Vanilla, passion fruit, raspberry cake

Kara and I discussed what flavors we could bring together that were somewhat nostalgic and yet modern with a twist. Huge fan of the classic berry and tart combo, so we thought, lets bring the bold passion fruit to the front line! So here it is! One of the THREE flavor combos that we chose to highlight on our recent Duff Till Dawn appearance… we unleash the deliciousness on to you, so that you too can have a little piece of our experience. Don’t forget to go over to Kara’s Couture Cakes and show her some love for creating these mouthwatering bad boys. Enjoy!

Didn’t catch our episode? You can find it here >> Duff Till Dawn, Season 1 (Outer Space Cakes)

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Vanilla, passion fruit, raspberry cake

Raspberry Reduction

Yield: 1/2 cup


Raspberries, fresh (in season) or frozen              12 oz.

Sugar, granulated                                                     ¼ c

Lemon Juice                                                               1 TBSP

Vanilla bean paste                                                    ¼ tsp


 What to do:

– Place raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepot over medium heat,

– Stir and heat until softened and bubbling and sugar is dissolved

– Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer until thickened (like molasses)

– Pass through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds

– Refrigerate is not using immediately


Vanilla, passion fruit, raspberry cake

Swiss Style Buttercream

Yield : 1,000 grams


-Sugar                                                    10 oz. (284 grams)

-Meringue powder                              12.6 grams

-Egg whites                                           6.5 oz. (184 grams)

-Shortening                                           3.5 oz. (100 grams)

-Butter, unsalted, room temp            16 oz. (2 cups, 4 sticks, 454 grams)

-Vanilla bean paste                              1 TBSP

-Passionfruit paste                               60-70 grams (to taste)


What to do:

– Scale all ingredients

– Whisk sugar and meringue powder together in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment

– Combine egg white and sugar mixture in the bowl till incorporated

– Heat over boiling water to 135˚F

– Whip on high speed for 20 minutes in stand mixer or until room temp

– Change to paddle attachment, adjust to medium speed and slowly add shortening, then butter.

– Beat till fully incorporated and light in color

For vanilla flavor: add 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste; you can also use 1 TBSP vanilla extract and the seeds from 1 scraped vanilla bean pod to the mixture once the butter has fully incorporated.

For passionfruit flavor follow all instructions and add the vanilla bean paste as mentioned just above. To this, you will add 60-70 grams

This may seem to “break” at some point, where the butter may look curdled. No worries, keep beating and it comes back together. it won’t generally happen so long as the temperatures are respected.

This can be made in advance and refrigerated. To reconstitute: microwave container of buttercream for 20 seconds, just barely removing the chill from the outside of the container. Place buttercream back into a stand mixer and beat on high till light and fluffy. Again, at this stage there may appear to be a “break” in the emulsion, but allowing it to continue to beat and warm to room temp will remedy the problem.

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Time to assemble…

Vanilla, raspberry, passion fruit cake

I torte my cake by hand. I’m simply very practiced at it and I just have a knack visually for seeing what I’m doing. I can perfectly line up and hang photos without a measuring tape too. <— Random facts about Kara, right there.

My vanilla cake recipe will bake to just over 1.5 inches high in each 8″ pan when split evenly. Pressing the tops down with a slightly smaller pan and paper towel between them after 10 minutes, just before removing from the pan, will give you much more level cakes with less doming and less trimming required to level them. Then you just have to eyeball them in half.

I torte to 3/4 inch per cake layer and spread a thin layer of raspberry reduction on the cake (1/3 of the total quantity of raspberry you have made).

Vanilla, passion fruit, raspberry cake

Then I use 1/2 inch of passion fruit butter cream in between layers.

Vanilla, passion fruit, raspberry cake

You can refrigerate between adding new layers of filling, especially if you are going to cover this cake in fondant. Since I was serving it nakey to show off it’s beautiful color and layers, I didn’t. I wanted just a bit of that passionfruit buttercream to peek out from between the layers. I was smoothing it over anyways.

