Vanilla-Raspberry Fluff Cake

Way back in college, and I think I've talked about it here somewhat, I really discovered that I loved to cook when I first lived off-campus. I started with simple family recipes: pizza chicken, ratatouille, roasted potatoes…easy stuff.

Then, on a fateful night, when I was staying in on a Friday (doing my nails and watching Iron Chef, of course), one of my new housemates poked her head in my room and asked "Are you watching Iron Chef?" That roommate was Ericka (who, at the time, was bald and had quite a few piercings) who is now one of my closest friends! She's been invaluable in helping with my dad's estate, and also a complete and total excuse to go visit Oregon.

Back to the cooking thing. So I stuck with family recipes until one day, we decided to cook something else. And we kind of never went back. Chicken cacciatore was her specialty, and she introduced me to something she called "cake in a bowl." A single serving low-fat cake, mixed, microwaved, and eaten out of the same bowl. This was a good 10 years before the ever-popular mug cakes…

So it was necessary, while we were together last week in Portland, that we cook and bake together as much as possible. You saw the pizza, we made a grilled feast, and we made this glorious cake.

Portland 2012-6.jpg

Well, really, I made it and she frosted it because I have major issues frosting anything but cupcakes. It had been so long since I baked, I actually had to use my XYboard to look up my own recipes in the kitchen! Luckily it set up nicely and the crumbs, egg white, and sugar brushed right off… I'm a mess in the kitchen, but thats a post for another day.

Back to the cake. I used an old favorite vanilla cake recipe, but I've learned quite a bit more about baking since I originally posted it, so you're getting a whole new recipe post! It turned out beautifully! the layers weren't too tall, the frosting was light and fluffy and laden with fresh raspberries.


Vanilla-Raspberry Fluff Cake

by What's For Dinner?

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25-30 minutes, plus cooling ti

Keywords: bake dessert nut-free raspberry cake summer

Ingredients (serves 8)

    For the cake
    • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose or cake flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1-1/2 cups sugar
    • 4 egg whites
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 cup milk
    For the frosting
    • 1 1/2 c. white sugar
    • 1/3 cup corn syrup
    • 1/4 c. water
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 5 egg whites, room temperature
    • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
    • 1 pint fresh raspberries
    special equipment
    • candy thermometer
    • electric mixer

    Instructions

    For the cake

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

    Prepare two cake pans (I used cooking spray; parchment circles and butter work too)

    Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

    Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.

    Add egg whites, two at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla; beat until blended and the entire mixture is light and fluffy.

    With electric mixer at low speed, add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.

    Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans.

    Bake 25 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

    Cool on a rack until completely cooled, then frost.

    For the frosting

    Mix together the white sugar, corn syrup, and water in a saucepan.

    Attach the candy thermometer to the side of the pan, and heat the sugar mixture to a boil, and then boil rapidly until the thermometer reads 246* Fahrenheit.

    Meanwhile, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar to stiff peaks and set aside.

    When the sugar has reached the appropriate temperature, slowly pour the sugar into the egg whites while whipping them at a high speed.

    Add the vanilla, and raspberries, reserving 1/4 cup for later.

    Continue whipping the egg white mixture until it is completely cooled.

    Use immediately.

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    When Ericka frosted the cake, she put some of our reserved raspberries between the layers before slathering the icing on. The result was a delicious, tart, and beautiful summer dessert.

    Portland 2012-8.jpg

    I love that the raspberry turned into a little heart.

    I'm not sure how the frosting held up after a day in the fridge, but I'm hoping it lasted at least long enough for Ericka to enjoy another piece (or 5!)

    xoxo
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    Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Midwest Savvy Gourmets program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product. I was not compensated for a postitive review.

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