Vintage Cakes: The Pink Cake


The Pink Cake |  From My Sweet Heart

May I just start off by telling you how much I LOVE pink desserts?!  So when Paloma of The Coffee Shop, and leader of The Cake Slice bakers told us that The Pink Cake was up next, I was delighted. It most definitely is….a very pink perfection!  The book we are baking from is Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson.  And this particular cake is an original of hers and one that is featured at her bakery, Baker & Spice.  Pink to me is such a shabby chic vintage color.  And so this recipe fits really well into this lovely book of retro cakes.

This is a rich, moist but light chocolate cake surrounded by a silky Swiss buttercream.  How does the buttercream get it’s beautiful pink color?

Raspberries!  Raspberry juice is added to the buttercream at the end to give it a light sweet flavor and a pretty pink blush.  I first thought to add some whole, fresh raspberries to decorate the cake, but I didn’t want to detract from the simplicity of this lovely pink frosting.


The Pink Cake | From My Sweet Heart


There is a deep chocolate flavor to this cake, I think due to the blend of both chocolate and cocoa.  And it’s one that I will certainly go to time and again, even if I plan on using other frostings.  It’s that good!  And it may seem that there is a little extra work involved here, but it is well worth it.  Don’t let the buttercream intimidate you.  Just the way you might melt chocolate over a pan of simmering water; well you are just whisking egg whites and sugar in the same manner.


So let’s get baking. . . . .


Yields:  12 servings

Level of Difficulty:  intermediate



  • 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 of a cup of unsweetened, Dutch processed cocoa
  • 3/4 of a cup of boiling water
  • 3/4 of a cup of sour cream (full fat)
  • 1 Tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 3/4 of a teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 ounces of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil
  • 3 egg yolks at room temperature
  • 3 eggs at room temperature


Be sure your oven rack is in the center position and preheat your oven to 350°F.  Spray 3, 8 x 2 inch round cake pans with baking spray.  Line the bottoms with parchment paper circles and then spray the parchment.

Place the chopped chocolate and cocoa in a bowl and pour the boiling water over the top.  Allow it to just sit for a minute or so and then whisk it together to make sure the chocolate is melted and all is combined.  Then whisk in both the sour cream and the vanilla and set the bowl aside.

Next, we’ll prepare the dry ingredients.  Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Then whisk the ingredients together to make sure they are all combined.  And set the bowl aside.

So now, fit the paddle attachment onto your mixer.  With the mixer on medium high speed, cream the butter and both sugars until they are light in texture, about 3-4 minutes.  Be sure to stop the mixer from time to time to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Turn your mixer down to a low speed and add the canola oil.  Then increase the speed to medium high and beat again until the mixture is fluffy; about another 3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs and the egg yolks one at a time, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next.  You’re almost done….just add the flour in 3 additions and the chocolate in 2, beginning and ending with the flour.  Do this with the mixer on low and don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl!  Stop the mixer right after that last of the flour has been added.  Be sure not to overbeat the batter, or your cake won’t be as tender as it could. 

Now divide the batter evenly between the 3 pans.  I usually do this by measuring a half a cup at a time into each pan and repeat this evenly until all the batter is accounted for.  Smooth the tops with an offset spatula and tap each pan on the counter a couple of times to be sure there are no air bubbles trapped before you bake them.  Bake them for about 22-24 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.   Cool the cakes on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.  Flip the cakes out of the pan but leave the parchment on until you are ready to frost.  I actually made these the night before I frosted them.  I wrapped them tightly in plastic wrap and left them on the counter.

I know this seems like a long process, which is why I put this together over two days.  But hang in there and envision a beautiful slice of chocolate cake when you are done!


The Pink Cake | From My Sweet Heart



  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 of a teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • 4 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 cups (10 ounces ) of raspberries, fresh or frozen

I started by getting my raspberry puree ready.  I also chose to use frozen raspberries which I thawed, because I felt like they would be easier to mash for the juice.  I simply put the raspberries into a bowl and used my potato masher to smash them down.  I put them into a strainer set over a bowl and continue to press them with a spoon until I felt I extracted all the juice I could and then set the bowl aside.  This will be the last thing you add to the buttercream.

You will be heating egg whites in a bowl over simmering water.  But the whole process will be easier if you can use the bowl of your mixer.  Start by whisking the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar by hand in your mixing bowl.  Set this over a pan of simmering water and continue to whisk gently until the mixture is not so thick and gloppy and it becomes more liquid.  You want also to feel that the sugar has dissolved and the mixture should come to register 130°F on a candy thermometer.

Now move the bowl back to your mixer and using the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites while on medium high speed until they have tripled in volume and hold stiff peaks like a meringue.  Look for a thick and glossy appearance as well.  You also want to cool down the contents before you begin to add the butter.  So once the egg whites are at your desired stage, turn the mixer down to low and continue to beat for another few minutes until the bowl is cool to the touch.   Kick the mixer back up to medium high and begin to add the butter one piece at a time.  Be sure the butter is combined before adding another.  At one point the mixture may look a bit curdled.  This is okay.  Just keep beating.  Once all of the butter is in, add a pinch of salt, the vanilla and the raspberry juice.  You will need to scrape down the bowl at this point, because the butter content may resist some of the juice of the raspberries.  Just continue to beat until it is completely blended.  If you are not going to frost the cake right away, chill the buttercream, covered, in your fridge.  You will have to beat it a little more before using it then.

Get ready to assemble, and then get ready to taste!


The Pink Cake | From My Sweet Heart


Place the first layer on your cake plate or stand.  I always place the bottom side up so there is a flatter surface to frost.  Place 3/4 of a cup of buttercream in the center and spread evenly out to the sides of the cake.  Place the second layer on top, again, another 3/4 of a cup of the buttercream, spreading evenly out to the sides.  Then place the final layer on top.  Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the top and on the sides of the cake.  This is the crumb coat, so keep it thin and don’t worry about it looking nice.  Refrigerate the cake for about 10-15 minutes for the crumb coat to set.  And then add the remaining frosting on the top and sides, decorating as you wish.

So I have some nice thrifty finds here as well.  There are two thrift stores in my neighborhood and each are good for certain things.  One has a nice book section and some small tables and linens.  The other is where I find my plates and baking things.  For some reason, each time I’ve hit that store recently, I’ve found a fabulous cake stand.  Here is the one I used for this cake.  It almost looks like someone made it by attaching the stand to a cake plate.  But I just loved it and it was only $4.79!


Vintage Cake Stand | From My Sweet Heart

And of course, we need some plates!  These I found at the same store where I found the cake stand (on different days over time!) and I just love them.  These medium dessert size plates go for $1.25 each.  I love mixing and matching plates on a table setting for a vintage, eclectic look.


Eclectic Plates | From My Sweet Heart


I get the clean plate award and another chance to show you a pretty fork I found for 25 cents and I loved these plates so much I bought the entire set of 4 that they had!


The Pink Cake | From My Sweet Heart


Again, I am comfortable sharing this recipe because it was already made public with the permission of the publisher on Epicurious.  The recipe can also be found there.

For more Vintage Cakes, please check out my Red Velvet Cake, Butterscotch Cream Roll Up Cake, Black and White Cake, Maple Pecan Chiffon Cake with Brown Butter Frosting, Boston Cream Pie-lets, Lemon Almond Streamliner Cake, Banana Cake with Coffee Walnut Buttercream, Honeybee Cake, and Shoo Fly Cake.


And visit the Cake Slice to see my fellow bakers looking pretty in pink!


  1. says

    Gorgeous pink colour love it Anne! I love the pink and brown combination so I adore this cake. It also looks very moist, chocolatey and delicious. Love the cake plate and the little dessert plates … all so pretty!
    Have a great week Anne!


    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks so much Nazneen. And I love your beautiful quinoa salads. They look so fresh and inviting and perfect for spring! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Uru! And your gluten free chocolate chip peanut butter cookie after a great yoga session would be the perfect thing for mind and body! : )

  2. says

    This is so pretty Anne and I’m adding it to the list of cakes to try. I love the contrast between the pink frosting and the chocolate cake, beautiful. Your presentation evokes a very easy laid back feeling and your thrift finds are outrageous! Maybe this is another baking group I should be a part of?

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Sandra! And I loved reading about your (literally) sweet mother’s day package! How lovely of your daughter so send those! And yes….you, the cake baking queen, would most definitely fit right into this group! : )

  3. says

    Anne, this is by far my most favorite post of yours. I love pink, I love cake, I love chocolate, and I love those vintage finds. I could (seriously) go out into my kitchen and start baking this cake right now! But then again, this post makes me want to go treasure hunting too! Beautiful photos :) Thanks for the mention and have a great week!

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Oh thanks Eileen! I’m glad we share a love of all things vintage. But while I have a few thrifty finds…I don’t have a Pink Paradise. Your retro camper is just amazing! : )

  4. says

    I LOVE pink too!! This cake is dazzling. I wish I could make such a beautiful cake for my daughter’s birthday… she is a pink-aholic. :)

    I am so glad you had a wonderful Sunday doing this cake… this is something you should be very proud of and pat yourself on the back. :)

    Now onto those fantastic finds at the thrift store. We have a Goodwill near our house and it never has anything this good and sometimes their prices are higher than the prices I get at TJMaxx and Homegoods. Isn’t that crazy. :) You did a great job bargain hunting. :)

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Ramona! I love thrift store shopping, but it can really be hit or miss some days. I’m just on a lucky streak! And I’d consider myself lucky, too, if I could be eating one of your coconut s’mores! They look fabulous! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Anna….and oh how I would love to thrift store and prop shop with you! And when we were done, we could celebrate our finds with a couple of glasses of your beautiful strawberry agua fresca! : )

  5. says

    WOW Anne! You’re going to make the people from the “Vintage Cakes” book wish they could use YOUR pictures! man! You’re an artist! I love how VINTAGE it really looks, the design on the sides, how tall it is, it’s all perfection! And your plates go great with each slice! Great job like always! Thanks for the mention as well!

    • Anne Boeckl says

      LOL…thanks Paloma. I really love this book and I’m so happy to be a part of this group. Your cake looks just as pretty, I think we were on the same wavelength when we made them! Thanks for all you do for our group! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Coffee’s on Jeanne….I would love to share this with you! I so enjoyed your Cathedral of Junk post. If I ever get to Austin….I would definitely visit! How fun!
      : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Stacie, and I equally enjoyed your pinkless cake…..that looked incredibly good! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Laura! And I loved that you didn’t ice the sides of your cake. Such a pretty contrast in color! And those little pearls….so elegant! : )

  6. says

    Your cakes always look so beautiful, and this one is definitely no exception. When you said pink is a shabby chic vintage color that is exactly what was going through my head as I was looking at your presentation. Amazing job :)

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Becca….and so sorry life got too busy for you to bake with us this month….but looking forward to the next cake! : )

  7. Grace-Life can be simple says

    As always, your cake look so delish and delectable!! I adore your pretty plates too btw! 😉 To more bakes together :)

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Grace…your cake is just beautiful. I would love for you to teach me the technique of the rosettes….now that is a classic vintage look! And to many many more bakes together! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Holly….and I love your cupcakes….I need to take some piping lessons from you! : )

  8. says

    Your finish is beautiful! And I love the vintage finds too – I agree that an eclectic table with mismatching china is always so tempting.

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Lou….and your cake turned out beautifully as well! I love your ideas about changing up the berries to change the color of the icing! I’m thinking blackberries! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Nami! And your tamaki sushi hand rolls are beautiful….your photography is really so inviting! : )

  9. says

    Anne, I love traditional, old-fashioned cake so this vintage Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Buttercream goes into my favorite column. At first glance, I thought the frosting was colored until I read further that the raspberries create that lovely pink hue. Enjoy a slice for me, OK?

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Joan….and I’ve already enjoyed more than a slice for you! ;- } And your tiara cookies… pretty…..that icing so perfect. What a great birthday treat for your grand niece!

