Soft and Moist Vanilla Bean Cake with Raspberry Filling

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This Vanilla Bean Cake with Raspberry Filling is not only pretty to look at but also has delicious flavor and texture. The cake is made with vanilla bean paste, resulting in beautiful specks of vanilla bean in the buttercream and in the cake’s crumb. The cake filling is a bright and tart raspberry compote, and the inside of the cake is soft, moist, and fluffy. Something about those little vanilla bean specks and bright red homemade raspberry compote makes this cake a little bit fancy–perfect for holidays and special occasions!

What is Vanilla Bean Paste?

Vanilla bean paste is a convenient way to incorporate real vanilla bean seeds into your baked goods. Most vanilla bean pastes contain a combination of pure vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds. You can substitute vanilla bean paste for vanilla extract in frostings, ice creams, and other desserts or sweet treats. This Raspberry Vanilla Bean Cake recipe incorporates vanilla bean paste into both the batter and the vanilla bean buttercream. I’m using Olive Nation’s Organic Vanilla Bean Paste Puree (Use the code AB20 at checkout for 20% off! Thank you to Olive Nation for sponsoring this week’s Raspberry Vanilla Bean Cake Step-by-Step Youtube Video.)

Disclosure: Olive Nation has provided the discount code AB20 for Amycakes Bakes readers, and I make a small commission when the code is used on their website at no additional cost to you. I only promote products that I love, and Olive Nation is a company that I have ordered from since the beginning of Amycakes Bakery. Thank your for support!

Instant Clearjel: the Secret Bakery Ingredient

The Secret Bakery Ingredient in this Recipe

This bakery recipe uses Instant ClearJel, a type of cornstarch that serves as both a thickener and a binder. It’s tasteless and has no artificial ingredients. It’s often used by professional bakers because it produces a smoother and glossier consistency than cornstarch, tapioca, or other starches. Even better, it enhances moisture and texture in cakes and thickens and stabilizes frostings.

Although it’s not often available in grocery stores, it’s sold in a variety of online stores. I use Hoosier Hill Farm Instant Clearjel. When using Instant Clearjel in baking, please make sure it is labeled as “INSTANT,” and always thoroughly whisk it with dry ingredients as described within the recipe.

Raspberry Compote Filling from Frozen Raspberries

Frozen Raspberries, sugar, lemon juice, and Instant Clearjel are used to make a tasty homemade raspberry compote filling. I prefer to use frozen raspberries, as they are typically flash-frozen at their peak ripeness, and I can enjoy the compote year-round. With the use of Instant Clearjel (my favorite secret bakery ingredient), the compote comes together quite quickly and stays colorful and glossy (traditional cornstarch often leaves compotes a little muted and cloudy). The finished compote has a consistency similar to a jam or jelly, but with a fresh and bright flavor.

5 steps to layer cakes like a pro

Layer this Cake using the Cut and Stack Method

I bake all my cakes in sheet pans and cut them out with cake rings. I talk about this in detail in 5 Easy Steps to Baking and Layering Cakes Like a Pro, but here’s a quick rundown:

1. Bake the Cake in a Sheet Pan
2. Cut Desired Cake Size with Cake Rings then Freeze
3. Layer the Cake from Frozen
4. Crumb Coat the Cake
5. Decorate and Serve

Other Vanilla Cake Combinations

If you don’t have vanilla bean paste, this vanilla raspberry cake would be delicious with my Vanilla Almond Cake Recipe or the Golden Vanilla Cake (yellow cake) featured in my Golden Chocolate Cake recipe. Not a fan of raspberries? Combine this delicious vanilla bean cake recipe with my other fruit compotes and cake fillings.

Vanilla Bean Cake with Raspberry Filling Recipe FAQ

What are your refrigeration and storing recommendations for the Vanilla Bean Cake with Raspberry Filling?

Nearly all of my cakes are best at room temperature! When the cake is cold it will have a firm and different texture due to all the yummy butter in the cake and buttercream. I want to make sure you enjoy the soft and moist cake texture that is intended by eating the cake at room temperature. You can refrigerate the cake after decorating it, but allow it to come back to room temperature 2-3 hours before serving. (Keep in mind the buttercream can melt in warm conditions). I keep my leftover cake out of the fridge for up to 24 hours, but I’ll refrigerate or freeze anything that won’t get eaten within that time.

Can you freeze the cake?

Absolutely! One of the best things about cakes made with buttermilk, vegetable oil, and Instant Clearjel is they stay very moist when frozen. I recommend you freeze the cake before layering it so that it’s easier to layer. A lot of times I’ll make my cake a week before I layer it.

You can also freeze the entire finished cake. If you place your cake in a cake box or container then wrap it thoroughly in plastic wrap, it should stay moist for at least a few weeks, if not longer. Most articles say cakes can be frozen for up to three months, but I’m hesitant to try it longer than a month.

