These pretty baby cakes are a perfect treat for Valentine's Day.

These pretty baby cakes with a tasty raspberry-lemon filling are a delightful way to say, “You’re special.” The lovely play between the sweet jam and the citrus whipped cream, cradled between two layers of vanilla cake, will make almost anyone feel pampered.

The dessert is made in two stages, so you can start preparing it well in advance. Bake the cake first; it can be wrapped airtight and chilled for a day or frozen for a week, just defrost it before proceeding with the recipe. Then, prepare and add the filling on the day you serve it.

Unfamiliar with lemon curd? It’s a rich, thick lemon custard that the English spoon onto everything from toast to scones to tart shells. You can find it in grocery stores, usually in either the jam section or the baking section of the store. If you don’t have time to whip the cream for the filling, just slather a little lemon curd on the raspberry jam; it will be quite good by itself.

Vera Dawson is a high-elevation baking instructor and author of three high-altitude cookbooks (available at Garcia Street Books in Santa Fe). Contact her at