recipe, summer, sweet

Raspberry Crown (Birthday) Cake

I love celebrating birthdays, especially milestone ones! My friend Emma recently turned thirty, and for her special day I made this Raspberry-Crowned Birthday Cake, complete with cocoa layers, a cream cheese icing, and a raspberry crown to add colour and height. Not only is it beautiful, it slices very easily when cold, ensuring no one is “stuck” with the messy piece!


What I love about this particular cake recipe is the fact that when cold, it’s quite dense and has a tighter crumb. This makes it easy to ice and to cut, and makes for a rich-tasting base for a light and fluffy icing. Try decorating it with any fruits or flowers you have, but whole berries work best. Sliced fruits, while beautiful, don’t tend to last more than a few hours before they lose their natural gloss and colour. I used fake flowers here, as I made the cake a day in advance, but feel free to garnish with pesticide-free fresh flowers, especially an edible variety!

Raspberry Crown (Birthday) Cake
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  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 and 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • icing
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • seeds of one vanilla pod, or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • decorations
  • 1/2-1 cup fresh raspberries
  • about a dozen fresh or artificial flowers
  • icing sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease two 6-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt; add in the butter and mix until well combined. Gradually add the milk mixture in 3 increments just until combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for at least ten minutes before removing the spring form band and allowing the cake to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  5. To make the icing, combined the butter and cream cheese, mixing until smooth. Add the icing sugar gradually, adding a touch of milk if needed (1-2 tbsp). Stir in vanilla seeds.
  6. Ice the cake using the buttercream, then top with raspberries.

Keep chilled until ready to serve. Can be made one day in advance.