How long can Cream Cheese Buttercream stay at room temperature? How do you store it?

Most of my buttercreams contain some cream cheese for a creamy smooth texture. And according to many articles it can be left out overnight, although I recommend refrigerating your finished cake until 2-4 hours before serving so it doesn’t get too soft on your cake:

For decorated cakes, I’ll remove the cake from the fridge 2-4 hours before serving so the cake and buttercream can come back to room temp. I’ll leave my cake leftovers that have cream cheese buttercream out for up to 24 hours because I want it to have a soft texture when I’m ready to eat it.

The buttercream can stay in the fridge for up to a week, or you can freeze it for even longer! Just thaw it in the fridge overnight, and allow it to get to room temp before using.

Can I substitute vanilla extract for the vanilla bean paste?

While I haven’t tried it yet, I don’t see why you couldn’t substitute Pure Vanilla Extract for the vanilla bean paste. The cake may have a stronger vanilla flavor. Or make this cake with my Vanilla Almond Cake recipe or the Golden Vanilla (yellow) cake featured in my Golden Chocolate recipe.

Can I substitute out the Instant Clearjel?

I have not yet tested this recipe without the Instant Clearjel. If you’d like to try it without it, I’d recommend using 1/4 cup Jello Instant Pudding Mix in place of the Instant Clearjel in the cake (in a 1x batch). Instant Pudding Mix has Instant Clearjel (aka modified cornstarch) as the second ingredient. In the frosting, just leave the Instant Clearjel out (I don’t recommend adding pudding mix to the frosting as it can affect the texture). Add more powdered sugar as needed to get a thicker frosting. If you have success with one of these substitutes, let me know!

Where can I find Instant Clearjel?

You can find it at a variety of online stores! I get my Hoosier Hill Farm Instant Clearjel on Amazon. As it is more often used in commercial kitchens, I have yet to find Instant Clearjel locally in my hometown of Springfield, MO. If you find it locally, let me know! Just always be sure your Instant Clearjel is labeled as “Instant”!

I feel like this cake would be a beautiful cake around the holidays! Top it with some holly berries and greenery for a Christmas Cake, or add some fresh berries and heart macarons around Valentines Day. I hope you enjoy this bakery recipe! Please let me know what you think in the comment section below, or tag me on social media @amycakesbakes with your creation!

Thanks for Reading. ❤️

Amy's Signature
5 from 9 votes

Vanilla Bean Cake with Raspberry Filling

This soft, moist and fluffy vanilla bean cake is filled with a fresh and tart raspberry compote cake filling. The result is a beautiful layer cake with little vanilla bean specks in the cake and the buttercream, complimented by the bright and flavorful raspberries.
Bake it in a sheet pan using the Cut and Stack Method and cut out the cake with cake rings for a more even-bake and no dark edge. Or bake it in round pans by visiting Double-Batches and Cake Pan Options: Everything You Need to Know.
1x batch Yields: 1 6" three-layer cake baked in a 1/4 sheet pan and cut out with cake rings using the Cut and Stack Method.
2x batch Yields: 1 8" three-layer cake baked in a 1/2 sheet pan and cut out with cake rings using the Cut and Stack Method.
If you have a kitchen scale, please use it for the grams (g) listed in parenthesis next to each dry ingredient. If you don’t have a scale, no worries!–just be sure to “spoon and level” your dry ingredients.

Watch the Recipe Video:

Yields 7 slices
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 28 mins
You may double the recipe by selecting 2x.
Select “grams” if you have a kitchen scale for more accurate baking.

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • ¾ cup Buttermilk
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar

Creamed Ingredients

  • 1 cup(s) Sugar
  • 1 stick (4 oz) Salted Butter at room temperature
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • ¼ cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 large Egg(s)

Whipped Ingredients

  • 2 Egg Whites
  • ¼ teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Raspberry Compote Thickener Ingredients

Remaining Raspberry Compote Filling Ingredients

  • 9 oz (around 2 slightly heaping cups) Frozen Raspberries (unsweetened)
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice (I use bottled)

Vanilla Buttercream Ingredients

  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese
  • 1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) Salted Butter at room temperature
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Instant Clearjel (A bakery ingredient you can use at home–See Note #1. Please make sure it is labeled as INSTANT Clearjel)
  • 2 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon(s) Vanilla Bean Paste I use Olive Nation
  • 1 Tablespoon(s) Light Corn Syrup

