raspberry heart shaped cake

A Heart-Shaped Layer Cake to Celebrate 51 Years of Marriage!

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This weekend my mother and father-in-law came up for a visit so that my father-in-law could help my husband install the new backsplash in our kitchen. Since their 51st wedding anniversary was the week before, we decided to make them an anniversary dinner. Yay! Another excuse for me to make a layer cake!

I have a couple of heart-shaped cake pans and thought it would be fitting to make them a heart cake. I decided on a white and pink colour scheme since I thought that would match well with an occasion celebrating love 🙂 I have a favourite white cake recipe that I thought would pair well with raspberry filling. I had to think about what to do for the frosting though. I wanted to create an ombré effect using raspberry jam in the frosting. I needed something that would stand up to lots of mixing as I experimented with the colour hue. An American buttercream would work well for this, but I usually find them too sweet.

I decided to try cream cheese frosting. It’s not as sweet and I thought it would pair well with the raspberry flavour. It worked quite well! The frosting wasn’t overly sweet and the jam added more raspberry flavour to the cake. The only issue I had was that adding jam thinned out the frosting and the darkest frosting was a bit too runny for my liking when I put it on the cake. To offset that, I have increased the amount of icing sugar slightly in the recipe. It will still not be too sweet but will be able to handle the addition of the jam.

This cake was quite tasty! The white cake has a nice tender crumb and had a light enough flavour that the raspberry and cream cheese were showcased. The combination of the raspberry filling and the cream cheese icing reminded me of a raspberry fool, which I really enjoyed. I topped the whole cake with white chocolate that I peeled using a vegetable peeler. It added a decorative element but didn’t overpower any of the other flavours.

White Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling and Cream Cheese Ombre Frosting
Yields: 12 Servings Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 2 Hr 40 Mins Cook Time: 20 Mins Total Time: 3 Hr
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Raspberry Cream Cheese Celebration Cake

This layer cake uses my favourite white cake recipe and is filled with raspberry filling. The cake is frosted with a cream cheese icing that is combined with seedless raspberry jam to create an ombré effect. I made this cake using two 10-inch heart-shaped cake pans but the batter will work with either two 9-inch or three 8-inch round tins. For flat layers that you don’t have to trim, I use cake strips around the pans when baking.


0/21 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
    For the Cake
  • For the Raspberry Filling
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • For Assembly


0/21 Instructions
    For the Cake
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 F/180 C. Grease 2 10-inch heart-shaped cake tins. Line them with parchment paper, grease the parchment and flour pans. If using cake strips, soak 2 strips in a bowl of water.
  • Whisk milk, egg whites and vanilla extract together in a small bowl.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt on low speed until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time and mix until only pea-sized pieces remain, about 1 minute.
  • Add all but 1/2 cup milk mixture. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add remaining 1/2 cup milk mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Give the batter a final stir by hand.
  • Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth tops with a rubber spatula. If using cake strips, remove them from the water and squeeze out some of the liquid so that they are not dripping. Wrap the soaked strips around the cake tins. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, 23-25 minutes.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans, discard the parchment, and let them cool completely, about 2 hours, before frosting.
  • For the Raspberry Filling
  • Combine raspberries, sugar, lemon juice and 2 tbsp (30 ml) water in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the raspberries have broken down and the mixture is cohesive, about 5 - 10 minutes.
  • Pour the mixture into a fine-mesh metal strainer that is set over a bowl. Stir the mixture to push the raspberry juice and pulp through the strainer. Discard the seeds.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch with 2 tbsp (30 ml) water.
  • Rinse out the saucepan and return it to the stove. Add strained raspberry mixture and cornstarch mixture to the saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture is thick about 1 - 2 minutes. Pour the filling into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge until completely cool.
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting.
  • In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, vanilla and salt until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add icing sugar and beat on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • To create the ombre effect, you will now divide the frosting into 3 portions. Portion out 1/2 cup frosting into one small bowl and 1 cup into another small bowl. Keep remaining frosting in the big bowl. Cover the 1 cup portion and chill in the fridge until ready to use. Add 1 1/2 tbs of raspberry jam to each of the remaining portions of frosting. You should have 1/2 cup of darker pink frosting and a larger portion of lighter pink frosting. You can play around with the colour intensity by adding more jam. If you find that either portion of frosting becomes too thin, add more powdered sugar. Cover the dark frosting and chill in the fridge until ready to use. If not using the light pink frosting right away, chill this as well.
  • For Assembly
  • If your cake has a rounded top, use a serrated knife to trim the top off each cake, to make flat layers.
  • Place a small dollop of light pink frosting in the centre of a cake board and place one layer of cake on top. Press lightly to secure. This will keep the cake from sliding around as you decorate.
  • Spread a thin layer of light pink frosting over top of the cake. Make a thicker ring of frosting around the edge of the cake to make a barrier. Spread the raspberry filling over the top of the cake inside the frosting barrier. Top with the second layer of cake.
  • Spread a thin coat of frosting over the top and sides of the cake. This is the crumb coat. It will seal in the cake crumbs so that they don't show on the outside of the cake. Place the cake in the freezer for 15 minutes or until the frosting is firm and set. Chill the frosting in the fridge in the meantime.
  • You will now create the ombre effect. Remove all three frostings from the fridge. If they are too stiff, let them come soften at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until they are spreadable. Starting at the bottom of the cake, spread the dark pink frosting around the bottom third of the cake. Next spread the light pink frosting around the middle third. Finally spread the white frosting around the top third and over the top of the cake. Don't worry if any of the layers overlap but make sure to clean the knife or spatula between each frosting application.
  • Run the edge of an offset spatula around the sides of the cake to smooth the finish. Wipe off any excess frosting. Smooth the top of the cake with the spatula.
  • Using a vegetable peeler, peel about 1 ounce of white chocolate off of a chocolate bar. Sprinkle the peeled chocolate decoratively over the top of the cake.
  • Keep cake chilled in the fridge.

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