Raspberry and Pistachio Layer Cake

Sometimes you need more than a simple muffin or cookie. Sometimes, you need showstopper to impress your guests, celebrate an event or treat yourself, and my Raspberry and Pistachio Layer Cake is perfect for such occasions!

The recipe takes a bit of time to prepare, as it requires you to make the sponge, jam and buttercream separately, and then carefully layer them and leave the cake to set. If you're not confident slicing the sponge into three, you can cut it in half and use two layers, or create your own version by topping the whole sponge with jam and buttercream like a more traditional cake.

You can make the sponge in advance and freeze until you're ready to use it.

Ingredients for the sponge

  • 200ml soy milk
  • 20ml apple cider vinegar
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g pistachio meal (or 100g raw, unsalted pistachios blended to fine crumbs)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom seeds
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 90ml vegetable oil

Ingredients for the raspberry jam

  • 240g frozen raspberries
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tbs water
  • 8g/1 sachet Jel-it-in powder, or the equivalent in vegan setting powder like agar agar

Ingredients for the icing and decorations

  • 150g vegan butter
  • 225g icing sugar
  • 20ml soy milk
  • 50g vegan condensed milk
  • Crumbled unsalted pistachios, to taste

Instructions for the sponge

  • Preheat oven to approximately 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line a rectangular baking tray. I used a 33x23cm tray.
  • Combine the milk and vinegar in a jug and set aside.
  • Place flour, meal, cardamom, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt in a large bowl and mix until well combined.
  • Slowly pour in milk mixture and oil and mix until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tray and spread with a spatula until even.
  • Place in the oven to cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until the sponge springs back when pressed.
  • Remove from the baking tray and leave to cool completely, then carefully divide into three equal slices, horizontally.
  • Place in the refrigerator until cold.

Instructions for the raspberry jam

  • Combine raspberries, sugar and water in a small saucepan and cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until mixture has reduced and thickened.
  • Stir in the Jel-it-in powder, then pour the mixture into a bowl and place in the refrigerator to start setting for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the cake and the jam from the refrigerator and divide the jam into two.
  • Spread the jam on two of the cake layers, then place back in the refrigerator to completely set.

Instructions for the icing and decorations

  • Place all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until smooth, using a whisk or a handheld electric mixer.
  • Divide the icing into three, and place 1/3 into a piping bag fitted with a tip of choice. You should now have two equal parts of buttercream remaining.
  • Remove the cake from the refrigerator and spread 1/2 the buttercream evenly on top of one sponge (on top of the jam), repeat with the other sponge, then place one cake layer onto the other (you should have cake, jam, icing, cake, jam icing).
  • Place the final piece of cake onto the stack, and transfer to the refrigerator to set for 1 hour.
  • Remove from the refrigerator, trim the uneven edges and cut into 12 or more even pieces.
  • Pipe the remaining icing onto each piece, then top with crumbled pistachios.
  • Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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