Raspberry Lemon Cake

Tall and colorful, this is a true special occasion cake. Creamy white cake layers are filled with raspberry buttercream and fresh raspberries, and paired with a tangy yet sweet lemon curd.

Nancy Bathurst entered this cake in King Arthur Flour's "Great Cake Contest" at the Illinois State Fair, and was the winner of the grand prize. Congratulations, and well done!

Prep
25 mins
Bake
20 to 35 mins
Total
1 hr 5 mins
Yield
20 servings
Raspberry Lemon Cake

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8" round cake pans that are at least 2" deep. Line with parchment and grease the parchment.

  2. For the cake: Combine the milk, egg whites, vanilla, Fiori di Sicilia, and lemon zest in a large measuring cup; set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt at low speed.

  4. Add the butter and mix until the mixture looks sandy.

  5. Add 1 cup of the milk/egg mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape the bowl and add the remaining milk mixture; beat for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl once more and beat for another 20 seconds.

  6. Divide the batter evenly between the 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 28 to 32 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a rack for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn out of the pans and return to the rack to finish cooling completely.

  8. For the frosting: Dissolve the granulated sugar in the boiling water; let cool completely.

  9. Put the cooled sugar syrup in a large mixing bowl, add the meringue powder and beat using a whisk attachment until soft peaks form.

  10. Add the confectioners' sugar, mixing until thoroughly combined.

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

  12. For the raspberry filling: Remove 1 1/2 cups of the frosting and stir in the raspberry jam. Set aside.

  13. For the lemon filling: Place the lemon zest, lemon juice, Instant ClearJel, granulated sugar, and salt in a saucepan.

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

  15. Whisk in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture into the egg yolks; add the egg mixture back to the saucepan and cook, stirring, until thick (don't let it boil).

  16. Pour the lemon filling into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it onto the surface to keep a skin from forming as it cools. Refrigerate until cold.

  17. To assemble: Cut the two cake layers in half horizontally, to make four layers.

  18. Put one layer of cake on a serving plate, cut side down. Frost with half the raspberry-flavored frosting, then place about 1/3 of the fresh raspberries on top. If they're very tall, slit them up the side and lay them down flat in an even layer.

  19. Place the second cake layer atop the first, and pipe a ring of lemon buttercream around the outside edge. Fill the circle with the lemon filling.

  20. Add a third layer, frosting with the remaining raspberry frosting. Place half the remaining raspberries on the frosting.

  21. Top with the last layer, cut side down. Frost the top and sides with the remaining lemon frosting and top with the last of the raspberries.

  22. Yield: 20 servings.

  23. Store leftover cake with plastic wrap touching the cut edges to keep the cake from drying out; keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Substitute 1 cup purchased lemon curd for the lemon filling, if desired.
  • For moist, creamy cake layers, feel free to use King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour, which was originally called in the prizewinning recipe.