Raspberry shortcake sheet cake is the perfect dessert thanks to the fluffy, moist cake with soft, cream cheese layer and topped with the sweet and tart raspberry topping. Make this dessert day or or ahead of time for the perfect treat any time of year.

I’m a big sucker for raspberries! If you are too, you should definitely check out my homemade raspberry sauce (which is amazing on ice cream, my raspberry freezer jam, and my homemade raspberry ice cream which is so creamy and delicious!

A slice of Raspberry Shortcake Sheet Cake on a black plate.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Make it ahead! This recipe is perfect for when you want to make a dessert ahead of time. Make this raspberry shortcake sheet cake the day before you need it and simply store it in the fridge overnight.
  • It’s light. Don’t get me wrong, I love some double chocolate dessert goodness, but occasionally it’s nice to have a lighter dessert option. This recipe is great for that!
  • It’s easy to make. Since we’re doctoring a cake mix, making the cake layer is simple and easy. Thanks to the Danish Dessert box, making the raspberry topping is also quick. This recipe comes together in no time and tastes amazing too!

Ingredients

For the cake

A baking sheet with ingredients used to make a raspberry sheet cake.
  • White Cake Mix: We’re essentially making a doctored cake, which is making a cake from a cake mix but adding additional ingredients to make it extra moist and tasty.
  • Egg Whites: By using the egg whites instead of the entire egg, we’re mimicking an angel food cake layer.
  • Buttermilk: I love baking with buttermilk. The buttermilk has extra acid and less fat, but is a lot thicker than normal milk. The acid from the buttermilk helps tenderize the cake, making it delicate.
  • Sour Cream: Adding sour cream to a cake box mix is always a great idea. It makes the cake so much more moist.

For the cream cheese layer

Ingredients used to make a cream cheese whipped cream layer on a baking sheet.
  • Cream Cheese: Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature so it can incorporate well with the other ingredients without getting clumpy.
  • Cool Whip: Yes, the store-bought kind. Cool whip will hold up a lot longer than a homemade whipped cream will.
  • Powdered Sugar: Using powdered sugar over granulated will ensure a really smooth layer.

For the raspberry topping

A bag of frozen raspberries, box of Danish Dessert, and water on a gray background.
  • Raspberries: Feel free to use fresh or frozen!
  • Danish Dessert Package: You can find this in the jello section of your grocery store.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Make the white cake. Whisk the sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla, egg whites, and vegetable oil together, then sift in the cake mix and stir until just combined.
  2. Pour the cake batter into a greased baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Don’t over bake. Insert a toothpick in to check, it should come out clean. Let the cake cool completely. 
A baking sheet with white cake mix batter spread along the full sheet.
  1. Make the raspberry sauce. Whisk the danish dessert and cold water in a small saucepan. On medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, always whisking. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
A white pot with a red sauce in it, and water being poured into the pot.
  1. Stir in the frozen raspberries. Set aside to cool. You can place the saucepan in the fridge on a hot pad to help it cool down faster. But you don’t want the sauce to sit in the fridge for too long because it can set up in the pan. 
  1. Make the cream cheese layer: Cream the cream cheese and butter together with a hand mixer until there are no lumps and the mixture is smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar. Once combined, mix in the cool whip.  
  1. Assemble the raspberry shortcake sheet cake. Put scoops of the whipped frosting evenly around the cooled cake layer then spread it evenly (I find it easiest to do with with an offset spatula). Once the glaze is cool (it doesn’t need to be cold, just not hot or it will melt the cream cheese layer), spread the raspberry topping over the cream cheese layer. Refrigerate the cake for 2-4 hours to let the glaze set up some. Serve chilled.

Recipe Tips

Spreading the cream cheese layer: Since this layer can be thick, I find it easiest to put scoops of the mixture around the cake layer and gently spread those dollops — this way you aren’t grabbing the top layer of cake as you spread.

Raspberry topping: Don’t let the topping chill too much in the fridge. If the topping is in the fridge for too long it will set and spreading will be very hard. The mixture doesn’t have to be cold, it just shouldn’t be hot or warm to the touch or else it will melt the cream cheese layer.

Variations

  • Use diced or sliced strawberries instead of raspberries.
  • Swap out the cream cheese for mascarpone.
  • Make a graham cracker crust layer on the bottom of the sheet pan and then pour the white cake batter on top. Adding a graham cracker layer would be so yummy!
  • Serve with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream!

