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

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Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake

Yield: Serves 12

Ingredients:

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

Double batch vanilla buttercream

Batch of raspberry curd, cooled completely

Directions:

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
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).

Cake recipe adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles

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38 Responses to “What’s your secret?”

  1. #
    1
    BMK — January 28, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Those are adorable! I love the idea of lemon meringue cupcakes.

  2. #
    2
    ~Amber~ — January 28, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    They are adorable!! Great job and I am glad you had success with the recipe.

  3. #
    3
    Shawnda — January 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Congrats on a successful challenge!

  4. #
    4
    slush — January 28, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    OMG, are they cute! Like little porcupines. So glad it turned out for you. Fab job!

  5. #
    5
    Aparna — January 28, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    I really liked your idea of making the cupcakes. No cutting up and great single sized servings. They look just great.
    Makes me wonder– why didn’t I think of that?

  6. #
    6
    Tempered Woman — January 28, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Hey~ I made lemon maringue cuppies too! I am so sold on making pies this way in the future- very fun. Love the spikies- great job.

  7. #
    7
    Nikki57 — January 28, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Your LMP looks great! I love the cuppies

  8. #
    8
    CB — January 28, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    LMP cuppys rule! ::high five:: love all the pictures of your process… great job!

  9. #
    9
    Marye — January 28, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    I really like the little pies everyone is making..now I want to redo mine.blessings,
    marye
    http://bakingdelights.com

  10. #
    10
    michelle — January 28, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Oh so cute! I had considered trying my second attempt in a cupcake tin… until I waited until the last minute, that is! 🙂

  11. #
    11
    ruthEbabes — January 28, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Congrats! These look fabulously divine!

  12. #
    12
    Butta Buns — January 28, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Ah ha, another fellow Boston baker! Your tarts are beautiful! Love the peaks on the meringue!

  13. #
    13
    How To Eat A Cupcake — January 28, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Those are so perfect!

    PS: I have those red measuring bowls. I love them! 😀

  14. #
    14
    I(dot)J — January 28, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    so SMART to have all of your ingredients out FIRST. I really should know this by now.

  15. #
    15
    Dolores — January 29, 2008 at 1:52 am

    Ooooh, I love your cupcake-pies. How’d you make the meringue spikey?

    And what did the husband think of the final product?

  16. #
    16
    breadchick — January 29, 2008 at 2:00 am

    your little ones are adorable. Great job on your challenge!!

  17. #
    17
    MrsPresley — January 29, 2008 at 2:35 am

    your lemon meringue cupcakes are so cute! job well done! 🙂

  18. #
    18
    Beth G. — January 29, 2008 at 2:36 am

    They’re so cute!! Great job!! :O)

  19. #
    19
    kate — January 29, 2008 at 2:54 am

    i had that crust shrinkage problem too. it’s a bummer.

    ———-
    kate
    http://www.thecleanplateclub.net

  20. #
    20
    Jen — January 29, 2008 at 2:58 am

    Dolores – I just spread the meringue around and then using a spatula, pressed it into the meringue and pulled it out and voila! Spikes!

  21. #
    21
    Andrea — January 29, 2008 at 3:06 am

    Your little cupcakes are adorable! That was a great idea!

  22. #
    22
    Princess of the kitchen — January 29, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Your little tarts lok just lovely. well done!

  23. #
    23
    Big Boys Oven — January 29, 2008 at 8:31 am

    a challenge executed incrediblely well!

  24. #
    24
    Deborah — January 29, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    They look just perfect!!

  25. #
    25
    Candace — January 29, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Nice job!

  26. #
    26
    Megan — January 29, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Too cute! Love the cupcakes. I want one!

  27. #
    27
    Carrie — January 30, 2008 at 12:02 am

    My crust did the same thing! Your cupcakes look great though!
    ~Carrie from bakersbakery.wordpress.com

  28. #
    28
    Lane — January 30, 2008 at 6:35 am

    Your “pie-cups” look perfect. Great job!

    Jane of VeganBits.com

  29. #
    29
    Lunch Buckets — January 30, 2008 at 6:48 am

    Very cute! Did you turn away and silently mock your husband “my mom makes a great…”, no of course you wouldn’t have, I must be projecting 🙂

  30. #
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    Sheltie Girl — January 30, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    You did a wonderful job on your lemon meringue tarts!

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

    ~ We’re lactose intolerant at our house too.

  31. #
    31
    Quellia — January 30, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Nice cupcakes! And if it makes you feel any better, I’ve been a DB’er for a year and friends and family, all non-bloggers, always know what I’m making. They kinda have to since I always tape the recipe up on the kitchen cupboards!

  32. #
    32
    creampuff — January 30, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Yayy! I love reading success posts like this! They look great and that’s a good idea to bake them in muffin tins. Well done!

  33. #
    33
    BrineS — January 31, 2008 at 7:22 am

    I love your little lemon meringues!

  34. #
    34
    Jen Yu — January 31, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Awesome! I love how differently everyone’s turned out, but these little cuties are so adorable 🙂 Great job!!

  35. #
    35
    Claire — February 1, 2008 at 1:34 am

    So cute! I’m sure everyone enjoyed you addition to the spread!

  36. #
    36
    Jigginjessica — February 2, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    I love cupcake idea. One big pie seems so messy, these seem neat and tidy. Congrats on another successful challenge!

  37. #
    37
    Jelli Bean — August 20, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    The shrinking crust always affects my mini cupcake pies too. The trick is to make them overhang the cups enough so that they shrink down to just the right size. Your little pies are darling!

  38. #
    38
    kijiji in edmonton canada — September 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    It’s awesome for me to have a website, which is helpful in
    favor of my know-how. thanks admin

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