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Vanilla Cake with Passion Fruit and Raspberry Filling

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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)

Raspberry Reduction

Recipe TypeFilling


  • 12 oz Raspberries - fresh (in season) or frozen
  • 1/4 cup Sugar - granulated
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • ¼ tsp Vanilla bean paste


  • 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

Swiss Style Buttercream

Recipe TypeFilling
Yield:1000 grams


  • 10 oz. Sugar
  • 12.6 grams Meringue powder
  • 6.5 oz. Egg whites
  • 3.5 oz. Shortening
  • 16 oz. Butter - unsalted, room temp
  • 1 TBSP Vanilla bean paste
  • 60-70 grams Passionfruit paste - to taste


  • 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.

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)

 Published: 03/03/2015

Last modified on January 21st, 2021

meet the author


Avalon Yarnes is multi-award winning cake artist and educator. Her work has been featured on tv shows, in magazines, books and more. She has been named one of the top 10 Cake Artists in America by Cake Masters Magazine and Dessert Professional Magazine. She's always cooking up something innovative that she can share with her students. Learn with Avalon here inside Avalon Cakes Online School of Sugar Art, where her (and her friends) teach you how to make incredible art with of cakes, cookies and more!

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I'm Avalon -- and I'm not your typical cake decorator. I'm obsessed with fusing the world of ART and CAKE. Sugar is my canvas. If you're down to get messy and dive into a whole new level of cake, take my virtual hand, cause I've got so many secrets I want to show you! learn more>>

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