Storing

Make ahead and store in the fridge overnight, or make day off and let chill for a few hours. The raspberry shortcake sheet cake will last in the fridge for 3-4 days.

FAQs

Why is a shortcake called a shortcake?

Shortcake is English and means a crisp, crumbly cake made from fat. Typically the American version of shortcake is a bit fluffier than the English’s take on shortcake. Thing of English shortcake as something a bit more biscuit like than cake like.

How do you thicken raspberry sauce?

If we weren’t using the Danish Dessert pack, then typically you would thicken raspberry sauce with sugar, water and cornstarch. However, the Danish Dessert box is our trick for this recipe!

Is mascarpone the same as cream cheese?

Mascarpone has a higher fat content than cream cheese and has a more buttery flavor than the tangy flavor in cream cheese.

A metal spatula lifting up a slice of Raspberry Shortcake Sheet Cake from a baking sheet.

Favorite Fruity Desserts

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A metal spatula lifting up a slice of Raspberry Shortcake Sheet Cake from a baking sheet.
Print Review
5 from 1 vote

Raspberry Shortcake Sheet Cake

This is the perfect cake to take for a large party or gathering because it feeds a lot of people! This raspberry shortcake sheet cake features a soft white cake that has been topped with a whipped cream cheese layer and then finished off with a raspberry topping.
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Chill Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 24 servings

Ingredients
 

White Cake

  • 1 15.25 oz box white cake mix
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk - at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Raspberry Sauce

  • 1 4.75 oz box Raspberry Danish Dessert
  • 1 3/4 cups cold water
  • 12 oz frzoen raspberries - or 3 cups of fresh raspberries

Whipped Cream Cheese Layer

  • 8 oz cream cheese - softened, can use light or reduced fat
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter - softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 oz Cool Whip - can use light or regular

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a large 13x18x1 inch baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside

White Cake

  • Prepare the white cake mix. In a large bowl whisk the sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla, egg whites, and vegetable oil. Sift in the cake mix and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely. 

Raspberry Sauce

  • Make the raspberry sauce: In a small saucepan whisk the danish dessert with the cold water. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil for 1 minute but no more, at this point the sauce should have thickened, remove from heat and stir in the frozen raspberries. Set aside to cool while you make the cream cheese layer. You can also place the saucepan in the fridge on a hot pad to help it cool down faster. Be careful, you just don’t want the sauce to sit in the fridge for too long because it can set up in the pan. 

Whipped Cream Cheese Layer

  • Make the whipped frosting: In a medium bowl cream the cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer until smooth. There should be no lumps. Beat in the powdered sugar. Once combined, mix in the cool whip. Set aside. 

Assemble

  • Dollop the whipped frosting evenly around the cooled cake then spread it into an even layer (I find it easiest to do with with an offset spatula). Once the glaze is cool (the glaze doesn’t need to be cold, just not hot otherwise it will melt the cream cheese layer) spread the sauce over the whipped frosting layer. Refrigerate the cake for 2-4 hours to let the glaze set up some. Remove from fridge, slice, and serve chilled. 

Notes

Spreading the cream cheese layer: Since this layer can be thick, I find it easiest to put scoops of the mixture around the cake layer and gently spread those dollops — this way you aren’t grabbing the top layer of cake as you spread.
Raspberry topping: Don’t let the topping chill too much in the fridge. If the topping is in the fridge for too long it will set and spreading will be very hard. The mixture doesn’t have to be cold, it just shouldn’t be hot or warm to the touch or else it will melt the cream cheese layer.
Variations:
  • Use diced or sliced strawberries instead of raspberries.
  • Swap out the cream cheese for mascarpone.
  • Make a graham cracker crust layer on the bottom of the sheet pan and then pour the white cake batter on top. Adding a graham cracker layer would be so yummy!
  • Serve with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream!
Storing: Make ahead and store in the fridge overnight, or make day off and let chill for a few hours. The raspberry shortcake sheet cake will last in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Nutritional information is a rough estimate and may not be 100% accurate. 

Nutrition

Calories: 127kcal (6%)Carbohydrates: 8g (3%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 10g (15%)Saturated Fat: 7g (35%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 21mg (7%)Sodium: 60mg (3%)Potassium: 73mg (2%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 6g (7%)Vitamin A: 259IU (5%)Vitamin C: 4mg (5%)Calcium: 40mg (4%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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