This Borscht Belt Pink Slipper Cake is the perfect retro Pink Party Cake! A tender and soft almond cake has an sublime filling of White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake. The cake has a brightly flavored Raspberry Buttercream, packed with intense and natural raspberry flavor!
If you’ve ever looked at retro or vintage cakes, you’ll see a a whole lot of pink party cakes.
What are pink party cakes? Like the trending unicorn tie dye bagels, retro pink party cakes had no distinct flavor. These cakes where known more the color of the frosting. There is no actual answer behind the pink party cake, but I can only do some assumptions.
Look into mid-century cookbooks, pamphlets, or advertisements. You’ll find a pink party cake alongside classic flavors like vanilla or chocolate. How many people actually made pink party cakes is hard to discern, but these cakes were pushed onto consumers by publishers and food companies. The peak of these pink party cakes were in the 50s. Though pink is a discernibly feminine color, pink was also a popular color in interior design. Essentially, kitchen colors translated into color coordinating foods that matched the new wave of pastel pinks, yellows, blues, and greens.
Why am I calling it a Borscht Belt cake? The pink party cake was alive in the era of the Borscht Belt vacation. During the 20th century, several resorts of the Hudson Valley’s Sullivan, Catskill, and Ulster counties housed summertime getaways of urbanites. These summer resorts, hotels, and bungalow colonies catered to New York City, Queens, and Brooklyn Jews who wanted to vacation but also wanted to avoided antisemitism. The Traditionalist Generation (think pre-baby boomers) of people dressed up to listen to bands, drink cocktails, and dance—these Hudson Valley hotels catered to that sort of entertainment.
This cake is a spin off of the resort The Granite’s Raspberry Pink Slipper Cocktail. Their Pink Slipper cocktail had little to do with the modern-day pink slipper drink. This retro cocktail played with flavors of raspberry, almond, and white chocolate. So I injected the visually pretty pink party cake with actual flavors!
I am not an active fan of cakes using beaten egg whites. Beaten egg whites folded into batters came sometimes have a dry texture and crumb. However, the Borscht Belt Pink Slipper’s cake layers are surprisingly moist. The almond flavor in this Borscht Belt Pink Slipper Cake is present but not overpowering, the almond extract gives it something special but un-discernible.
The cheesecake filling is a no bake version that is easily edible on its own, but it tastes astronomically amazing with this cake. Finally, freeze dried raspberries inject a traditional buttercream with real raspberry flavor. The freeze dried raspberries add fruity raspberry flavor, without any added sugar from a jam or any wetness from a puree.
As airfare became more affordable, the Borscht Belt became less and less attractive. Middle class American families could afford to hop on a plane. By the late 1970s and into the 1980s, the summertime resorts and hotels dissipated. In order to sever their loses, some hotel owners burned down their places to collect the insurance.
Nowadays there is a revival of the urbanite country resorts. Ukrainian and Russians from New York five boroughs have taken up many of the bungalow colonies and are reviving that old time mid-20th century vacation.
So fuse the past with the present and have a party with this Borscht Belt Pink Slipper Cake!
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- For the Delicate Almond Cake:
- 2 ¾ cups cake flour, sifted before measuring
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 4 egg whites
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (12 tablespoons, 6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- For the Raspberry Cheesecake Filling:
- 1 pint fresh raspberries
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 6 ounces white chocolate chips
- 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoons fine salt
- ½ to ¾ cup powdered sugar
- red or pink food gel
- For the Raspberry Buttercream:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup finely ground and strained freeze dried raspberries
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- preheat oven to 350 degrees F. grease 2 8-inch cake pans with baking spray, set aside.
- Sift cake flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until medium peaks form. Transfer egg whites into a separate bowl.
- Fit the stand mixer with a paddle attachment and cream sugar and butter until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes of medium-high speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl down.
- With the mixer on low, alternately add the dry mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Add the vanilla and almond. Use a rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
- Divide batter between prepared cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted crumbs out mostly clean with a few moist, not wet, crumbs.
- Put raspberries in saucepan with lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cooking for 2 minutes. Strain mixture to remove seeds. Cool completely.
- Melt white chocolate and set aside to cool.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese with vanilla and salt until smooth and lump free, about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar (start with ½ cup at first), beating until combined. Slowly add cooled melted white chocolate followed by cooled raspberry sauce. If mixture looks too soup add another ¼ cup of powdered sugar. This mixture will look VERY soft, this is fine. Transfer raspberry cheesecake into an airtight container and refrigerate until formed up about 2 hours minimum.
- Beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and aerated, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl down. With mixer on low, gradually raspberry powder, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and heavy cream. Beat on low to combine, once mixed together raise speed back to medium-high, beating for 2 minutes.
- Apple a thin layer of frosting onto a plate of cake board, securing the first Delicate Almond Cake layer. Pipe Raspberry Buttercream along the perimeter of the cake, filling the center with a 2-inch mound of Raspberry Cheesecake Filling. Top with the final cake layer. Chill cake in freezer for 15 minutes. Apply a crumb coat of the Raspberry Buttercream. Chill for 10 minutes. Apply a thicker layer of Raspberry Buttercream. Decorate as desired.