Instructions

Turn Instruction images ON or OFF

Make the Vanilla Bean Cake

  • Preheat Oven to 325 degrees. Line 1/4 Sheet pan with parchment paper, and then spray bottom (on top of the parchment) and sides of the sheet pan with cooking spray.
  • Sift Dry Ingredients in a bowl and then whisk until well blended.
  • Combine and whisk Wet Ingredients in a separate bowl or pitcher. Don't be alarmed if your wet ingredients separate or thicken as it sits, just stir it again before adding it to the cake batter.
  • With a stand mixer (preferred) or handheld mixer, cream sugar and salted butter together just until creamed together. Add oil and corn syrup and beat until just incorporated. Add 1 egg(s) and cream until incorporated and the batter is smooth, scraping sides of the bowl as needed. Avoid overbeating at every step.
  • On low speed, alternate adding Dry ingredients and Wet ingredients to the Creamed Ingredients, a little at a time. I do 1/3 Dry, 1/3 Wet, and so on, adding one-third at a time and blending on low after each addition. Continue to mix just until the batter looks well blended and smooth (avoid overbeating). Scrape sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Using a whip attachment and a clean bowl, whip the 2 egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. (Make sure your bowl and beaters are clean and free from grease so that the whites will whip).
  • Carefully fold the Whipped Whites into the cake batter, one half of the whites at a time. The batter is ready when no egg white streaks remain and it should look smooth and uniform.
  • Spread into prepared pan and make sure the batter is evenly distributed. An offset spatula works well for this.
  • Bake on the middle or top rack (avoid bottom rack) of preheated 325-degree oven for 18 minutes, then turn the oven down to 300 degrees. Set the timer for an additional 6-8 minutes. Check the cake at this point. If it is jiggly at all when lightly touching the top of the cake, continue baking for 1-6 more minutes. The cake is done when a paring knife or toothpick comes out mostly clean when stuck quickly in the cake. A couple moist crumbs on your knife are fine, but they shouldn't look wet. Allow to cool completely. Brush lightly with simple syrup (optional, Note #3).
  • Wrap thoroughly in plastic wrap and freeze cake in the pan for 2 hours or overnight. (You can even bake the cake up to a week ahead of time and freeze). The cake will be much easier to layer if it is cold or frozen. To wrap the cake, place another sheet of parchment on top of the cake (this will prevent the plastic wrap from sticking to the cake), and wrap the whole pan with plastic wrap. (I pull the plastic wrap out and place the pan on top of it. Then I wrap 2-3 ways horizontally and one way vertically so that there are two layers of wrap on all sides of the pan including the bottom).
  • Wrap thoroughly in plastic wrap and freeze cake in the pan for 2 hours or overnight. (You can even bake the cake up to a week ahead of time and freeze). The cake will be much easier to layer if it is cold or frozen. To wrap the cake, place another sheet of parchment on top of the cake (this will prevent the plastic wrap from sticking to the cake), and wrap the whole pan with plastic wrap. (I pull the plastic wrap out and place the pan on top of it. Then I wrap 2-3 ways horizontally and one way vertically so that there are two layers of wrap on all sides of the pan including the bottom).

Make the Raspberry Compote

  • Whisk Rapsberry Compote Thickener ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Combine Remaining Compote Ingredients in a nonstick skillet or saucepan. Cook on medium-high heat until the berries are fully thawed and the liquid begins to simmer. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for about 5 minutes or until the berries are softened and you are happy with their size. Using a sturdy spatula, cut any larger berries into very small pieces (around 1/4 inch pieces) as they simmer. The berries should be soft enough that they are easy to cut with the spatula.

Make Vanilla Buttercream

  • Whisk the powdered sugar and Instant Clearjel together until well-blended. Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer (preferred) or handheld mixer and a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until broken up and softened. Add the room temperature salted butter and continue to beat, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the shortening and beat and scrape the sides until there are no lumps.
  • While the mixer is on low, slowly alternate adding the powdered sugar mixture and vanilla bean paste and corn syrup.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then beat the buttercream on high for two-three minutes. This will add air into the buttercream and make it light and fluffy. The Instant Clearjel will cause the buttercream to thicken slightly during the next 10 minutes as it sits.

