Prize-Winning White Cake With Raspberry Filling and Hickory Nuts (or Pecans)

Home » Prize-Winning White Cake With Raspberry Filling and Hickory Nuts (or Pecans)

Sneak Preview: This White Cake Recipe With Raspberry Filling is a feather-weight white cake studded with hickory nuts (or pecans) and layered with raspberry filling, then iced with white buttercream frosting.

hickory nut cake sliced with raspberries on the side and a candle in each piece

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

This delicate white cake is famous! My aunt Marg entered the recipe into a contest—and WON! According to the family legend, she got first place, but it may have been second.

The prize? A new washer and dryer. 

I would love to enter this cake into a contest. Unfortunately, I don’t know of one. What I really care about, is making a delicious cake that’s good enough to share with my family for a party or a friend.

Recipe inspiration:

The following was written by my aunt on a copy of the recipe given to my sister.

“This recipe was Aunt Nora’s, and it is a good white cake if you don’t have hickory nuts. I have also used pecans. It is almost as good. Most people won’t know the difference. A friend who lives in Lancaster, PA sends me hickory nuts for my birthday. I use the basement vise to crack them. A hammer is nearly impossible. Apparently, the Amish have not chopped down their hickory nut trees like the Indiana people.”

Aunt Marg
Pecan Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling

Related Post: Aunt Marg’s French Silk Chocolate Pie

As my aunt mentioned, this is an excellent white cake. When I can’t get hickory nuts, I use pecans. Hazelnuts would also be a nice substitution for the hickory nuts. 

One more thing. The raspberry filling is my addition.  It’s not necessary, but my family loves it.

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • BUTTER: The recipe called for margarine originally, but I always use butter.
  • SUGAR: Use granulated sugar.
  • SALT: Use table or sea salt. If using Kosher salt, add ¼-½ teaspoon extra.
  • CAKE FLOUR: If you don’t have cake flour, this is my suggestion from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Measure 1 cup of flour. Remove 2 tablespoons and substitute cornstarch for the flour. Sift together at least twice.
  • MILK: Whole milk is best but any kind of dairy milk will work. I haven’t tested this with any non-dairy milk.
  • NUTS: Hickory nuts are not readily available to me, so I use pecans. Hazelnuts are also an option.
  • EGG WHITES: Using only the whites makes a beautiful white cake. Here are some ideas for the egg yolks: Fresh Fruit Mini-Tarts with Vanilla Pastry Cream, Microwave Banana Pudding, and
  • RASPBERRIES: I recommend you stick with fresh raspberries as using frozen berries will add more liquid and would require more thickener.

How to assemble Hickory Nut Cake with Raspberry Filling:

how to slice and ice the cake

Related Post: Chocolate-Almond Mini Torte

logo for saladinajar
Join our community of adventurous cooks, and you, too, can create homemade food worth sharing.

If you want inspiration and exclusive tips, add your email and press the button. (Don't worry. I won't sell your email.)

FAQ about Hickory Nut Cake:

Can you eat hickory nuts?

In general, yes. If you taste it and it’s sweet, go ahead. If it’s bitter, that’s a sign to leave them alone, but they aren’t poisonous.

Are hickory nuts and pecans the same thing?

Pecans are a type of hickory nut. So, substituting pecans for hickory nuts is a good idea if you don’t have hickory nuts.

Does this cake need to be refrigerated?

I recommend it. The cake will be much easier to slice after it is chilled.

Can I use raspberry jelly as the filling?

Yes. Warm it in the microwave to make it easier to spread. Add a touch of water, if necessary, to make it spreadable.

Do you have access to hickory nuts? Or will you be using pecans or something else instead? I would love to hear from you: Paula at

hickory nut cake

White Cake Recipe with Raspberry Filling and Hickory Nuts (or Pecans)

This contest-winning white cake is layered with raspberry filling and iced with white buttercream frosting. We like to add hickory nuts or pecans.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Cakes and Icing
Servings 16 servings


  • ¾ cup margarine - I use unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ to ¾ cup chopped hickory nuts - or pecans or hazelnuts
  • 6 beaten egg whites

Raspberry Filling:

  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Buttercream Icing:

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • cup softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon Whipping cream


  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • Beat egg whites in a medium bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Use your stand mixer (or a portable mixer) and beat until until light and fluffy.
  • Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder together (I do this over a paper plate or a piece of wax paper.) Combine milk, water, and vanilla in a large measuring cup. Add dry and liquid ingredients alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Stir in the chopped nuts. Fold in egg whites. Pour into 2 parchment or wax-paper lined 9-inch pans. (I used 8-inch pans and split the layers with a serrated knife.) Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
  • Frost with a traditional butter cream icing.

Raspberry Filling

  • Place raspberries in a Pyrex glass batter bowl and microwave 2 minutes on HIGH. Pour into a blender or food processor and puree. Strain out the seeds with a fine-mesh strainer (or leave them in if you want additional fiber.)
  • Combine raspberries, sugar and cornstarch in the batter bowl and return to microwave. Cook on HIGH till thickened, approximately 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool.
  • Split the layers in half horizontally if you used 8-inch cake pans. Spread filling on the top side of one layer and buttercream icing on the bottom of the next layer. See the picture. Do not push raspberry filling all the way to the edge as it will spread on its own. If you spread the filling too thickly or too close to the edge, the icing will end up oozing into your white frosting. Pink frosting is not gross but probably not what you want.

Buttercream Icing

  • Cream powdered sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of cream. Gradually add remaining cream until frosting is smooth and spreadable. I had to double the recipe to cover the cake.


Nutrition Facts
White Cake Recipe with Raspberry Filling and Hickory Nuts (or Pecans)
Serving Size
1 slice
Amount per Serving
Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Author: Paula Rhodes
Course: Cakes and Icing
Cuisine: American
Keywords: hickory nut cake, buttercream icing, pecan layer cake recipe, raspberry filling recipe
Like this recipe? Thanks for leaving a 5-star rating inside the recipe at the top! 🤩

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating


  1. Ann Hastings says:

    This looks amazing! I am not a very good “baker” but I’d love to try this recipe!

  2. I love how you frosted the cake. It looks so beautiful!

  3. Fresh Local and Best says:

    What a beautiful cake! I like the thin layers of raspberry filling and that it has nuts. It’s quite lovely!

  4. Such a pretty cake! What was your technique for applying the frosting? I like the effect.

    1. I used a small knife/spatula to make ridges adjacent to each other. If you try it yourself, plenty of icing makes it easier and prettier