Vanilla Cake with Ganache Filling and Raspberry Buttercream

DSC_0072It was a busy week! Lots of baking and cooking and travel and time with friends and family. So the absolute last thing I wanted to do was make a swiss buttercream… stirring egg whites over a double boiler, whisking until cool, adding butter a tiny bit at a time… not how I wanted to spend my time.

This week I gave in and made a simple American buttercream. Normally I’ll only use American buttercream for cookie fillings, or gingerbread houses, but I wanted something fast, so I gave it a shot. The real raspberries in this frosting definitely save it. The little flecks of berry are beautiful, and they actually balance out the powdered sugary sweetness quite well.

So what is the difference between all the kinds of  buttercream anyway? I made this pretty chart to make it a little clearer: buttercream chart

Normally I make a swiss buttercream, I like the smooth texture of it, and how it works so well with decorating. But if you want something easy, fast and cheap, american buttercream can be wonderful – but it definitely benefits from the addition of some flavors beside vanilla. I’d love to try a german buttercream sometime, I haven’t heard too much about it.

I got the cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen, it is by far my favorite white cake recipe I’ve ever made. The ganache and the frosting are my own.

Vanilla Cake with Ganache Filling and Raspberry Buttercream


  • 4 cups cake flour (I never use cake flour… instead, subtract 2 Tbsp of flour per cup, and replace with corn starch, then sift like crazy)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (two sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature

ganache filling

  • 6 oz chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  • 1 cup butter
  • 3-3.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup raspberries, if frozen, thaw and squeeze out excess juice

Preheat your oven to 350, line two 9″ cake pans with parchments and grease them.

For the cake, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside. Then cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, add the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time.

Then add the flour mixture and the milk alternating, starting and ending with the dry mixture.


Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake 35-40 minutes until they spring back when you poke them.


While the cakes are baking, make the ganache and the frosting. For the ganache, heat the cream in a small pot until bubbles form around the edges, but do not boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow the sit 5 minutes, then stir until smooth.

For the frosting, beat the butter until fluffy, add half the powdered sugar a quarter cup at a time. Beat in the raspberries, then add more powdered sugar until you get the consistency you’d like.

DSC_0066To assemble, trim off domes on the cakes. Spread ganache on the cut side of the bottom layer, then put the second layer on top of the ganache cut side down so you get a nice, flat top.

DSC_0062Cover with a crumb coat and refrigerate. Then decorate however you’d like. I did a simple rose-like pattern around the outside.

DSC_0069Enjoy this wonderful springtime cake! I personally love the chocolatey surprise in the middle… I think Leroy is begging for a piece.



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