Vanilla, passion fruit, raspberry cake


The next time someone asks for the all-too-typical but undying traditional raspberry lemon cake, suggest this instead. It’s a nice contemporary update to the classic. The remaining two recipes will be released a bit later this week, each in it’s own post, ’cause MAN there is tons to include!

Guess what else we have for you?! All those hard to find delicious pastes (we use them in all the Duff Till Dawn Trio of recipes)

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Buy through Pastry Portal


5-pack includes 2oz containers of each:

And… free shipping!!

Print Recipe
Kara's Perfect Vanilla Cake
The PERFECT vanilla scratch cake from Kara Andretta of Kara's Couture Cakes. She has perfected a tender, light crumb that is perfect for both wedding cakes and sculpted cakes. It's easy, but be sure to follow the directions exactly, the method and mixing times are important. Baking is a science, ya know!
Votes: 32
Rating: 3.72
Rate this recipe!
Type of Recipe Cake, White/Vanilla
Prep Time 15 mintues
Cook Time Varies
Passive Time 15 cool time
Type of Recipe Cake, White/Vanilla
Prep Time 15 mintues
Cook Time Varies
Passive Time 15 cool time
Votes: 32
Rating: 3.72
Rate this recipe!
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. You can line your pans with parchment on the bottom and sides if you wish for easy removal, use a cake release spray or the cake release recipe.
  2. Add all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) to a stand mixer bowl and mix with a paddle to combine well. This replaces sifting.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients (vanilla bean paste, egg whites, milk, and vegetable oil) and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  4. Turn mixer to low and add room temp chunks of butter slowly to the dry mix.
  5. Continue to beat on slow until there are no chunks of butter remaining and the mixture becomes crumbly. Your dry ingredients and butter mixture should crumble when squeezed gently, hold it’s shape.
  6. On low speed, add 1/3 of the liquid ingredients to the dry/butter ingredients and then turn to medium. Mix until a light paste forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  7. Add half of the remaining wet ingredients and beat on medium high speed for 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  8. Add the remaining wet ingredients and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes.
  9. Fill desired pans 2/3 of the way full.
  10. Bake until a skewer comes out clean and sides have begun to pull away from the side of the pan. (see additional notes below)
  11. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Place on a rack to finish cooling.
Recipe Notes

*Vanilla extract can be substituted for vanilla bean paste.

Cooking times vary depending on size of cake. Start checking at 30-50 min for 6"-10" pans, and 50-80 min for larger pans. Bake until a skewer comes out clean from the center of the cake and sides have begun to pull away from the side of the pan. 


FAQs about this cake and recipe:

Q: How do I make this chocolate?

A: See the chocolate version here!

Q: Is this cake able to be covered in fondant, will it hold up?

A: Yes. All of my cakes are fondanted. It’s very sturdy.

Q: Can this cake be carved/sculpted?

A: Yep! It’s FABULOUS for that!

Q: Can this recipe be used for cupcakes?

A: I wouldn’t. It bakes up flat and most cakers want a nice dome on cuppies. Use this one instead: Vanilla Cupcakes

Q: Can I use whole eggs/sugar substitute/pasteurized whites?

A: Well, you can do anything you want to alter the recipe, BUT it will no longer turn out like this. That’s just the nature of the chemistry and physics of baking. It’s all science, peeps.

Q: How many batches do I need for “X” sized pan?

A: You can find out how much you'll need through the Cake Calculator! Remember, all our recipes are based on cups of batter...the calculator will let you know how many cups you need total!

Q: How long do I bake X sized pan for?

A: Again, I can’t answer that. The baking times listed on any recipe are just starting points. Too many variables happen in every kitchen that can alter your results. You need to know how hot your oven bakes (you need to have it calibrated) as well as the items listed in the Q & A above. My go-to signs are nothing to do with a timer, though… When the cake becomes aromatic outside the oven without opening the door, and when the sides are just beginning to pull away from the pan, I know it’s almost there if not already completely done. Start with what I have listed, and tweak up and down intelligently from there.

Q: Why are the egg whites listed by each and not by weight?

