Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake
This Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake has moist, light layers of lemon cake, lemon curd filling and a raspberry frosting. It’s decorated with buttercream, lemon slices and a few blossom flowers for a cake that’s perfect for summer!
Lemon raspberry is one of my favorite flavor combinations this time of year and always reminds me of my grandmother. There are two things she’s always loved – cake with lots of icing and lemon. It’s a love of two things that we share.
I will always remember her birthday celebrations when I was a kid. There were always lots of big buttercream flowers involved. And since my birthday is on Christmas, she’d often make her birthday a mini half-year celebration of my own as well, just to be sure I didn’t feel cheated out of a birthday. 🙂
Instead of buttercream flowers on this cake though, I decided to go a bit simpler. There are buttercream swirls, some lemon slices and raspberries and a few fondant blossoms that are super easy to make. All of it sits on top of a little swirl that you make with an offset spatula. Relatively easy to do, but creates a great look.
Inside the cake, you’ve got a moist lemon cake to start. It’s light, fluffy and pretty straightforward to make. Just be sure to not skimp on the creaming of the butter and sugar – always an important step.
Between the layers of cake is a lovely lemon curd and raspberry buttercream. Sweet and tart all in two beautiful layers. I suggest making the lemon curd and lemon cake layers first, then the frosting and putting it all together. The curd will take some time to cool completely after being made.
The outside of the cake is covered in more raspberry buttercream for a lovely pink and summery look. I love that all the pink color of the frosting comes just from the raspberry puree in the frosting. And for help with making a smoothly frosted cake, check out my tutorial.
This cake is incredibly moist and full of flavor. It’s a wonderful combination of sweet and tangy. I hope you love this cake as much as I do! It’s certainly perfect for spring and summer and great for any occasion.
Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake
Yield: 12-14 slices
6 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
½ cup sugar
6 egg yolks
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup sour cream
1 ½ tbsp lemon zest
6 egg whites
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup milk
¼ cup water
1 ¼ cups unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups vegetable shortening
12 cups powdered sugar
2 ¼ cups (9 oz) raspberries
1-2 water or milk
Yellow pearl dust
To make lemon curd:
1. Combine all ingredients in a double boiler and heat while stirring constantly with a whisk. It’s done when it’s thick enough to coat the back of a smooth.
2. Refrigerate lemon curd until cool and thick.
To make cake layers:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides.
2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
3. Add vanilla extract, sour cream and lemon zest and mix until combined.
4. Add egg whites in two batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure all is incorporated and smooth.
5. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another small bowl or measuring cup, combine milk and water.
6. Had half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until combined. Add milk/water combination and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
7. Divide batter evenly between the three 8 inch pans and bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
To make raspberry frosting:
1. Puree fresh raspberries, then press through a fine mess sieve to remove pulp and seeds. You should end up with about ½ a cup of raspberry liquid.
2. Combine butter and shortening and beat until smooth.
3. Add 4 cups of powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
4. Add raspberry liquid and beat until well combined.
5. Slowly add remaining powdered sugar, beating until smooth.
6. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk or water, as needed, to thin out the frosting.
To put the cake together:
1. Remove the tops of the cakes with a large serrated knife, so they are flat. Place first cake on serving plate or on a cardboard cake circle.
2. Top cake with about ¾ cup of raspberry frosting and spread into an even layer. Pipe a dam of raspberry frosting around the outside edge of the cake, then fill it with half of the lemon curd.
3. Top lemon curd with second layer of cake and repeat another layer of raspberry frosting and lemon curd.
4. Add final layer of cake, the frost the outside of the cake with the raspberry frosting.
5. Before the frosting on top of the cake has a chance to firm up too much, use your offset spatula to create the lines on top. Starting from the center, hold the tip of your spatula on the cake at about a 30-45 degree angle. Your cake should be on a turntable so that it’s easy to turn the cake and complete the circle. Make one circle at a time, moving from the center of the cake to the outside.
6. Pipe several tall swirls of frosting on the back half of the top of the cake, leaving some space between for adding lemon slices and raspberries. Add lemon slices and raspberries to cake.
7. To make the fondant flowers, use a small blossom cutter. Use a brush to dust a little bit of yellow pearl dust in the center, then add a little bit of sugar water* in the center of the flower and press a small pearl sprinkle into the center. Add flowers to cakes.
Cake should be refrigerated until ready to serve. Best served after allowing to sit out for about 30 minutes.
* To make the sugar water, add about 2 tbsp of water to a small bowl. Break up a few pieces of fondant and place it into the water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and dissolve the fondant. It will create a sticky sugar water that will help the sprinkles stick to the center of the flowers.
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