I sort of have a thing for layer cakes. They just make me swoon with their layers stacked tall with hidden fillings and swirls of buttercream decorations. I firmly believe that every birthday and celebration can only benefit from layered cake, whether it be a perfectly frosted stunner or rustic naked cake. Even though my kitchen looks like a disaster zone by the time I’m finished icing the cake, I love the process of baking the layers, making the frosting, and finishing the cake with its final layer of frosting. There’s just something so satisfying about it all. Basically, I love any excuse to make a layer cake.
If you have never visited Tessa’s blog, Style Sweet CA, then you are in for a cake-loving treat. She is an incredible professional baker turned blogger and cookbook writer. I first saw her work on The Cake Blog and have been following her closely since. Tessa’s new book, Layered, is exactly the kind of book I think every baker, of any skill level, needs on their shelf. It’s the sort of book to reach for on any celebratory occasion and is packed with loads of info on how to bake, stack, frost, and fill cakes. Bonus, it’s gorgeous with pages filled with step-by-step photos on frosting techniques (like the deceptively easy one you see here), as well as page-after-page of unique cake ideas that are meant to be mixed and matched. The instructions are to the point yet informative and there are even sections on troubleshooting trickier elements–like the Swiss meringue buttercream, which can be finicky at times but ultimately produces the most luxurious, silky, and spreadable frosting imaginable. There are so many cakes to choose from casual to ambitious and everything in between. When I was deciding which cake to bake, which was a serious feat, everything seriously looks amazing (hello, London Fog Cake and Banoffee Tiramisu Cake!) I just went for it and chose this Riesling Cake Rhubarb Crisp Cake. With it’s tender, Riesling spiked layers, silky and tart rhubarb buttercream filling, and crumbly bits of oat crisp, it’s a stunner of a cake both to look at and indulge in.
Be sure to visit Tessa’s blog, Style Sweet CA, for even more gorgeous cakes and techniques. Her work constantly amazes and inspires me.
- for the riesling cake:
- butter or nonstick cooking spray for the pans
- 3¼ cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 6 large egg whites
- 1½ cups sweet riesling
- for the rhubarb strawberry compote:
- 8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 4 ounces fresh rhubarb cut into ¼ inch pieces
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- for the oat crumble:
- ½ cup quick cooking rolled oats
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- for the rhubarb buttercream:
- 2 medium recipes Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream (below)
- ½ cup rhubarb strawberry compote
- for the vanilla swiss meringue buttercream (one medium recipe*):
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons large egg whites
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- pink gel food coloring
- Make the riesling cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease 3, 8-inch round, cake pans and line with parchment circles.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and mix on medium-high until the butter is light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
- Turn the mixer to medium and gradually add the vanilla and egg whites until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
- Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the riesling, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix on medium speed for no longer than 30 seconds after the last streaks of the dry ingredients are combined.
- Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let them cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.
- Make the rhubarb strawberry compote:
- Combine the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and cook them over medium-high heat, stirring intermittently with a wooden spoon, until the juices start to bubble. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fruit starts to break down. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.
- Make the oat crumble:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, brown sugar, flour, butter, honey, cinnamon, and salt with a wooden spoon until combined. The mixture should resemble clumps of sand. Sprinkle it over the lined baking sheet and bake, stirring halfway through, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let it cool and crumble the mixture into smaller pieces.
- Make the rhubarb buttercream:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix 2 cups of the buttercream (instructions below) until silky and smooth. Add ½ cup of the cooled rhubarb compote and mix until combined.
- Make the vanilla swiss meringue buttercream:
- Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk them together by hand to combine. Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place it over medium-high heat. Place the mixer bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double boiler. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water.
- Whisking intermittently, heat the egg mixture until it registers 160°F on a candy thermometer or is hot to the touch. Once hot, carefully fit the mixer bowl to the stand mixer.
- With the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes, until it holds medium-stiff peaks. When done the outside of the bowl should return to room temperature and no residual heat should be escaping the meringue out of the top of the bowl. Stop the mixer and swap out the whisk attachment for the paddle.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, then the vanilla. Once incorporated, turn up the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the buttercream is silky and smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.
- To assemble the cake:
- Once the cakes have completely cooled, level them and choose which layer will be the bottom. Place it on a cake plate or serving dish. Spread on half of the rhubarb buttercream with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with ½ to ¾ cup of the oat crumble. Top with the next layer of the cake and repeat with the buttercream and remaining crumble, finishing with the final layer.
