Ready for some seriously light and fluffy cake layers, absolutely bursting with lemony goodness? Of course you are! Our Lemon Raspberry Cake offers not only that but a decadent raspberry jam filling and a to-die-for lemon cream cheese frosting as well. This recipe is definitely a must!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW, FIRST AND FOREMOST...
The first thing you want to do for your Lemon Raspberry Cake is set out your cold ingredients so that they can come to room temperature before any mixing begins. The temperature of your ingredients will affect both the rise and structure of your cake. As picky as it may sound, the temperature really does matter, especially when it comes to baking cakes!
Ingredients you will want to be mindful to set out are the butter, eggs, buttermilk, lemons (if you keep them refrigerated), and definitely the cream cheese.
Allow at least 2 to 3 hours for these ingredients to reach room temperature, but if you happen to forget to set these ingredients out and need to get straight to baking, be sure you check out our tips below for bringing cold ingredients to room temperature.
While waiting for those cold ingredients to come to room temperature is prime time to prep your pans! You'll want to have ready 2 9-inch cake pans. Spritz them with baking spray or grease them with butter, and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
You also want to take care to preheat your oven to 350°F well in advance.
HOW TO MAKE LEMON RASPBERRY CAKE
Once all of your ingredients come to room temperature, your focus should move over to the dry ingredients. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a fine mesh sieve and sift it over a medium size mixing bowl. Sifting the dry ingredients both mixes and aerates them. The airier your ingredients, the fluffier your cake!
Next, we will cream together room temperature, unsalted butter, and granulated sugar. You can do this by using a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Properly creaming together the butter and sugar is also very important for the Lemon Raspberry Cake's texture.
Mix the butter and sugar together for about three minutes on medium-high speed, until they appear white and fluffy, and the butter has lightened in color. Mix in your eggs one at a time, and set the bowl aside.
Add the buttermilk, freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest, and vanilla extract to a 2-cup measuring pitcher. You could also use a small bowl if you don't have a measuring pitcher that size. Whisk these ingredients together, and set them aside. Also, if you're here for the lemon flavor, you'll love our Lemon Blueberry Cake.
Now, bring back your butter and sugar mixture and add ⅓ of the dry ingredients to the bowl. Mix on low speed, and add half of the buttermilk mixture, again mixing on low speed to combine. Add another third of the dry ingredients, mix, and add the remaining buttermilk mixture. Mix until combined and it's time to bring in the raspberries!
THIS KEEPS THE RASPBERRIES FROM SINKING!
Have ready just over a cup of fresh raspberries that have been rinsed and gently patted dry. Add them to the remaining dry ingredients and give them a good toss. Tossing the fresh raspberries in the flour mixture will help them to stay suspended in the lemon cake batter, rather than sinking down to the bottom of the baking pan while your Lemon Raspberry Cake is in the oven.
Add the raspberries and the rest of the dry mix to the batter and use a silicone spatula to gently fold them in, scraping both the sides and the bottom of the bowl as you go.
If you love a fruit dessert, be sure to check out our Peach Cobbler Pound Cake next!
BAKE TIME AND TIPS
Once all of the dry ingredients appear to be fully incorporated, divide the batter between the 2 prepared pans and transfer to a preheated 350°F oven to bake for about 30 to 35 minutes. Make sure you bake your Lemon Raspberry Cakes on the center rack, and to ensure even baking, turn the cakes 180° halfway through the baking time.
HOW TO DETERMINE WHEN YOUR CAKE IS DONE
Once the cakes have finished baking, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely and run a sharp knife along the edges of the cake. This will guarantee it does not stick as you remove it from the pan.
There are multiple ways to determine the doneness of your Lemon Raspberry Cake. You can use a toothpick or cake tester to poke the center of your cake, and if the toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs clinging to it, your cake is done! If the toothpick comes out wet and coated with batter, it likely needs to bake for just a few minutes more.
My favorite way to determine whether or not a cake is done is to gently poke the center of the cake with my finger. If the cake bounces back just ever so slightly, the cake is done. If the indention remains, the cake should bake for just a few minutes more.
HOW TO MAKE LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Homemade lemon cream cheese frosting is extremely easy to make, and so very delicious on a Lemon Raspberry Cake!
The first thing you want to do is add room temperature butter and room temperature cream cheese to a large bowl and mix together on medium-high speed for about 2 to 4 minutes.
