Tomboy Cake w/ Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

21 Mar

“…your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”
― Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Hey Everyone,

The other day I was looking through Pinterest, and came across this cake. I liked the look of it, the recipe looked interesting and lengthy, so I decided to try and give it my own twist. I was inspired by two wonderful bloggers, which I will be referencing throughout this post.

This is what my inspiration lead me to create:

Tomboy Cake w/ Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting


The cake recipe was borrowed from eat, little bird. According to Ms. Thanh, it is called a “Tomboy Cake” due to “… the sides of [it] [being] left bare…thereby [it] does not appear as feminine as it would if the whole cake were to be covered in pink frosting.” Sounds like a pretty awesome description to me, thank you Ms. Thanh for the insight! I left out the rose design on top of the cake, and opted in for a raspberry puree flower design.

I followed Ms. Thanh’s recommended steps:

  • Step 1. Make the Raspberry Juice
  • Step 2. Bake the Cake
  • Step 3. Make the Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
  • Step 4. Assemble & Decorate

Step 1: Make the Raspberry Juice (partially adopted from Ms. Thanh)

  • 250 g (1 cups) of fresh raspberries (you can also use frozen raspberries)
  • 1 tablespoons water (room temperature)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of granulated sugar

In a small pot, combine the above ingredients, cook on low to medium heat, stir every 2-3 minutes, until the berries reach a mushy consistency. This process took me about 15 minutes, as it was originally advised.


Raspberry combined with sugar and water


This is the consistency it supposed to reach

After the syrup is done, strain it through a sieve into a bowl:


My mother thought it was strange that I took pictures of work in process of work in process.

I prepared the raspberry juice the night before, so I gave it plenty of time to cool down in the fridge (highly recommend). Also, I used the leftover raspberry in the sieve as a decoration on my cake, it is up to you whether you want to use it. You can also add the leftover raspberry into your chocolate cake mix…hmm sounds like a really good experiment…

Step 2: Bake the Cake (also partially adopted from Ms. Thanh)

This is actually one of the BEST cake recipes I have ever made. I have yet to meet a recipe that matches this cake in its richness of flavour, as well as its balanced amount of moisture and density. Bravo! You will be seeing a similar recipe soonish (maybe in red velvet?!)

The conversions were quite tricky, so I altered it to my taste and knowledge (used a little less sugar and added vinegar to baking soda to make the bicarbonate of soda)…

  • 200 g (about 1 3/5 cups) of all purpose flour
  • 175 g (about 1 2/5 cup) of icing sugar; if you prefer a sweeter cake, use 200 g (about 1 4/5 cup)
  • 1 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda (the recipe calls for bicarbonate, which means you must mix three drops of vinegar with 1 tsp. of baking soda – make sure you do this before mixing w/ flour)*
  • 40 g (about 2/5 cup) of cocoa powder
  • 175 g (about 3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 150 ml sour cream (about 2/3 of cup)

Okay, time to make the cake! Preheat the over to 350°F and start making your cake mixture:

    1. Combine your dry ingredients, except for sugar, in a bowl (not your stand-mixer bowl yet):  mix flour, baking powder, baking soda mixture (bicarbonate of soda)*, and cocoa powder, set aside
    2. Now, in your stand-mixer bowl with a paddle attachment, start beating butter on a low speed, gradually add icing sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and sour cream…
    3. Once #2 ingredients are thoroughly mixed together, slowly (spoon by spoon) add your flour mixture from #1 to your stand-mixer bowl
    4. Increase your speed to medium, and mix until the ingredients have blended into a brown creamy texture, with no flour crumbs in sight!

Make sure you scrape the sides and the top of the paddle!

Now, you can either use one greased tin and then use a cake leveler to devide the cake, or you can devide the cake into two greased tins. I used two 9 inch cake tins (for grease: I used margarine, but you can also use Pam’s cooking spray, or regular butter). I recommend using an 8 inch cake tins, because it will give better volume to your cake…


Tip: flatten the batter to make sure the cake rises flat


The cake will bake for about 35-40 minutes. Once you take it our of the oven, cool it.

