* The raspberry filling can be purchased online at www.globalsugarart.com; search for raspberry filling.
** Order the flowers at www.fancyflours.com and search on royal icing sugar decorations.
Plan ahead and read through the entire recipe and these tips before starting. This cake can be prepared in a day, or the preparation can be planned over a few days or weeks.
Allow 7 hours to bake and cool the cake layers. The frosting can be made as the cake layers bake. After making the frosting, tightly cover with plastic wrap. This cake can be baked, assembled and decorated the day of or the day before it is to be served. Store in a cool place.
Cake layers can be baked up to 3 weeks in advance. Cool layers completely, wrap in foil and freeze. Before stacking layers in the freezer, be sure to freeze layers at least 12 hours before placing another layer on top. To use frozen cake layers, unwrap and let thaw about 2 to 3 hours before frosting and decorating.
Frosting can be made up to 2 days ahead. Store covered in refrigerator. To use, let stand about 1 hour to bring to room temperature; stir until smooth.
Do not use cooking spray on pans.
When making frosting, using 1 tablespoon meringue powder per 1 cup shortening is the solution to make the frosting stiff enough to spread. (Adding more powdered sugar and no meringue powder will not make the frosting stiffer.) Meringue powder is available in the bakery aisle of the supermarket.
To cut 1/4-inch dowels, use a large serrated knife.
To remove spatula marks from the frosting, try this technique: After frosting a tier, lightly place a food-safe paper towel over frosting, and press gently with a spatula or wide-bladed knife, in a spreading motion. Remove the paper towel.