Once the mix looks very smooth, you'll add in the powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and salt, and begin mixing on low. Once most of the powdered sugar appears to be incorporated, you can increase the speed to medium-high and mix for about 2 minutes more. That's all there is to it!
Don't you think fruit and cream cheese are a match made in heaven? If you're with us on this one, you need to try our Cherry Cheesecake!
Note, cream cheese frosting must be refrigerated.
HOW TO DECORATE LIKE A PRO
Please don't let the decorating part of cake-making keep you from making a cake! It may seem intimidating, but I promise you it's not as hard as it looks and you can definitely do it! Plus, we are going to walk you through every step, in detail, down below.
FOR EVEN CAKE LAYERS, DO THIS:
For even cake layers, turn out your Lemon Raspberry Cakes, and use a large serrated knife and a sawing motion to gently remove the dome from the top of the cake.
If desired, you can also place a plate or cake board slightly smaller than the cake's circumference and trim away the edges. This task is best done with a paring knife.
WHY ADD A CRUMB COATING TO CAKES AND HOW TO DO IT
A crumb coat is used in cake decorating to essentially glue crumbs in their place, and seal in the cake's moisture. This step isn't 100% necessary, but it does keep your cake looking nice and tidy!
To kick off your crumb coat, add a small dollop of cream cheese frosting to a cake stand or serving plate, and carefully set one of your cake rounds centered over the frosting.
Next, use a piping bag fitted with a large round tip to pipe a thick wall of lemon cream cheese frosting around the top of your Lemon Raspberry Cake. Fill in the center with the raspberry preserves, and place the second cake on top.
Then, you'll add a very thin layer of cream cheese frosting on both the top and sides of the cake. Transfer the cake to the refrigerator and chill for about 45 minutes.
Once the icing feels firm, you can remove the cake from the refrigerator and add your final coat of frosting.
FROST AND DECORATE YOUR LEMON RASPBERRY CAKE
Dollop your remaining lemon buttercream frosting on top of the cake and spread it out toward the edges. Be generous with your remaining frosting and finish it off by piping on decorative swirls if desired. Fresh raspberries on top and thinly sliced lemon wheels also make for a beautiful addition to this Lemon Raspberry Cake!
6 CAKE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Carrot Cake
- Cherry Cheesecake
- German Chocolate Cake
- Butter Pecan Cake
- Kentucky Butter Cake
- Funfetti Cake
Lemon Raspberry Cake is a super lemony cake with light and fluffy layers and the perfect amount of fresh raspberries mixed in.
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ⅛ teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- Zest of 2 lemons
- ¼ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups fresh raspberries, rinsed and dried (plus extra for decorating, if desired)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, room temperature
- 5 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅓ cup raspberry preserves
Preheat the oven to 350°F and have ready 2 greased 9" baking pans, lined with parchment paper on the bottom.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt over a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside until ready to use.
Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and using a handheld mixer, mix until fluffy and pale yellow in color (about 3-5 minutes). You could also use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for this task.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl using a silicone spatula and mix once more.
In a large measuring pitcher, combine the buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
With the mixer on low, add a third of the dry ingredients to the sugar-egg mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk mixture. Add another third of the dry ingredients, followed by the remaining half of the buttermilk mixture.
Add the remaining dry ingredients, along with the raspberries to the bowl. Fold the berries and the dry mix into the batter using a silicone spatula, scraping the sides and the bottom of the bowl as you fold.
Divide the batter amongst the prepared pans and smooth over the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Set the cake aside to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
For the frosting, you will need a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the butter and cream cheese to the bowl and mix on medium-high speed for 2-4 minutes, until very smooth.
Add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and mix on low. Once the sugar is mostly incorporated, you can begin mixing on medium-high. Mix for 2 minutes more, until light and fluffy.
Level out any uneven cake layers using a long, serrated knife. Place one of the cake layers on a cake stand or serving dish and use a piping bag fitted with a large round tip to pipe a wall of cream cheese frosting around the edges of the cake. Add the raspberry preserves to the center and spread to the frosting wall.
To create the crumb coating, place the second cake round on top, and use an offset spatula to spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting all over the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
Once the time is up, add a thick layer of frosting to both the top and sides of the cake. Decorate the top with raspberries and lemon wheels, if desired.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN THE CAKE IS DONE:
The cake is ready when the center of it springs back ever so slightly after a gentle poke or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs clinging to it.