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Paula….and your savory brioche pockets were a work of art, really. Very tempting indeed! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Angela! And what a great job you did on the meal for 4 but under 10 dollars challenge! That was pretty awesome! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Oh thanks John! And I’m channeling my inner caveman to try some of your AMAZING oven slow cooked BBQ spare ribs….now THAT is good stuff! : )

  10. says

    Pink is my favorite color! (I even have pink glasses!) Could you use strawberry juice instead of raspberry! And with the chocolate!!! Mamma mia! Delish!

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Tiff! Yes, any berry would do. (I was tempted to do blackberries….for a purple cake, but then it wouldn’t be The Pink Cake!). Love your chocolate chip oatmeal cookies….and yay for no raisins! And I would totally love to see you in your pink glasses! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks so much. And despite your funky kitchen karma….you cake turned out quite stunning! : )

  11. says

    Oh my gosh not only did your cake turn out gorgeous but your thrifty finds are perfect! I LOVE it all :) *waves hello* from a new Cake Slicer, Hazel x

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Hi Hazel! Your lemon and blueberry cupcakes are just beautiful, as is your entire blog! So happy you are a Cake Slicer! And I look forward to baking with you! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Denise and I could just slurp down one of your Pina Colada Cheesecake smoothies…they look delicious! : )

  12. says

    I find it very amusing that you like “pink” desserts. :) I mean – how many pink desserts are there? Not something I’ve thought about and too daunting of a question this early in the morning; however, the chocolate cake and hiding chocolate in my mouth is a no brainer for any time of the day. Your frosting is quite lovely and I was surprised to see that the pick color came from raspberry juice rather than food coloring. That just makes it all the better, but I have to admit that the best part is putting it on top of that moist chocolate cake! Gorgeous and deliciously irresistible!

    • Anne Boeckl says

      LOL….MJ! There are plenty of pink desserts! I swear you are going to be challenging me to make a dessert out of your many beautiful chiles! I love your latest recipe for pinto beans and your beautiful and inviting photos! : )

  13. says

    beautifully frosted! I loved the chocolate intensity of this cake–delicious. I’m glad you served yours with fresh raspberries, too–so scrumptious.

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Ariana….and I love yours as well…..I love your pretty chocolate shavings on top…perfect contrast to the pink! : )

  14. says

    Beautiful cake, pinning this to remember to try the raspberry frosting. What a nice change from using food coloring. What a pretty cake!

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Holly! And I’m going to have to get my cookie press out again to whip up a batch of your pretty spritz flower cookies! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks so much Rakhee….and your chocolate walnut espresso cupcakes look unbelievable! : )

  15. says

    Great minds think alike! Tee hee. My raspberry buttercream frosted cake is about ready to foxtrot out the door to dance class. (But your icing is a bit different and maybe more delicious so I’m saving it.)

    There is something so soothing about pink. And it doesn’t hurt when the From My Sweetheart baker Anne has skill in the decorating department =)

    Congratulations on the lovely finds at the store, too!

    Again, many thanks for the buttercream recipe and the accompanying encouraging words.

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Kim…did you make a raspberry buttercream cake, too? I didn’t see it on your blog. You are still just enticing me with those pretty almond cookies and orange chocolate bon bons! Thanks so much for your lovely comments and I hope you will be baking the next cake with us! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Claire! And I just love your Pasta alla Caprese! What a perfect recipe for our fresh summer basil! : )

  16. says

    Enjoyed reading your post and love your thrift finds! Love your PinK CakE!
    I did not have success with the raspberry butter cream but love its taste. I am eating a lemon doughnut cake with a big dollop of it as I type this!

  17. says

    I had to smile when I read about your bargain fork. It is lovely – and doesn’t food blogging colour those thrift shop/car boot sale/junk shop browses. One little item might just be THE THING for your next food photo. Your flower plates are beautiful and perfect for this pink chocolate cake. I love the quote too, Anne. It’s been way too long. Glad I stopped by :)

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Anna…yes, absolutely! Just puree the strawberries in the same fashion. I bet blackberries would be fabulous, too! : )

  18. says

    Anne, What a beautiful cake!! LOVE it, and also love your awesome thrift finds! I’m addicted to cake stands. I had to force myself to stop looking and buying them :) I wouldn’t be able to pass up the one you found that’s for sure! I also check out the consignment and thrift stores near my work. Lots of fun and great deals!

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