotted with delicate hearts.

A raspberry vanilla cake filled with white chocolate buttercream and then covered in a creamy Italian buttercream. Did I mention the pink ombré and all of the delicate candy melt hearts??

So this cake was inspired by my Winter Wonderland Cake. I’ve changed the flavors around a bit, altered the color scheme and of course made a cascade of hearts!

INGREDIENTS

For the Cake
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 230g
  • 1 cup granulate sugar 136g
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda heaping
  • 1 tsp baking powder heaping
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature, 170g
  • 3 egg whites room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 120ml
  • 1/2 cup whole milk 105ml
  • 6 oz raspberries fresh or freeze dried
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice fresh
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
For the White Chocolate Buttercream:
  • 1 ½ cup unsalted butter room temp, 315g
  • 4 ½ cups confectioners sugar 648g
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips melted and cooled, 168g
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup raspberries fresh
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
For the Hearts:
  • 3 sheets printable hearts Or pipe them free-hand
  • 1 1/2 feet parchment paper
  • ½ cup candy melts 84g
For the Italian Buttercream:
  • 4 egg whites large
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar divided
  • 1 Pinch kosher salt
  • 16 ounces unsalted butter 454g, room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup water 70g

INSTRUCTIONS

For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F. Butter and flour three 6-inch pans. I use cake strips on my pans for more even baking as well.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Beat the wet ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add lemon zest.
  4. Don’t worry if your still have small chunks of butter, it will all work out!
  5. Add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined. Fold in dried raspberries at the very end and mix until just combined.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly into the cake pans.
  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the centers are springy to the touch.
For the White Chocolate Buttercream:
  1. In a small saucepan over medium low heat combine raspberries, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar. Mash and heat for a minute. Bring to a simmer. Simmer until reduced by half, or about three minutes. Strain and transfer to a small bowl and chill. 
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter.
  3. Add confectioners sugar and salt. Beat until creamy.
  4. Add in melted and cooled white chocolate. Mix until incorporated and smooth.
  5. Divide batter in half. 
  6. Add vanilla to one batch. 
  7. Add 2 1/2 tbsp of the reduction to the other batch of buttercream. If the consistency become runny, mix in confectioners sugar 2 tbsp at a time until thickened. 
  8. Transfer both batches to separate piping bags with the tips snipped off. Add the 2 piping bags to another piping bag fitted with a large round tip or with the tip snipped off.
For the Italian Buttercream:
  1. Beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar, slowly add in 1/3 cup of sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form.
  2. In a medium saucepan add the remaining sugar and 1/3 cup water then place on medium-low heat.
  3. Stir until sugar melts and becomes clear.
  4. Maintain at medium-high heat until temperature reads 235-240F.
  5. Drizzle the sugar into the mixer immediately.
  6. Run mixer until meringue is cool/tepid.
  7. Add room temperature butter into running mixer one tablespoon piece at a time.
  8. Add the salt and vanilla if using
  9. Beat until butter is combined and mixture has reached a silky consistency.
  10. Divide into 5 bowls. Keep one bowl white. Add food coloring to each batch to achieve a gradient look.
  11. Transfer colors to separate piping bags.
For the Hearts:
  1. Line up 3 printable heart sheets to use as a guideline or stencil. Add a layer of parchment paper over the sheets.
  2. Microwave candy melts. Transfer to a piping bag and snip off the tip.
  3. Pipe hearts according to the stencil.
  4. Let the hearts cool and harden.
For the Assembly:
  1. Pipe the pink/white chocolate buttercream combo between each cake layer.
  2. Cover the cake with a thin crumb coat and chill for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Once the cake has chilled, start the Italian buttercream gradient with the white, then work your way up from bottom to top.
  4. Carefully smooth with an offset spatula.
  5. Add hearts to the cake.

You can print this template out to use as a guide for your candy melt hearts.