Raspberry Lemon Cake

star rating (9) rate this recipe »
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 20 servings

Recipe photo

Moist and fruity, light and delicious, this cake is impossible to put down. The combination of vanilla cake, raspberry and lemon fillings, and rich buttercream frosting is simply irresistible!

Nancy Bathurst is the grand prize winner in King Arthur Flour's "Great Cake Contest," and the creator of this divine confection. She submitted her cake at the Illinois State Fair. Congratulations, and well done!

Raspberry Lemon Cake

star rating (9) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 20 servings
Published: 01/19/2012



  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup egg whites, at room temperature (5 or 6 large eggs)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (grated lemon rind)
  • 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened



  • 2 tablespoons raspberry jam
  • 1 pint raspberries

Lemon filling

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 tablespoons Instant ClearJel
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 egg yolks

Tips from our bakers

  • Substitute 1 cup purchased lemon curd for the lemon filling, if desired.


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two 8" round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray; line the bottom with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds and dust lightly with flour.

2) To make the cake: Combine the milk, egg whites, flavors, and grated lemon rind in a small bowl. Mix with a fork until blended. Set aside.

3) Mix the cake flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer at slow speed.

4) Add the butter; continue beating at slow speed until the mixture is crumbly.

5) Add all but 1/2 cup of the milk mixture and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup milk mixture and beat for 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat 20 seconds longer.

6) Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.

7) Bake until the cakes begin to pull from the sides of the pans and spring back when lightly touched in the center, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.

8) To make the frosting: Dissolve the granulated sugar in the boiling water; cool completely.

9) Using an electric mixer (hand, or stand), combine the cooled sugar syrup with the meringue powder and beat until soft peaks form.

10) Add the confectioners' sugar, stirring until thoroughly combined.

11) Add the butter and beat until creamy. Stir in the flavorings and salt.

12) Cut the two cake layers in half horizontally, to make four layers.

13) To make the raspberry filling: Mix the raspberry jam with 1 1/2 cups of the frosting and set aside.

14) To make the lemon filling: Place the lemon zest, lemon juice, ClearJel, and granulated sugar in a saucepan.

15) Add the butter, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

16) Whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, and stir until thick, without letting it come to a boil.

17) Pour the filling into a bowl. Press plastic wrap onto the surface to keep a skin from forming as it cools. Cool to room temperature; refrigerate until cold.

18) To assemble the cake: Put one layer of cake on a platter. Frost with half the raspberry jam/frosting mixture, then space about 1/3 of the fresh raspberries on top.

19) Place the second layer atop the first, and spread with the lemon filling.

20) Add the third layer, frosting with the remaining raspberry jam/frosting. Top with about half the remaining fresh raspberries.

21) Place the fourth layer on top. Spread the cake and sides with the frosting. Decorate with the remaining fresh raspberries.

Yield: 20 servings.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 slice Servings Per Batch: 20 servings Amount Per Serving: Calories: 528 Calories from Fat: 243 Total Fat: 27g Saturated Fat: 17g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 83mg Sodium: 254mg Total Carbohydrate: 71g Dietary Fiber: 2g Sugars: 57g Protein: 4g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


