Two Lovers in Search of Good Cake

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is here again!  We heard on NPR this morning that the average American spends a ridiculous amount of cash on Valentine’s Day gifts, something like $150.  Really?  Instead of making it a consumer holiday, why not show your love by cooking dinner together, complete with a fancy dessert?

Another article I read (for expectant parents)  said that the way to make a relationship last is to do little favors for your partner, be it housework, cooking, or even bringing them a cup of tea.  So, show your love and bake them a cake! (Dessert has worked pretty well so far on Marty. Check out our other desserts under the recipes section, for more options.)

This recipe is perfect if you’re looking for something red, white and delicious.  The recipe is from Marty’s mom and has been a favorite of mine through many a family event.  We recently made a gigantic version of it for an event we catered, pictured above.

I am providing a white cake recipe here from the Joy of Cooking, although Marty’s mom usually uses a white cake mix.  Though I don’t usually recommend mixes, in this case it’s probably fine, because the deliciousness of this cake is mostly in the topping.

Raspberry Valentine Cake

White Cake:

  • 2 sticks butter (room temperature)
  • 1 2/3 c sugar

Beat butter on high speed in a mixer until light and fluffy.  Then add sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine:

  • 3 ½ c sifted cake flour
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt

In yet another bowl, combine:

  • 1 c milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp almond extract (optional)

Alternate adding flour mixture and milk mixture to butter in mixer bowl. Beat on low speed.

In another bowl, combine:

  • 8 egg whites
  • 3/8 tsp cream of tartar

Beat until soft peaks form, then add

  • 1/3 c sugar

Beat until the peaks are stiff, then stir into batter with a spatula.

Bake at 375. Joy of Cooking recommends baking this in three, 8-inch round pans.  Two rectangular or square pans would probably also work.  In the photo above, we doubled the recipe and did just two layers in very large rectangular pans.  Line your pans with wax or parchment paper, and  grease with some butter on top of that.  This helps the cake bake flat, rather than higher in the middle than on the edges.

You can also use a white cake mix, or 2 mixes for a larger, multilayer cake.  Be sure to prepare it using the instructions with egg whites only so that the cake comes out very white.  The real secret to this cake is in the topping, not the cake.


  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 6 oz package of cream cheese

Whip until fluffy.

  • 1 ½ cups whipped cream.

Whip in a separate bowl, then fold into cream cheese mixture.  Frost cake.

Raspberry topping:

  • 2 ten-ounce packages frozen raspberries (or 2 ½ cups fresh)
  • 1 package Danish Raspberry Dessert (We used Junket brand.)

Mix Danish dessert using 1 ¾ cups liquid, using juice from frozen raspberries as part of the liquid.  Add raspberries, let cool.  Spread over cream cheese frosting on top of cake.  Chill and serve.


4 thoughts on “Two Lovers in Search of Good Cake

  1. That’s a ridiculous amount of money… if I ever saw a brit do that, I’d slap them… It’s a day for love, not for spending and mass marketing… this is why the day annoys me. I much prefer the cooking idea – this cake looks perfect for the occasion.

  2. My husband and I are also not spending money on Valentine’s Day gifts for each other. We will be spending it together, at home, eating.

    This cake looks spectacular! Thanks for sharing.

  3. love at first sight, me and that cake!

    on a similar note: I made “lazy” mostly raw truffles for valentine’s day this year by throwing some cashews in a food processor and adding raw cacao, raw honey, coconut oil, and sea salt and then using the mixture to cover little chilled peanut butter balls. amazing. and a rather thrilling burst of energy.

  4. That cake looks spectacular! I totally agree that people spend too much money…Valentines day is about showing the people you love that you care…and what better way than through food. My boyfriend and I make dinner together every year…beats getting flowers or chocolate.

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