Now, while the cake is baking, start preparing the icing!

Step 3: Make the Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting (recipe adopted from Sweetapolita)

I liked the idea of Ms. Thanh’s frosting, but I wanted to add my own touch. Awhile ago, I read Sweetapolita’s detailed blog post about the Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMB) Frosting, and have been wanting to try it. I cut the recipe in half (5 cups of frosting instead of 10), and added less sugar because I my raspberry syrup was already pretty sweet…

Here’s the recipe:

  • 5 egg whites (I used 156 g, about 3/5 cup, of boxed egg whites called “Just Egg Whites” by GoldEgg)
  • 170 grams (about 4/5 cup) of granulated sugar
  • 340 grams (about 1 1/2 cup) of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 20 ml (about 1 teaspoon) of pure vanilla extract
  • 20 ml (about 1 teaspoon) of cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt

First things first, cube (or cut into small pieces) the softened butter and let it hang out…

The art of cubed butter

The art of cubed butter

Then, take out a small pot, combine the egg whites and the sugar together in a pot. Simmer on a medium to low heat until the temperature reaches 160°F, or until the sugar has fully dissolved. Here are some useful tips, so you don’t waste any ingredients:

  • Use a stainless steel pot, and not an aluminum bowl (you need slower heat conduction)
  • Don’t turn on the heat until you have combined the two ingredients in the pot
  • Whisk constantly, but make sure you do it very gently because you don’t want the egg whites, or sugar, or both, on the sides of your pot (they’ll burn)
  • It will take at least 12-15 minutes to get the sugar to dissolve, so don’t rush or panic
  • Use a spoon to check the consistency
  • Do not taste it (a. it’s hot, b. raw eggs are bad for you) (note to self?)
  • Be patient, and slow down your pace (note to self?)

This is what it looked like at ‘about done’ stage – white-ish and less gooey

As most of the bloggers warn you, before you transfer the egg white mix (also known as the meringue mix), make sure that the whisk and the bowl are very clean – this is absolutely crucial. Transfer the meringue mix into your mixer bowl, start whisking at a low speed, gradually increasing it to a medium speed. Once the mix reaches a thick white texture, about 10 minutes into the mixture, add cream of tartar. Mix until soft peaks are formed AND the bottom of the bowl is neutral to the touch (thanks Sweetapolita).

Your whipped meringue mixture should look like this:


Notice the soft peaks and the glossy texture

Once you have conquered the above process, the rest is really easy:

  • Change the whisk attachment for a paddle, turn the mixer on low speed
  • Start adding butter cubes/pieces one by one
  • Add your vanilla extract, and mix until the texture reaches a frosting consistency
  • Once your frosting reaches a firm buttery consistency, add the raspberry syrup from step #1
  • Highly recommended: refrigerate the frosting for 10-12 minutes (it will add more texture to your frosting)

This is how it turned out on my end:


Pink ambition: I used the entire raspberry syrup to reach this colour…

Once you take out your frosting out of the refrigerator and your cakes have completely cooled, it’s time to assemble!

Step 4: Assemble & Decorate

Make sure that the cakes are not warm at all (they must be neutral to the touch), wipe off any crumbs, and start applying your frosting. I did not use any fancy equipment other than an icing spatula. I left a border, as originally advised by Ms. Thanh. For the top part, I used the raspberry remains from the syrup and used it to design a flower to make a strong raspberry statement…

…and here is what I got:


Pretty in Pink




The flower turned out so bold, it makes a nice statement…

I’d like to thank Ms. Thanh and Sweetapolita for their posts. Thank you.
Also, Thank YOU, my dearest visitors, for visiting :). I want to hear you comments and feedback!

See you soon…


2 Responses to “Tomboy Cake w/ Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting”

  1. Lisa March 21, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    Your visitors thank you for this delicious and beautiful cake!

  2. sam arlinetina July 5, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    Nice blog! Keep posting, Sam

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: