FOR THE ALMOND CAKE LAYERS
325 g plain flour
25 g cornflour
4½ tsp baking powder
225 g butter, at room temperature
400 g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
5 medium egg whites, lightly beaten
300 ml whole milk
FOR THE RASPBERRY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
300 g butter, at room temperature
625 g icing sugar
450 g full-fat cream cheese
300 g seedless raspberry jam
red food colouring paste
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease 3 × 20cm round cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment, greasing the parchment, too.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornflour, baking powder and ½ tsp salt, then set aside. Put the butter in a large bowl and beat for about 3 mins until smooth and creamy. Add the caster sugar and beat for about 5 mins until light and fluffy. Add the extracts and mix to combine.
- Add the egg white a little at a time, beating until fully combined. Sift in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk, but starting and finishing with the flour.
- Divide the mixture equally between the prepared tins, gently levelling out. Bake for 25-30 mins, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 mins before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. The sponge is quite delicate, so take care when working with the cooled cake.
- For the frosting, beat the butter for about 3 mins until light and creamy. Add the icing sugar, a little bit at a time, until fully combined. Beat the frosting until light and smooth, then add the cream cheese and half the jam. Mix until just smooth – don’t overmix as it will get thinner the more you stir.
- Put the first cake on a serving plate and spread a layer of the frosting over the top. Then spread half the remaining jam evenly over the frosting. Repeat with the second cake and finally place the third cake on top. Cover the outside of the whole cake with a thin layer of frosting using a palette knife, and put it in the fridge while you prepare the frosting for the decoration.
- Divide the remaining frosting between 3 small bowls. Add about ½ tsp of red paste colouring to one of the bowls and about 1 tsp colouring to another bowl, leaving the third bowl as it is. You want to have three bowls of frosting with clearly different colours.
- To decorate the cakes, put each frosting into a piping bag fitted with a small round piping tip. Pipe 6 dots of frosting up the cake, 2 of each colour, with the darkest at the base of the cake. Use a teaspoon or small palette knife to smear the frosting to the right. Repeat the piping process, moving the dots up one so that as you pipe around the cake the colour will graduate in a swirl. For the top, pipe 2 rings of the darker pink dots around the outside, spreading the frosting in the same fashion, followed by 2 rings of the medium pink dots, and finish with the lighter frosting in the middle. Will keep for up to 3 days, chilled.