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Basic vanilla butter cake (see cook’s note):
- 1 cup (250g) soft butter
- 1 cup (200g) castor sugar
- 2 tsp (10ml) vanilla essence
- 3 extra-large eggs
- 1½ cups (225g) self-raising flour, sifted
- Pinch fine salt
- 1 ⅘ cups (450g) soft butter
- 5 cups (650g) icing sugar, sifted
- 1 cup (250ml) PnP raspberry jam
- 150g fresh raspberries + extra for decorating
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- For the cake, line three 20-23cm loose-bottomed cake tins with baking paper and spray with non-stick spray.
- Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together for 6-8 minutes, using an electric whisk. (The mixture should triple in quantity and become a pale yellow-white.)
- Add eggs one at a time, whisking well to incorporate before adding the next one.
- Sift flour into a large bowl, add salt, then the wet mixture and mix.
- Pour batter into prepared cake tins.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool in tin for 5-10 minutes, then unmould and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- For icing, whisk butter with an electric whisk until fluffy.
- Add icing sugar 1 cup at a time, and whisk well until incorporated.
- Place one cake on your serving plate and spread with ¼ cup of the white buttercream.
- Top the icing with half the jam, spreading it out thinly. (Don’t go too close to the edge of the cake – the weight of the next layer of cake will spread out the filling.)
- Top with a second cake and spread with icing and jam as before.
- Place the last cake on top, upside down (this means you’ll have a flat-topped cake for a more modern look).
- Add raspberries to the remaining icing and whisk lightly – the berries will break up and turn it pink.
- Spread the outside of the cake stack with an even layer of pink buttercream icing.
- Decorate as desired, we simply used fresh raspberries.