A sponge cake gets filled with a sweet tart raspberry mousse filling in this showstopping raspberry charlotte.
raspberry charlotte

Sure, it’s officially the season of bounty and local eating and CSAs and farmer’s markets and eating the rainbow and all that good stuff.

But it’s also kind of stressful, no?

Like, what if I blink and berry season is over? What if I don’t eat ENOUGH heirloom tomatoes to get me through next year’s never-ending winter? What if I spend all summer searching for THE PERFECT PEACH…and I never find it?!


These are the things that keep me up at night. And stuck in the produce aisle, PARALYZED WITH FEAR.

Because it’s never enough, is it?

That’s rhetorical. It is actually never enough.


Before we left for Italy I made it my LIFE GOAL to consume as many berries as possible. Sure, that meant stocking my fridge with multiple pints of berries three days before we left.

Sure, my husband thought I was crazy.

SURE that meant a hell of a lot of berry-induced stress consumption.

But it also brought this raspberry charlotte into my life. And for that I shall be eternally grateful.


So what is a “charlotte”, you ask? Well, apparently it can be a lot of things to a lot of people, but in this case it’s a cake made with a sponge cake base and border that is filled with the most delicious raspberry mousse I’ve ever had. And a raspberry jam swirl. Just because.

As a PSA, I feel compelled to tell you that making this is NOT for the faint of heart. It will take time and patience and determination. It’s not really hard, per se, but it will take up your afternoon and you will probably find raspberry juice in your hair (and maybe on your ceiling?) at some point.


Worth it. Very much so.

Raspberry Charlotte
A sponge cake gets filled with a sweet tart raspberry mousse filling in this showstopping raspberry charlotte.
Yield: 1 cake
For the filling
  • 1½ tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 lb raspberries
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1¾ cups heavy cream
For the jam mixture
  • ½ tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup seedless raspberry jam
For the cake
  • ⅔ cup cake flour
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg + 3 large egg whites, divided
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  1. For the filling, spread the gelatin over the water in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together in a medium bowl until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the raspberries, sugar, butter, and salt. Mash lightly and stir until the sugar is totally wet. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture is simmering and the raspberries are almost completely broken down, about 4-6 minutes.
  4. Remove the raspberry mixture from the heat and slowly add ½ cup of it to the egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Whisking constantly, return the egg yolk mixture to the pan with the raspberries, mixing until combined. Return the pan to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and bubbles, about 1 minute. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer over the gelatin mixture, pressing on the solids until only the raspberry seeds remain. Discard the seeds and stir the raspberry mixture into the gelatin until it is dissolved. Set aside, stirring occasionally, until the curd is thickened and reaches room temperature.
  5. For the jam mixture, sprinkle the gelatin over the lemon juice in a small bowl. Let sit until softened, about 5 minutes. Heat the jam in the microwave until hot and fluid, 30-60 seconds. Add the softened gelatin to the jam and whisk until dissolved. Set aside.
  6. For the cake, heat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch round cake pan and an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper and grease. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the oil, whole egg, water, and flour to the flour mixture and whisk until a smooth batter forms.
  7. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until soft peaks form. Transfer ⅓ of the egg whites to the batter and whisk to combine. Fold the remaining egg whites into the batter.
  8. Pour 1 cup of the batter into the round pan and the rest into the square pan. Spread evenly. Bake until the cakes spring back when pressed lightly in the center, 8-11 minutes.
  9. Let the cakes cool in their pans for 5 minutes, then invert onto a parchment-lined wire rack. Let cool completely, at least 15 minutes.
  10. Place the round cake in the center of a serving plate. Spread with 2 tbsp of the jam mixture. Place the ring from a 9-inch springform pan around the sides, leaving it slightly loose. Trim ⅛-inch off all edges of the square cake. Spread 2 tbsp of the jam mixture on the square cake. Cut the square cake in half. Cut each half lengthwise in half to make 4 equal-sized long strips. Place the cake strips vertically around the round cake, jam side in, making sure to nestle the ends in together. Fasten the clasp of the springform pan.
  11. Whip the cream on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form. Transfer ⅓ of the whipped cream to the raspberry curd, then fold in the rest until combined.
  12. Pour the filling into the cake ring and spread evenly to the edge. It should cover the edges of the cake. Drizzle the remaining jam over the surface of the filling. Using a skewer, swirl the jam. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight. Serve chilled.
Recipe from Cook's Illustrated
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice

More raspberry-filled treats!

meyer lemon cupcakes with raspberry buttercream

Meyer Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream

raspberry swirl cheesecake cupcakes

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Cupcakes

baked raspberry oatmeal with brown butter drizzle

Baked Raspberry Oatmeal with Brown Butter Drizzle

From Around the Web:

Raspberry Swirl Brioche from Hint of Vanilla

Raspberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Annie’s Eats

Raspberry Rhubarb Tart from Flourishing Foodie

Raspberry Lemon Bars from Grandbaby Cakes

Strawberry Raspberry Crostata from Joy the Baker


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31 Responses to Raspberry Charlotte

  1. Zainab says:

    This is beyond beautiful! And I’m glad you understand the struggle of MUST EAT ALL THE BERRIES this summer.