  • star rating 04/06/2015
  • Hetty from Ephrata, PA
  • I followed the recipe for the Raspberry Lemon Cake exactly as written. I purchased all of the ingredients from King Arthur, as well as the King Arthur cake pans. I typically do not make layered cakes, so I felt that I was on an adventure as I proceeded. I made the cake layers on Friday. Saturday I made the icing and lemon filling and put the cake together. Easter Sunday the cake was served after a ham dinner. The cake is delicious and looked beautiful. The cake also sliced beautifully with my chef's knife. I did omit the fresh raspberries. I simply do not care for fruit in my cake. The raspberry jam definitely gave a hint of raspberry flavor which was just enough to surprise the palate. I will make this cake again and again. I need to use all of the wonderful ingredients that are called for in the cake. This is the third recipe that I have used from the recipes on the King Arthur website. Each recipe was a success.
  • star rating 04/15/2013
  • Mswall@sc.rr.com from KAF Community
  • I made this cake for a dinner party because it looked so good. I made according to the recipe except used thinly slices strawberries instead of the raspberries. It was not only delicious, but beautiful!! I have a friend who is a master baker and I had several guests ask me if my friend had made the cake for me.
  • star rating 07/17/2012
  • SR from
  • The cake tasted great. The cake even was quite sturdy under fondant even though it seemed very light and tender when doing the layers. A thorough chilling between layering and after made the difference. When adding the raspberries, we cut them into halves and pressed them into the frosting to make as flat a layer as possible. No one could tell once the cake was cut. I am making it again tonight this time in 9" layers. Will probably make 1.5 times the recipe and end up with an extra layer or so for snacking.
  • 06/04/2012
  • keegansgram from KAF Community
  • As the originator of this recipe, I would like to offer some assistance. I have made this many times and have not had any problems including once where I made the recipe times four and had a large three layer sheet cake. I made it again for an event at our church yesterday and paid special attention to each detail as I put it together so I could share tips with my fellow KA lovers! (Incidentally, after tasting it, a gift certificate for the cake went at auction for $200 to be donated to Imagine No Malaria.) First and probably most importantly, use King Arthur cake flour or Queen Guinevere Cake Flour (also available from KA). I tried it once with a popular grocery store brand - not good! And make sure you weigh the flour. I have had more consistent results in all my baking since buying a scale for weighing flour and sugar. When putting it together, place a dollop of icing on the cake plate or board before placing on the first layer (the cake will not slide). Frost the first layer, place the raspberries on the frosting and put on the next layer. Take your hands or a cake board and gently press that layer down. Now comes the lemon filling which should be cold. Another cake layer, press down again; then the frosting and raspberries followed by the final layer which you again press down. You are now ready to frost the entire outside of the cake. When done, place the cake in your refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. I hope this helps and I thank you for trying this recipe!
  • star rating 05/07/2012
  • mjhcs from KAF Community
  • The white cake is too soft for four layers that have large raspberries in the filling. There were air pockets in the layers which made the cake unstable. The directions should include a warning about this with directions to push the berries into the filling. I will not make the cake again although I will use the two flavors again--say in cheesecake.
    This prize winning cake IS a very soft and tender one. Other reviews cite similar experiences with this cake - if you seek a more sturdy cake we have many other recipes on line and in our cookbooks. Happy Baking - Irene @ KAF
  • star rating 04/10/2012
  • sfroass from KAF Community
  • I made this for Easter. What an impressive special cake! The cake layers are moist and light. I think I would put the raspberries just on the top next time. They were very firm and large, and difficult to get to seat into the filling. This caused a few gaps between the layers. I did put a skewer down the middle of the unfrosted cake. This made frosting easier, without any layers sliding. I purchased the Fiori di Sicilia. It gives it a nice delicate flavor. The buttercream is delicious and easy. It appears to be a very "filling" cake, but isn't really. After a big meal, everyone cleaned their plates of a more than serving size slice!
  • star rating 02/21/2012
  • elizabethbridges from KAF Community
  • I made this for my parent's 60th anniversary party and it was excellent. Came out beautiful and moist and tasted awesome. I used lemon curd for the lemon filling, and doubled the amount of fresh raspberries. This cake will definitely show up again at special occasions!
  • star rating 02/15/2012
  • KPNJ from KAF Community
  • This is an excellent recipe. Got great feedback from all who tried it. Made this recipe as a trial against a red velvet recipe for an upcoming event. This recipe works out great as is written. We only made one layer and then sliced it and made a semicircle cake (what with all this post holiday dieting that is going on). The only change I made was to replace cake flour (sorry KAF, stores in my area dont carry it) with a cornstarch/all purpose mixture. Even though this recipe was a winner over the red velvet, we might have to go with RV since our ultimate event cake will be 12 inches and needs a fondant cover and a couple of heavy decorations and this cake seems too soft to hold the weigh. If KAF bakers have any suggestions on how to make it sturdier we would love to incorporate it. For an introduction to Cake Construction, I suggest you check out Wedding Cakes You Can Make: Designing, Baking, and Decorating the Perfect Wedding Cake, by Dede Wilson. Don't let the title fool you. This little book is all about structural stability. And drop dead decoration, of course. Frank @ KAF.

Related recipes