Embodiments of nanostructured, multilayered metal-dielectric particles suitable for use as Raman spectroscopic probes, as well as methods of designing, making and using such multilayered nanoparticles, and kits including the multilayered nanoparticles. The multilayered nanoparticles include alternating metal and dielectric layers and an outer dielectric shell. One or more of the dielectric layers may include a plurality of reporter molecules. Embodiments of the multilayered nanoparticles are suitable for detecting target analytes in a sample. Some embodiments of the multilayered nanoparticles are suitable for use in multiplexed assays, including assays for multiple target analytes having differing concentrations.