RECIPE: Super Easy Almond Raspberry Cake

Sometimes you can look like a diva in the kitchen with little effort. This is one of those times. Lets face it, in between work, piano recitals, homework and gardening, you don't have time to bake amazing deliciousness from scratch-but you want to look like you did! After all, you have a reputation to uphold. This cake fits the bill.

You won't believe it's a box cake. Seriously. My mother, who is the most amazing cook you will ever meet (born and raised in Italy), gave me this recipe after she made it for her bridge group. She said she could not believe how good it was, and the ladies in her group could not get enough of it. It just made her laugh (my mother rarely makes anything from a box). She said I could share it with you all. I wish I had a better picture for you. This was a shot I took of hers. When I make it I will take a better shot. I had a piece and I was shocked at how good it was, too! It did not taste like a box cake at all! It had a great, refined look with the raspberry preserves in the middle and the light-white cake and frosting. My mother made it with two layers, but you could also cut the two layers horizontally in two, making four thinner layers, and using the preserves on each layer. A perfect easy dessert for leisurely entertaining.

Super Easy Almond Raspberry Cake

1 box Duncan Hines white cake mix
1 tsp. pure almond extract
2 9" round cake pans
1 jar raspberry preserves

1 stick butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. almond extract
1 lb. powdered sugar

Mix cake according to package directions. You may use whole eggs versus the egg whites it calls for to make the cake a little denser, if you wish. While adding the wet ingredients, add the almond extract. Prepare your cake pans and pour the batter evenly in them, and bake. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, whip butter and cream cheese together until combined and fluffy. Add the almond extract and whip some more until creamy. Add the powdered sugar gradually until light and fluffy.

Spread an even layer of raspberry preserve on the top of the bottom cake round. Add a 1/2 inch of frosting over it evenly. Place the second cake round on top. Frost the entire cake and serve. (as mentioned above, you can cut the layers in half and have 4 layers. Make sure to layer raspberry preserves and frosting in between each layer as you assemble.) Garnish with fresh raspberries.



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