Usually for Mother’s Day, my family goes out to eat and enjoys whatever dessert the restaurant offers. However, after months of not baking anything all semester, I decided to bake a cake instead. My mom requested something unique, not just the usual chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. However, both sets of grandparents would be in attendance for this Mother’s Day, so I also had their less exotic palates to account for. After some research on the internet, I found a Country Living recipe for the perfect raspberry cake — not too creative in flavor, but still different from what I normally made — and it was sure to be a hit. This pretty pink cake, with three layers full of fresh raspberries and raspberry preserves, was the perfect recipe to enjoy with my family and celebrate my mom and grandmothers. Homemade raspberry cream cheese frosting was the icing on the cake. Ingredients: For the cake — cake flour, baking powder, salt, unsalted butter, granulated sugar, fresh raspberries, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. For the icing — unsalted butter, cream cheese, fresh raspberries, vanilla, salt and powdered sugar. Before making the batter, prepare three 8-inch round cake pans. Spray the pans with cooking spray and place a parchment round in the bottom of each. An alternate option is to grease and flour the pans. This is slightly more complicated, and I found the parchment paper and cooking spray sufficient in keeping the cakes from sticking. To begin making the cake, first whisk together three cups of cake flour, one tablespoon of baking powder and half of a teaspoon salt in a medium sized bowl. Next, using a large bowl fitted in a stand mixer or with a hand-held mixer beat one cup — two sticks — of unsalted butter with two cups of granulated sugar. Beat for one to two minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. After beating the butter and sugar, add about one cup of fresh raspberries into the mixture. Next add four eggs, one at a time, into the mixture. Make sure to blend well after adding each egg. The mixture will then have a slightly curdled appearance but don’t fear! This is normal. Next, mix in two teaspoons of vanilla until well-blended. Now, with the mixer speed reduced to low, alternate adding the flour mixture with 3/4 of a cup of buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix only until the flour is completely combined. An optional ingredient is to add pink food coloring to the mix until desired color is reached. However, I found the cake color was not really impacted and adding too much could negatively influence the flavor. Bake the three cakes for 23-25 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean. Let rest for 10 minutes in the pan before allowing the cakes to continue cooling on a wire rack. While waiting for the cake rounds to cool, you can begin to make the frosting. For the frosting, beat one stick of unsalted butter with four ounces of cream cheese for a minute or two. It should be light and fluffy. Add in one cup of raspberries and beat until the raspberries have been completely incorporated. Then, add one teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Next, add three cups of powdered sugar slowly, beating after each addition. I found that I needed to add more than three cups in order to make the icing thick enough to spread on the cakes. Use your best judgement, and add the proper amount that allows the icing to maintain shape when spread. You don’t want it to be too runny and slide off the cake. After cooling completely, place one cake round on a serving plate and spread a layer of raspberry preserves on top. Next scatter fresh raspberries on top of the preserves. Cover with a second cake round and repeat the spreading of raspberries preserves and fresh raspberries. Finally add the third cake round on top. Make sure to apply slight pressure when placing each cake round in order to eliminate any excess space between the layers. Once the cake layers have been put together with the fresh raspberries and preserves, it’s time to frost the cake. Use the raspberry frosting and completely cover the cake. There is plenty of icing so be generous. Once the cake has been covered with the frosting, decorate with any remaining raspberries on the top and sides of the cake. Now enjoy! This cake is not too difficult to make, and it makes the perfect dessert to share after a delicious summer meal. This recipe serves about 10 people, so if you don’t finish the entire cake the first time serving, I would recommend placing it in the refrigerator so the icing doesn’t melt. Enjoy!