A: Because we don't suggest using carton pasturized egg whites, we suggest using raw, fresh eggs as their protien structure is more solid. We find it easier to count the eggs by each when it comes to this. If you need to know the weight, you can simply take the amount of eggs and multiply it by 30g to find out the full about of grams you'll need.



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  1. Pipita Block 4 years ago

    Wow! I can’t wait to try the vanilla cake recipe. Oh la la la. Did you say passion fruit? I have to try that buttercream too. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes. I had a blast watching the show. You girls rock and deserved that golden whisk. One question… Who ate all of that cake? Pardon my curiosity.

    • Avalon Cakes 4 years ago

      We had a live audience! We all scarfed it down, was DELISH!

  2. Pipita Block 4 years ago

    Wow! I can’t wait to try the vanilla cake recipe. Oh la la la. Did you say passion fruit? I have to try that buttercream too. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes.

  3. Dionicia Webster 4 years ago

    Passion fruit paste is not readily available in my area, do you have a good source in which I could purchase online?

  4. Maria Martinez 4 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this awesome cake you girls are amazing.

  5. Susan Reitz 4 years ago

    Do I have to make my own passionfruit paste or is it something I can buy?

  6. Jeanne Winslow 4 years ago

    I’m so pleased Pastry Portal will be carrying all the flavor ingredients. Looking forward to making all of these. Although I can’t cut anything level just by eye, I will enjoy this. Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. Takelya 4 years ago

    I love Passionfruit. It’s delicious with macarons. I bet it’s great as buttercream. Cool.

  8. Rebecca 4 years ago

    I am so happy you shared this!!! Vanilla cake for me has always been good…but never mind blowing which I’m guessing this will be coming from a pro like you!! Looking so forward to trying this!

  9. butterflyflutterby 4 years ago

    is now of to google how to make passionfruit paste no shipping to UK, this looks yummy love both your girls work

    may i also THANK YOU thank you for converting it for us non cups, i a newbie and i tend to stay well away from recipes that have to be converted as i dare not trust myself i just about manage grams and ounces….. i could kiss you

    can i ask a dumb question
    Raspberry Reduction —– Sugar, granulated ¼ c … does a little c mean cups

  10. Tonya 4 years ago

    This vanilla cake is truly delicious!! I made it today and it was so good, I had to tell you thank you!

  11. Jayne 4 years ago

    Hi Avalon, this sounds so Yum! How long would the raspberry reduction keep in the fridge?

    • Avalon Cakes 4 years ago

      About 5 days in the fridge, you can always freeze it however!

  12. Deva 4 years ago

    I purchased the paste pack and am trying all of your recipes. I just finished making the honeyed apricot cake. The Hubs loved it and he doesn’t like cake to much anymore because we eat it every day. I’m courious, and my eyes could be wonky also, but I didn’t see a recipe that used the bourbon vanilla paste. If I missed it and you have it, please lead me to it 😉 if not how do you recommend I use that flavor? TIA 😉

    • Avalon Cakes 4 years ago

      Hey Deva! Anywhere you see “vanilla bean paste” is where we use that! <3

  13. Diane 4 years ago

    Can passion fruit purée be used instead of paste or is there a recipe to make fruit paste?

    • Avalon Cakes 4 years ago

      Hi Diane! We used a concentrate from Pastry Portal ( but you can make your own passion fruit puree! I would first, seed it, add a bit of sugar to it and allow it to reduce on the stove top. There maybe some actual recipes out there if you google it 🙂 Good luck!

  14. Eloisa Reyes 8 months ago

    Hi! i thought your cake calculator would ask for each ingredient so it could tell me how much of each i would need to make this cake into 6″ but it doesnt. It only says how much batter i need. Could you help me with that? like do i just half my recipe?

    • Avalon Yarnes 8 months ago

      Hey Eloisa! You know what, I just need to update these into the right application. All of our other recipes inlcude a “servings” area where you can put in how much batter you need (by volume, aka, cups) and it will adjust the ingredients for you. Let me update this and we should be all set! 🙂

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