Before I dive into these incredible vanilla buttercream cupcakes and raspberry swirl cake, I wanted to share how I truly can’t believe how quickly the summer has flown by. I feel like I always gauge the duration of summer by the length of time I spend running around the kitchen like a crazy person trying to cook down and preserve hundreds of pounds of tomatoes. This year, because of our terrible, crappy, all-around no-good spring, I didn’t get a ripe tomato from the garden until early August. So by those terms, it really was an incredibly short summer. Even though part of me is shouting a deep internal YAYYYYYYYY for fall, another part is very very sad that this season is nearly over. Looking back, though, I did get to do some pretty fun summery stuff that I’d been wanting to do for the past few summers but never got around to doing because of cookbook stuff. These fun summertime activities have included:
- Camping with friends and hanging out in a creek
- Going to the zoo (we got to see the zookeepers feed the buzzards a mystery carcass! Watching them eat it was eerily hypnotizing.)
- Eating Salt n’ Straw ice cream (which, oddly enough, took me going to Los Angeles to do)
- Visiting the international rose test garden and stopping to smell enough roses to bore the life out of Jeremy (there are over SEVEN THOUSAND roses there. I probably smelled only a few hundred. SAD.)
- Finally snagging tickets for OMSI After Dark (it’s a children’s science museum that they open up at nighttime once every couple months for adults only and serve booze throughout the museum. Science + alcohol + physically interactive exhibits = BEST. IDEA. EVARRRRRR.)
- Going on vacation with Jeremy (will be sharing a Scotland travel guide with all the deets up on the blog this fall!)
- Having lots of refreshing summery cocktails at my favorite bar in the city
- Going to the beach and watching our beagle-mix Sequoia chew on sand in a pure beach-induced joy
- Gorging myself on summer veggies thanks to our killer CSA from Tumbleweed Farms
- Seeing the total eclipse of the sun in Madras with my friends & family (this bit wasn’t really an option for the previous summers TBH)
- Listening to my fave podcast non-stop all day every day (any other true crime junkies out there?? Ann Rule books were my self-imposed bedtime stories from age 10 onwards…don’t think my mother knew what those were when I was checking them out from the library. Until now. Hi, mom!)
- Creating cooking videos for my youtube channel, which I’ve been wanting to do for years but finally found/made the time to make it happen!
- Preserving insane amounts of tasty produce from the garden.
So all-in-all, a pretty fun mix of summertime activities. There’s one activity that I haven’t done much of this summer, though, that I’ve started to get a hankerin’ for, and that’s baking. It’s been one of the hottest and driest summers on record here in Oregon, so I’ve avoided turning the oven on as much as possible (we don’t have any air conditioning). This past week, however, I decided to brave the inevitable sweat-soaked sun dress/apron combo and dove headfirst back into baking, whipping up this bundt cake and cupcakes.
For the bundt cake, I made a raspberry swirl inside of it with some homemade raspberry concentrate, and then topped it off with a white chocolate glaze. For the cupcakes, I hollowed out a little scoop inside each one and filled it with the raspberry concentrate, then iced over it with a deliciously salty vanilla buttercream (sweet things are always a little tastier with some salt in them, in my opinion!) Jeremy and I also made another how-to video about homemade buttercream, yay! If you like it you can watch more and subscribe to my youtube channel 😀
A Word of Note…
The “raspberry swirl cake” recipe can be made to either make the bundt cake, or the cupcakes, then you just make either the buttercream or glaze, depending (glaze for bundt cake, buttercream for cupcakes). If you’re a crazy cake person like me and want to make both the bundt cake and the cupcakes, double the raspberry swirl cake recipe.
Raspberry Swirl Cake with White Chocolate Glaze and Salted Vanilla Buttercream
In this recipe the cake batter can either be used to fill a bundt pan and make a bundt cake, or to fill cupcake liners and make cupcakes. For the bundt cake, there’s a white chocolate glaze recipe, and for the cupcakes there’s a salted vanilla buttercream. Both recipes need the raspberry concentrate.
- 3 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
Salted Vanilla Cream (for cupcakes)
- 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar (not organic otherwise the texture will be off)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon flake sea salt
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
White Chocolate Glaze (for bundt cake)
- 8 ounces white chocolate (chopped or in chip form)
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Raspberry Swirl Cake (use for bundt or cupcakes
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 6 eggs (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup almond flour/meal
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon flake sea salt
- 1/4 cup raspberry concentrate (recipe above)
Place the berries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium low heat, cooking until the berries have disintegrated and the mixture has thickened, about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until completely chilled.
White Chocolate Glaze
Heat the white chocolate and cream together in the top of a double boiler over low heat, whisking constantly until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature, whisking every 10 minutes or so to keep a film from forming on top.
Salted Vanilla Buttercream
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at low speed until flightly fluffy, about 10 -15 seconds. Gradually add the powdered sugar at low speed until combined, then increase the speed to medium. Add the milk, salt, vanilla, and almond extracts and increase the speed to medium. Beat the mixture until very light, pale, and fluffy, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
Raspberry Swirl Cake
Grease and lightly flour a 12-cup bundt pan for the cake, or line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners for the cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar at medium speed until smooth, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix until just combined.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture in 3 increments, beating at low speed until just incorporated into the batter.
For the bundt cake, pour half of the batter into the cake pan. Use a spoon to scoop the 1/4 cup of raspberry concentrate in a ring inside of the bundt cake pan on top of the batter, making sure the raspberry doesn't touch the edge of the pan but remains in the center of the batter. Pour the remaining batter on top of the raspberry concentrate, then insert a blunt butter knife into the batter in the pan and swirl it around the bundt pan while moving it up and down.
Place the pan on the lowest rack of the oven and bake until golden brown on top and the sides of the cake pull away from the pan, and a toothpick inserted into it comes about relatively clean, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to remove the cake from the pan and cool completely.
Drizzle with the white chocolate glaze and serve immediately.
For the cupcakes, fill each liner about 2/3 full of batter. Place the muffin pans in the oven and bake until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Use a small spoon to scoop a bout 1 tablespoon of cake out of the top center of each cupcake. Fill the hole with the raspberry concentrate until level. Spread the buttercream on top of the cupcakes, taking care not to press down too hard on the area with the filling otherwise it will squirt out the side and get messy. Serve immediately.