  2. Two thumbs up! Absolutely gorgeous!

  3. Divine. I think I’d probably cheat and use savoiardi though!

  4. Um I totally get what you mean about produce stress. I have that too. Like right now – OMG give me all the cherries before they are gone forever! GAH! This raspberry charlotte = gorgeous and totally worth the time! XO

  5. Do you teach swirling classes? Your swirls look great and mine never come out right.

    Also, this recipe sounds amazing. I only recently found out what a charlotte was and can’t wait to give yours a try!

  6. That looks scrumptious! I’ve never tried making a charlotte but it looks very rewarding–the contrast of cake and mousse sounds perfect 🙂

  7. Joanne, this raspberry charlotte is gorgeous!!!! and berry-induced stress consumption?! Is there any other way? TGIF!

  8. This charlotte is stunning, Joanne! The raspberry flavor sounds so delightful. The perfect summer treat!

  9. Julia says:

    FINALLY someone who shares my same stone fruit and berry anxiety. The seasons are just too short, man! So, this is the first time I’ve made the acquaintance of the Charlotte, and I’ve gotta tell ya, there is just so much to You had me at sponge cake. And raspberry. And mousse. Happy weekend!

  10. Heather says:

    This sounds amazing… perhaps one of these days I’ll attempt it, but for now I’ll just drool over the pictures.

  11. Kate says:

    I never stress about summer produce, I revel in it!

  12. I have no words for how beautiful this is! I’d happily take raspberry-stained hair (and ceiling) for this. 😉

  13. grace says:

    beautiful! i LOVE that color, and the jam swirl is extremely glamorous. this is dynamite, joanne–bravo!

  14. cheri says:

    Never heard of a charlotte cake before, but it certainly looks like the prep is totally worth it. Beautiful!

  15. I always worry that I am not going to eat enough seasonal produce and miss out, but this year that won’t happen. I am going to be eating all the tomatoes and berries.

  16. This Charlotte is a triumph!!!! Don’t get too stress with fruit FOMO (that’s fear of missing out and my favourite new abbrev.) x

  17. Sarah says:

    Bahaha I can just imagine you trying to “eat ALL the berries!” This recipe looks amazing!!! Yum 🙂

  18. This looks amazing! The texture of raspberry mousse filling is simply perfect.

  19. I hope you’ve eaten strawberries in Italy!

  20. Beth says:

    A gorgeous way to use all those extra raspberries that I might find in my fridge, too.

  21. Oh, raspberries – a distant memory at the moment in the middle of cold winter:-) My worst problem is that every season seems to have something that I need to overindulge! At the moment its coriander – it is just so good here in the cooler weather!

  22. Hotly Spiced says:

    It’s a beautiful looking dessert but I’ll be sure to set aside a day if I plan to make it. It really is such a pretty colour and I love the raspberry swirl xx

  23. Haha.. I made a peanut better and jelly sandwich today and I somehow got raspberry jam everywhere. I’m sure the kitchen would be COVERED in raspberry juice if I made this.
    But it looks TOTALLY worth it!

  24. I have the exact same fears, although they usually revolve around fields and fields of basil. LOVE this raspberry gorgeousness!

  25. I think raspberry juice in my hair would be worth it. And yes, there is never enough time for all the berries!

  26. This sounds fantastic! I also binge on berries so you are not alone Joanne!

  27. Susan says:

    Wow, that looks gorgeous and delicious! No faint of heart here – I’m ready to take it on!

  28. Kelly says:

    Just stunning girl! Love this raspberry charlotte! Wish I had a slice right now. Berries are healthy for breakfast, right? 😉

  29. I already have cherry juice everywhere, so what’s a little raspberry juice? You are seriously in my head … I buy all the fruit. ALL OF IT! And then I freeze some, so the goodness never has to end.

  30. MaggieToo says:

    Halfway through making this I was thinking, Gee this is a snap, I need to make lots more of these. And then I entered the “strain the curd” phase… dirtied every bowl and strainer in the house trying to get the damned seeds out, and still saw ~25% of my curd get washed away in the strainers. Either get a food mill, of if ever making again with any seedy berries, strain BEFORE adding yolks/sugar/etc to berries. First break the berries down by themselves over heat, THEN strain them, THEN make the curd with the berry puree. ALSO IMPORTANT: the berry jam given here is too gelatinous to use as decor for the top, it just smears. Instead, just heat up some regular berry jam to thin it and use it with no additional gelatin.]

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