Frost the Cake

  • The easiest way to layer the cake is to layer the cake from frozen the day before you plan to serve it. If serving the cake the same day you are layering it, use refrigerated cake layers instead of frozen. Piece together the bottom layer, filling in with cake scraps if needed. You can use the cake ring as a guide.
  • Cut out your desired cake size with cake rings using the Cut and Stack Method–leave the cake in the sheet pan, and using a slight sawing motion, cut the frozen cake into your desired cake size with cake rings (You can use a knife and the cake rings as a guide for any halve pieces that you cut.) In a 1x batch, I typically cut 3 layers with a 6" cake rings for a 6" cake–two full layers and one layer made from two halves (as seen in the recipe video). The crispest layers are cut from frozen cake, but you can let it thaw slightly before cutting your cake rounds if needed. Use your two half-circles of cake to make the bottom cake layer (fill in with scraps if needed to make a level surface).
  • Because this dark berry filling discolors the cake after the cake is cut, I recommend spreading a very thin layer of buttercream on each cake layer before filling the cake. When filling cakes with fruit compotes, you’ll want to pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge before spooning in your filling (as shown in my recipe video). I pipe my ring of buttercream 2-3 rings high to ensure no filling escapes. Some buttercream will push over the edge when topped with the cake layers, and that is fine–just use your spatula to smooth it against the side of the cake to seal it in. To be extra cautious with filled cakes, I like to let them set up in the freezer for 10 minutes after filling them but before adding a crumb coat of icing.
  • I recommend frosting a thin crumb coat of buttercream on the outside of the cake which will catch all the crumby edges, then allow it to set up in the freezer for about 10 minutes until the buttercream is firm. An offset icing spatula (I use the small and medium-size on all my cakes) helps with this. Then spread on the second layer of buttercream and decorate as desired.
  • Let the cake set up in the fridge, but remove it from the fridge 1-3 hours before serving so it can come back to room temperature. This cake has the best texture at room temperature. Enjoy!

Notes

Notes for 2x batches (some of these won’t apply if you are using the grams measurements):
4 Tbsp=1/4 cup
3 tsp= 1 Tablespoon
  1. Read my article Instant Clearjel: a Magical Little-Known Bakery Ingredient to see why I think this ingredient is worth having in your pantry.  Instant Clearjel must always be whisked thoroughly with other dry ingredients before being added to wet ingredients to avoid clumping.  I have tested this recipe with the following Instan Clearjel brands: Prepared PantryHoosier Hill Farm, and Ingredion. Make sure what you purchase is labeled as “Instant.”  Cooktyle Clearjel is a different product that does not work the same in cakes.  
  2. When baking cakes in a sheet pan, the cake bakes more evenly (flatter on top and with no dark edges), and you get to choose your cake size after baking!  With a 1x batch in a 1/4 Sheet Pan you can make a three-layer 6″ cake (two full rounds, one pieced round from two half-circles) or several little cakelets.  With a 2x batch in a 1/2 Sheet Pan you can make a three-layer 8″ cake (two full rounds, one pieced round from two half-circles), an extra tall six-layer 6″ cake (5 full rounds, one pieced round from two half-circles), TWO 3-layer 6″ cakes (eat one now and freeze one for later.  🙂 Or have a baking party with a friend and you each get a cake!) or several little Cakelets using a 4″ cake ring or 3″ or 2″ round cookie cutters.  You can also choose to bake in sheet-cake pans or round pans.  View the pan chart in the article Half-Batches and Cake Pans: Everything You Need to Know.  
  3. Simple Syrup is optional, but I use it to seal in the moisture for cakes that will be refrigerated or frozen.  While the cake cools, make a simple syrup by combining 1 Tbsp water and 1 Tbsp sugar in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until the sugar is dissolved after whisking, about 20-30 seconds.  You can also make a larger batch of this (1 part sugar to 1 part water) and keep it in the fridge if you’re doing a lot of cake baking.
Tried this recipe?Mention @amycakesbakes and tag #amycakesbakes!
Author: amycakesbakes.com
Calories: 1054kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bakery cake, Bakery Wedding Cake, bakery-style, layer cake, moist cake, vanilla bean, Vanilla Cake, vanilla raspberry cake, Wedding Cake
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Hayley Dhanecha
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Hayley Dhanecha
4 days ago

5 stars
This is very useful and delicious recipe. A detailed post of yours that helps everyone , so simple and easy instructions to follow.

LaKita
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LaKita
4 days ago

5 stars
This cake looks so pretty, fluffy, and delicious. Your detailed instructions also make it look so simple to make.

Nart
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Nart
6 days ago

5 stars
This is such a great recipe. I mean, vanilla and raspberry are already one of my favorite combinations but the texture and smell of this cake…mmmmmmm

Amy Liu Dong
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Amy Liu Dong
6 days ago

5 stars
Hands-up to this recipe. Your cake looks so pretty and looks really delicious. I love it!

Shobelyn Dayrit
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Shobelyn Dayrit
6 days ago

5 stars
What a detailed step by step instruction and the cake looks so good too. Awesome.

Katie Crenshaw
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Katie Crenshaw
7 days ago

5 stars
Oh my goodness! This cake is so delicious. It turns out moist. The frosting is incredible.

Linda
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Linda
7 days ago

5 stars
This cake looks so beautiful and moist. Love the cream filling, too!

Veronika Sykorova
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Veronika Sykorova
8 days ago

5 stars
I love using vanilla bean paste! It adds so much more flavor than vanilla extract does. Beautiful cake!

Colleen
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Colleen
8 days ago

5 stars
This cake looks amazing. Your step by step instructions are so thorough that I might just attempt this for my sister in laws birthday.

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