• Red velvet layer cake with fresh raspberries and mascarpone icing (Petrina Tinslay)Source: Petrina Tinslay

This fabulous cake has a little history for us. It all started with Anne Marie's mother Toni who made it for one of her five children's birthdays. It was so popular among the Cummins family that Anne Marie made it for her Sydney hairdresser, Renya Xydis to try. Now Renya's family adores the cake and place regular orders for the cake, for their parties and birthday celebrations. Whenever Anne Marie makes this cake, it is quickly eaten (followed by lots of ooh's and ahh's) and then people ask for the recipe. So when it came to deciding on the perfect 1st birthday cake for the food dept, there was no contest, but to make this indulgent, creamy layer cake. In Anne Marie's words "It's a show stopper cake!" Bon appetit!






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (24 votes)


  •  125 g butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups plain flour
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp red gel food colouring
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 quantity mascarpone icing
  • 2 punnets raspberries
  • white chocolate curls, to decorate

White chocolate curls (makes 3)

  • 150 g white chocolate, melted

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Makes 1 x 20 cm cake

Freezing time 45 minutes

Preheat the oven to 180ºC (360ºF). Grease and line the base and sides of 2 x 20 cm cake pans.

Combine the butter, caster sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Sift together the flour, cornflour and Dutch cocoa and set aside.

In a jug combine the buttermilk, red colouring and vanilla, whisk well.

Add half of the sifted flour mixture and half of the buttermilk mixture to the creamed butter mixture, and stir well.

Add the remaining flour and buttermilk mixtures and mix through.

Combine the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar together and add to the cake mixture, mix well.

Divide the mixture evenly between the 2 cake pans and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked when tested.

Remove from the oven and allow to stand in the cake pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a cake cooler lined with baking paper and turn the cakes over so they are the right way up. Cool completely.

Wrap the cakes in plastic and place in the freezer for 45 minutes until firm. Remove from the freezer and cut each cake in half to form 4 layers.

Place the first layer of the cake onto the serving plate and spread over ⅔ cup of the mascarpone icing. Break open the raspberries so they are flat and arrange evenly over the icing. Repeat with the icing and raspberries for the next 2 layers of cake and top with the final layer of cake. Pack extra icing where needed into the layers of the cake to make it even and straight sided.

Divide the remaining icing in half. Spread half of the icing over the cake to form a crumb coat. Recoat the cake with a fine layer of the remaining icing and decorate with chocolate curls. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

To make the chocolate cirls, cut 2 strips of baking paper (20 cm x 10 cm). Using ⅓ of the melted chocolate brush onto one strip of the paper, repeat with remaining chocolate and paper.

Lay the chocolate-coated paper strips over a bottle or jar and allow to set in the fridge.

Once set, peel away the paper and use as required.


Photography by Petrina Tinslay, styling by David Morgan and art direction by Anne Marie Cummins.