- Add gel food coloring, if using, to the remaining buttercream. Use it to frost the top and sides of the cake (however you would like). Top with fresh strawberries (if you want) and serve with the remaining compote.
I left some larger clumps of crumble in the cake which made it really difficult to cut cleanly, next time I would make sure the crumble is in much smaller pieces.
Yum! This looks beautiful and sounds so delicious!
Laura (A Beautiful Plate)
So, so gorgeous!! You did an amazing job Cindy! I’m making this cake once I find some rhubarb again 🙂
So with you. Tessa has a phenomenal blog!! Looks like you nailed this cake though girl! And the flavour?! Perfection.
sue | theviewfromgreatisland
So many fabulous rhubarb recipes, and so little time…pinned!
Michelle @ Hummingbird High
this is gorgeous!!! xoxo
So many heart eyes for this cake!! I need to step up my layer cake game because I sure do love them. I still remember the delicious layer cake you made for the lady lunch at Megan’s (which was surprisingly 3 years ago now!). I love how you frosted it and the pretty pink color. I am on the hunt for rhubarb and hope to find it soon!
Amber | Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Wow, this looks and sounds amazing!!!
It’s so pretty Cindy! I can imagine it tastes amazing too 🙂
Thalia @ butter and brioche
SO beautiful! This rhubarb resiling cake has been on my list of cakes from Layered that I have been meaning to try. Lovely Xx
I so enjoyed watching this come together on snapchat!
Molly @ Yes to Yolks
This cake is GORGEOUS, Cindy! I love the fluffy pink pillows of frosting. I can’t wait to get my hands on this book. I need some serious help in the cake decorating area! XOXO
GORGEOUS!!! That color, the perfect layers, and that scalloped frosting! I love it all. I need this book!!
That is an absolutely gorgeous cake! Yum!
This cake looks fabulous and so so pretty!!!! I love that it came from Tessa’s new book, which I really want to get a copy of asap! Love it!
Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land
NAILED IT! Oh this is so beautiful and this cake sounds so delicious!!
Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough
Watching this cake come together on Snapchat was such a tease, so I’m so glad the recipe is up here for me to try ASAP! It’s beyond gorgeous.
Tessa - Style Sweet CA
OMG! It turned out soooo pretty!! Probably one of the very best petal/scalloped buttercreams I’ve ever. Thank you so much!!! xoxox
Hannah Hossack-Lodge (Domestic Gothess)
This is stunning! Your frosting skills are on point 🙂 It sounds really delicious as well, I’ve seen so many gorgeous cakes from Tessa’s book that I’m going to have to add it to my collection.
Wow, this looks so beautiful!!!! Your pedaling skills with frosting are amazing. I’m too impatient to sit through that, but this is compelling me to give it a try on my next cake!
Lynn | The Road to Honey
I absolutely adore that pale pink and white color combination. It is so soft and ladylike. And I bet the resiling and rhubarb flavor combination is to die for.
I could stare at this beauty all day. Those petals couldn’t be more perfect, Cindy!!
Sarah @ SnixyKitchen
When the finished product turns out looking like a magazine cover (I’m not exaggerating here), I’d say making layer cakes is well worth the extra mess! I’m obsessed with these flavors and the gorgeous recreation you’ve made here!
Joleen @ Joleen Cuisine
Your frosting skills are seriously goals. Amazing job on the cake!! 🙂
Mary-Clay | The Open Oven
gorgeous, gorgeous cake! the piping on the outside is beautiful, and what’s on the inside is so intriguing. in love!
trying to make the cake now. But it seems to be missing “where” you add the first 6 egg whites/vanilla. any help?
sorry about that! You add it after the butter and before the flour. I have corrected the recipe. Thanks for catching that and again, apologies for the misstep.
Oh my LORD this is BEAUTIFUL. And a riesling CAKE? ALL THE HEART EYES!!!
Lady, this is such a great recipe. I just made it for Father’s Day — I bookmarked the recipe months ago, waiting for a special occasion when I could use garden rhubarb and CSA strawberries. My mantra in the kitchen is generally “simple and swift,” so the recipe intimated me. Once I got into it, though, it was clear how well you’d written the steps and how even their timing was just great, even for a middlin’ baker like me. And it tasted — divine. Earthly divine. The wine was just right, lending an almost almandine flavor. This is a new family tradition!
Awesome! I am so happy! It’s from the cookbook Layered, which I highly recommend for layer cake ideas. Thank you so much for coming back to comment, Kate. I appreciate it. Cheers!