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Raspberry-Orange Buttercream Cake

In this elegant six-layer cake (three layers, each split in half), the cake itself is secondary to the incredibly rich frosting, so a mix will be just fine. Besides, mixes unfailingly produce layers high enough that they are easy to split. Although the cooked-sugar syrup heats the egg yolks, it's best to play it safe and use the yolks of pasteurized whole eggs.



  • 2 (18.25 ounce) boxes yellow cake, prepared from a mix or your favorite easy recipe
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar seedless raspberry preserves

Buttercream Frosting

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 8 pasteurized egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into 16 pieces, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Prepare the cake in four 8-or 9-inch round pans.
  2. Cool thoroughly.
  3. Set aside one layer for another purpose.
  4. Split the three layers in half (working around the layer with a bread knife and inching toward the center, or with a thread wrapped around the layer and worked back and forth as you tighten it).
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the buttercream: In a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and water over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 240 to 250 degrees F - soft-to firm-ball stage.
  6. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, slowly add the syrup to the egg yolks, beating all the while and occasionally scraping the side of the bowl. When the syrup and eggs are well blended, set them aside to cool to room temperature.
  7. When the syrup mixture is cool, beat in the soft butter, a piece or two at a time.
  8. Then beat in the confectioners' sugar, orange extract, orange zest and vanilla extract. Whip the mixture at medium speed for about 1 minute.
  9. Chill for about 20 minutes, until it has thickened, then whip until it is very stiff (if you don't whip it enough, it won't have as much volume as it should).
  10. Assemble the cake: Put the bottom half of one layer on a cake plate, cut side up, and spread about 1/2 cup of the raspberry preserves completely across it.
  11. Top with the top of that layer, cut side down (and with any hump in the middle sliced off), and spread with about 3/4 cup of frosting. Repeat with next two layers and the bottom of the third layer and its layer of preserves.
  12. Add top layer. Coat sides with a thin layer of frosting, just to cover gaps and hold crumbs in place. Frost top completely, then sides; decorate top with remaining frosting.
  13. Refrigerate until serving time.

24 thin (but sufficient) servings.

Nutrition information per serving: Calories360; Carbohydrates47 g; Protein4 g; Fat18 g; including sat. fat7 g; Cholesterol130 mg; Sodium300 mg; Calcium55 mg; Dietary fiber0 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/ starch exch., 2 other carb. exch., and 3 1/2 fat exch.