If you need a break from regular chocolate or vanilla cake, this Raspberry Lemon Cake has a fresh and fruity flavor is just what you need. It’s easy to make and quick to assemble. And, if you’re anything like me, this refreshing flavor combination marks the coming of summer.
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Why Raspberry Lemon Cake Works
Here are a few reasons why it works so well:
- Pillowy soft cake. The cake itself is light, soft, and delightfully moist. It’s basically like eating a cloud. We used our white cake recipe as a base.
- Can’t go wrong. It’s true that it’s hard to make any recipe perfectly, but this one is really difficult to get wrong. Even if you’re a beginner, the baking and assembling process should be well within your reach. And you’ll be happy with the result.
- Simple ingredients. You can make this cake at any season, all without fancy or specialized ingredients. When berries are in season, get em fresh. If not, the cake is still beautiful and delicious.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Eggs – We use the egg whites for this recipe. Save the yolks to make our lemon curd (could also make a delicious filling) or homemade vanilla ice cream.
- Whole Milk – You can swap it with buttermilk or my homemade buttermilk substitute.
- Unsalted Butter – Use room temperature butter for this recipe. It will be much easier to work with and mix with other ingredients. We have an easy guide to follow on how to soften butter quickly.
- Vanilla Extract – Use pure vanilla extract to balance the flavor of lemon juice in the cake batter. Our homemade vanilla extract is perfect.
- Lemon – Since you’ll be using the zest, get lemons with unblemished skin. Use our tips on how to zest a lemon!
- Cake Flour – It gives the cake a delicate and light texture. It also prevents the cake from crumbling, which helps you cut neat slices of the frosted cake.
- Baking Powder – It’s the only rising agent used, so don’t change its quantity. This gives the cake its height and spongy rise.
- Kosher Salt – Skip it if you’re using salted butter.
- Raspberries – Look for fresh and unbruised berries, or they might bleed into the batter and give it a pink tint.
- Powdered Sugar – It makes the frosting smooth and easy to spread.
This recipe is all about planning and time management. I’d recommend that you bake the cake layers on day one. Then assemble and frost the cake the next day.
- Make cake batter. Whisk together the eggs and ¼ cup of the milk and keep aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients, followed by the dry ingredients. Then add the egg mixture and mix. Now fold in the raspberries.
- Bake and Cool. Pour the batter into prepped baking tins. Bake at 350°F for 26-28 minutes. Then remove and cool on wire racks.
- Prepare the frosting. Beat the butter until it turns pale. Then add all the other ingredients and beat until fluffy.
- Frost and assemble the cake. Place one cake layer on a cake stand and spread frosting on it. Place the second layer of cake on top of the frosting. Then frost the sides and top of the cake. Garnish with lemon slices and fresh raspberries, if desired.
Tips and Tricks
- Fresh or frozen raspberries? Use frozen raspberries if fresh ones aren’t available. But remember that frozen berries tend to bleed while mixing and baking. This may alter the color of the cake batter.
- Toss the raspberries in flour. Lightly coating the raspberries in dry flour will prevent them from sinking into the cake and ensure you get bits of raspberry in every other bite.
- Use room temperature ingredients. They are easier to incorporate as compared to cold ingredients. Before you start, let the ingredients sit on the counter to come to the same temperature.
- Make cupcakes. Pour the cake batter into a lined cupcake tray and bake. Our white cupcakes recipe can be your guide. Use the same frosting to finish the cupcakes.
Use a cake saver and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Plan ahead. Split the recipe-making process into two days. Bake the cakes on the first day. Cool, cover them in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator overnight. On the second day, prepare the frosting, finish the cake, and garnish.
You can freeze the cake by cutting and wrapping large slices in plastic wrap. Then carefully place the slices in Ziploc bags or airtight freezer-safe containers for up to 2 weeks. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight whenever you feel like having cake.
This recipe is based on a combination of fresh raspberries and lemons. You can substitute the raspberries with other berries like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc. Similarly, the lemons can be replaced by key limes, mandarins, or kumquats.
Raspberry Lemon Cake
For the Cake
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups fresh raspberries
For the Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
For the Cake
- Whisk together the eggs and ¼ cup of the milk in a small bowl until slightly combined. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice for 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Beat in egg mixture until fully blended.
- Add in remaining milk and beat for 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Fold in raspberries.
- Spray two 9-inch cake pans with baking spray. Pour batter into pans and bake in a 350 degree oven for 26-28 minutes. Remove and cool completely on wire rack.
For the Frosting
- For the frosting, beat butter for 3-4 minutes until pale in color.
- Add powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice (about 2 Tablespoons from fresh lemon) and heavy cream. Beat for 3-5 minutes until fluffy.
- To assemble, place one layer of cake on a cake stand. Add a large amount of frosting to top and smooth with an offset spatula. Top with second layer of cake. Apply frosting to entire cake, sides and top.
- Garnish with extra slices of lemons and fresh raspberries, if desired.
- Fresh raspberries work best in this cake. You CAN use frozen berries if needed, but be warned that they might tint it pink! To minimize this, toss the frozen berries with a little flour before adding them to the cake batter. The berries will likely seep their color into the cake, but it will still taste good.
- Storage Tips. This is best stored in a cake saver, in the refrigerator. It’s best eaten within 3 days.
- You can also freeze today’s recipe by slicing large pieces and placing them on plastic wrap. Wrap them up and slide into a ziploc freezer bag or other airtight freezer safe container. When ready to enjoy, thaw in refrigerator overnight.
- Whole Milk– can be swapped for buttermilk, or for my homemade buttermilk substitute. Pairs nicely with the citrus!