Monday, April 26, 2010

Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake

Remember that raspberry curd I posted about last week? First of all, did anyone try a fruity breakfast sandwich? You really should! And now on to the cake I kept mentioning in that post about the raspberry curd.


I made this cake a couple weeks ago for a springtime dinner that our good friends N&L hosted. I offered to bring a dessert and got very excited because I rarely have the chance to make layer cakes. Layer cakes are only doable when there are enough people to put a dent in it, and they're people who don't mind me taking some pictures after the first slice has been cut.


In fact, this January was the first time I had ever made a layer cake (the Chocolate Overdose Cake turned out pretty awesome!). So this was my second. I was nervous about frosting it since last time I just poured ganache over the cake and topped it with chocolate covered strawberries for a no-fuss decorating job.


This time, I wanted to test out my piping skills. I can pipe a mean rosette on a cupcake or a nice fat swirl, but I've never piped a border or even coated a layer cake. I think I impressed even myself on this one. Not to brag, but I think the cake turned out very pretty.


Obviously, a cake looking pretty is only half the battle. The taste is the other half. This is a great spring cake because it combines the flavors of lemon and raspberry. Nothing screams spring like lemon and raspberry is such a great complimenting flavor.

I used my newly-discovered go-to white cake recipe as a base. As Bridget mentioned in the comments, while domes are great on cupcakes, they're not so great on cakes. I was glad this recipe didn't dome up in this instance because then I didn't have to worry about leveling off the cake layers.


I used a technique from Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake to make this recipe into a lemon cake. Rubbing fresh lemon zest into sugar releases such a fragrant aroma, it makes you want to just eat the lemony sugar right then an there. The lemon zest is really all you need to make the white cake into a lemon cake.

I also used my newly-found go-to buttercream recipe. I added lemon juice to the frosting but it didn't really carry through. I didn't want to put zest in because I wanted a really smooth frosting. I think next time I might use some lemon extract to give it more of a lemony boost.


I sliced the cakes in half to make a 4-layer cake. The filling is the previously mentioned raspberry curd. I used about a 1/3 of a cup between each layer. I brought along some of the extra raspberry curd and some people poured more onto their slice of cake.

Overall this cake turned out amazing. It was perfectly lemony without being overpowering. It made a great springtime cake and would be perfect for a Mother's day dinner or even for Easter next year.


I made the cake and filling ahead of time. The raspberry curd was refrigerated and the cake layers were wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated. The frosting can also be made in advance. Just be sure to let it come to room temperature prior to using.

Two Years Ago: Perfect Summer Salsa

Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake - cake adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles - serves 12
Printable Recipe
Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 1/4 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting the pans
1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup), at room temperature
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened but still cool

Set oven rack in middle position. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds, dust the pans with flour, and invert pans and rap sharply to remove excess flour.

Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.

Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add cake flour, baking powder, and salt to mixer bowl and mix at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.

Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium speed and beat 20 seconds longer.

Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.

Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

Assembling the cake
Make a double batch of the vanilla buttercream.

Make a batch of raspberry curd and allow to cool completely.

Once cake layers have completely cooled, use a large serated knife to slice each layer in half horizontally.

Scoop about a cup of frosting into a piping bag with a large round tip (you can also use a ziplock bag and snip off the corner. I wouldn't recommend doing that if you are piping swirls on top of cupcakes, but in this situation, it's ok. No one will see what you're piping).

Place strips of waxes paper around the plate or cake disk that you will be using for the cake. Pipe a small amount of frosting onto the center of your cake disk. This will serve as glue to hold the cake in place.

Place your first layer of cake, cut side up, on the disk. Pipe a thick ring around the edge of the cake. This will serve as a dam to keep the filling in the cake and prevent the layers from sliding around.

Spread ~1/3 to 1/2 cup of raspberry curd onto the cake. Add the top half of that cake and repeat. Add the bottom half of the other cake, cut side up again, and repeat. Place the top layer on the cake.

Apply a very thin layer of frosting on the cake. This will serve as a crumb coat and will help the final frosting to be smooth. Chill the cake for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Next, coat the cake with frosting and smooth it out. I watched this youtube video to get a better idea of how to do it. Then decorate as you prefer. I went back to youtube to get ideas for the border. This video was helpful for me. You can see that the piping on the bottom of the cake wasn't as pretty as on the top where I had more room to make my swirls. I think my tip might have been too big for the bottom (I used a 1M tip).

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23 comments:

oneordinaryday said...

Raspberries are my very favorite food on the planet and this looks absolutely divine. Thanks for sharing this!

Carrie said...

Its my husband birthday on Fri I might try to talk him into having this cake for it.

Cara said...

awesome work, Jen! It sounds delicious and looks gorgeous. I'm totally jealous of your border-piping skills too.

Ammie said...

Beautiful cake! This is very similar to our wedding cake, I may just have to try it!

annies-eats.com said...

It looks beautiful and sounds delicious. I'll have to try this one!

KB said...

This looks absolutely terrific! Great job on the assembly and decoration!

hannah! said...

really beautiful cake! and raspberries are one of my favorite fruits ever! i love the little sacs together with the crunchy seeds. hee.

Sherry G said...

Holy beautiful! this cake is quite elegant and delicious looking! I love raspberries with cake.

roxan @ kitchen meditation said...

Jen this cake is so so beautiful! It reminds me of the triple berry cake from Sweet Lady Jane here in LA. If an opportunity every arises for me to make a layer cake (I have the same problem - it's hard to find people to help finish it!) I will definitely try this one.

You did a beautiful job with the piping. Gorgeous.

Memória said...

We should be best friends hahaha. We have the same go-to white cake recipe, and we both made layered cakes this weekend! Your cake is BEAUTIFUL! You have every right to brag. You did an excellent job on the piping and decorating. It looks professional!

I added lemon extract to my strawberry frosting on my strawberry cake (which came from Bridget's recipe), and I could taste hints of lemon. I think the extract and some lemon zest would work well.

I must make this cake!! I am 100% certain that I would like it because we have similar tastes.

Now I need to look at your overdose cake to compare it to my overload cake.

living_insanity said...

Lemon and raspberries sounds like a perfect flavor combo. Your cake looks beautiful!

KRISTINA CIPOLLA PHOTOGRAPHY said...

OH wow, I started drooling as soon as I saw the pic. SO pretty and looks delish! Will def. have to try this one... :) Thanks for sharing!

We Are Not Martha said...

This is so, so pretty! And obviously looks delicious too. Raspberries are one of my favorite parts of spring!

Sues

Brisbane Baker said...

I don't think you're bragging! I would be proud of a beautiful cake like this one.

Looks delicous!

www.brisbanebaker.blogspot.com

Josie said...

beautiful!! Great decorating job!

bcallegra said...

This cake looks awesome and my mouth is watering looking at the picture right now.

ashley said...

beautiful cake!

Katie said...

This cake is SO, SOOO beautiful! I love it!!!

Allie said...

Looks beautiful, I love layer cakes!

vertigoxcured said...

you say something about videos from youtube? can you share the the links?

Jen said...

vertigoxcured - I updated the post with links to the youtube videos. Sorry about that.

Smithie7482 said...

I made this for Mother's Day and it was a huge hit! Thanks for sharing. I added the juice of the zested lemon and an extra cup of confectioners' sugar to the buttercream and managed to get a nice lemony tang.

Karin said...

I cant believe this is your first frosting coated cake. So beautifully done. And also note...that 4 layers with fruit filling without cake sliding all over the place is not a normal for first timers in that department. Kudos... you got the cake decorating skills Ma'am.

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