Raspberry sponge layer cake with pistachio buttercream recipe

(32 ratings)

raspberry sponge layer cake with pistachio buttercream
(Image credit: Future PLC)
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time1 hours
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories779 Kcal39%
Fat43 g61%
Saturated Fat23 g115%
Carbohydrates87 g33%

This raspberry sponge layer cake with pistachio cream can be prepared in 30 minutes.

Make this raspberry sponge layer cake with pistachio buttercream with fresh raspberries. Make the pistachio buttercream with un-roasted pistachios. Mix the nuts together with lemon, icing sugar, and butter to make one eye-catching frosting. The earthy, nutty pistachios, tangy berries, and soft sponge make a mouth-watering combination.


  • 300g butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 300g self-raising flour, plus 2tbsp
  • 6 eggs
  • 200g raspberries

For the buttercream:

  • 200g butter
  • 350g icing sugar
  • Juice and zest ½ lemon
  • 150g pistachios un-roasted

To assemble:

  • 200g raspberry jam
  • Icing sugar to dust, optional

You will need:

  • Three 20cm (8inch) cake tins, greased and lined




  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and fold in the flour. Reserve 8 raspberries for garnish then coat the rest in flour and dust off the excess. Gently fold two-thirds of the raspberries through the cake batter and pour the mixture into your prepared tins. Push the remaining flour-coated raspberries randomly around the edge of your tins. Bake for 30mins until golden and springy to touch, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  2. Meanwhile, boil the kettle and place the pistachios in a bowl. Pour over a little hot water, don’t fully submerge just enough to coat the nuts. Leave to soak for 5mins. Drain the nuts and dry in a clean teatowel. In a food processor blitz the nuts for 5mins until they have a fine crumb texture.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice until smooth. Reserve a tablespoon or two of the pistachio crumb and fold the rest into the buttercream. You may need to mix in a tablespoon of water so that the icing is loose enough to pipe or spread.
  4. Trim your cake sponges as desired then spread with jam and pistachio buttercream. Repeat with the remaining sponges. Pipe 8 small circles on top of the cake and press the reserved raspberries on top. Sprinkle over the remaining pistachio crumb and dust with icing sugar if using. [apester id="602cfabf06fa0e440799d1d8"]

Top tips for making a raspberry sponge layer cake with pistachio cream:

  • If you pipe the buttercream it is easier to get more consistent layers

  • For a less rustic finish, you could layer the cake with raspberry jam and cover the cake with pistachio buttercream instead. Use a bench scraper or icing slice for a super smooth finish

  • Add some pistachio essence for a more intense pistachio flavour

Is sponge cake good for stacking?

The simple answer is yes. This sponge recipe has a good stable structure and can be stacked confidently. For extra support, you can insert wooden skewers and trim them so that they are not visible. This is a good tip if you need to transport the cake around.

Can I add raspberries to cake mix?

We have added fresh raspberries to our cake mix and think the results are fantastic both visually and in flavour. Fruit can sometimes sink in a cake sponge but we have dusted the raspberries in flour to try and prevent this. By folding two-thirds of the raspberries into the mix and hand pressing the final few berries into the song mix, you ensure a relatively even yet random distribution of fruit.

What do you put between sponge cake layers?

In this recipe, we have used a combination of raspberry jam and pistachio buttercream. A white chocolate ganache would be another delicious option and if you plan to make and eat the cake on the same day, you could put fresh raspberries and whipped double cream in between too. Other popular sponge cake fillings include chocolate spread and lemon curd.

Classic buttercream icing

Easy raspberry muffins

Mary Berry's lemon drizzle cake

Jessica Ransom
Senior Food Writer

Jessica is a freelance food writer, stylist and recipe tester. She previously worked as Senior Food Writer at Future. While at Future Jessica wrote food and drink-related news stories and features, curated product pages, reviewed equipment, and developed recipes that she then styled on food shoots. She is an enthusiastic, self-taught cook who adores eating out and sharing great food and drink with friends and family. She has completed the Level 1 Associate course at the Academy of Cheese and is continually building on her knowledge of beers, wines, and spirits.