This is a simple recipe for a soft lemon cake layered with a fresh raspberry cream cheese frosting and a homemade raspberry sauce! Enjoy this recipe year round. It makes an excellent spring and summer dessert!
The softest lemon cake, a smooth raspberry filling and an indulgent raspberry cream cheese frosting! The perfect spring dessert!
How to make a smooth cream cheese frosting?
The main key of creating a smooth cream cheese frosting is to have all the ingredients at room temperature. The cream cheese should be soft to touch, remove it from the fridge several hours before baking if you life in a moderate climate or if you have the AC running. For warmer temperatures it is ok to soften the cream cheese only for 1 to 2 hours before using it.
The second important step of creating a smooth frosting is to cream the cream cheese in a big mixing bowl for about 4 minutes on medium speed until it is very soft before adding any other ingredients. If you skip this step you are on great risk of having small lumps of cream cheese speckled in your frosting. When the cream cheese is very soft add butter and cream until combined and fluffy. You cannot really over mix it at this point. The longer you mix the lighter and fluffier the frosting gets and the less it tastes like butter. Butter helps for a pipe-able cream cheese frosting that creates a smooth finish almost like buttercream. When the mixture is well mixed add powdered sugar in small amounts until the frosting has a nice and thickened texture. At this point add the raspberry sauce and mix it in. The frosting might split because of the water amount in the raspberry sauce, keep mixing and it should come together.
Trouble shooting grainy cream cheese frosting
Almost everyone has experienced a grainy frosting at least one time, after adding too much watery flavoring like a fruit filling which made the frosting split. What are the reasons and can I save my frosting?
Good news first, yes you can save your frosting after it separated and got grainy. It is totally normal that the frosting separates after adding flavor with a high water content since fat does not mix well with water. To achieve a smooth consistency try to mix it for a long time. Most of the times after mixing it for about 20 minutes the frosting comes together with a smooth texture.
Another trick to avoid this situation is to cook the flavoring, like here the raspberry sauce until it becomes thick and paste like. At this point most of its water content has evaporated, which makes it easier to combine it with the frosting. You can thicken the flavoring with corn starch or gelatin. Be aware that gelatin cannot be boiled as it looses its thickening qualities.
Lemon Raspberry Cake
Ingredients for 2 8-inch cake layers
1 1/4 cups (250 g) sugar
3 1/4 cups (390 g) cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (240 ml) butter milk
1/4 cup (57 g) unsalted butter, very soft
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp lemon extract
1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cups (340 g) butter, soft
8 oz (225 g) cream cheese, softened
4 cups (800 g) powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup (120 g) raspberry filling
pink food coloring, optional
24 oz (680 g) raspberries, fresh or frozen
8 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp cornstarch
6 tbsp lemon juice
Start off with a medium sized bowl. Sift in cake flour, baking soda and baking powder. In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, butter, salt, and oil. Mix for about 4 minutes. The mixture should be very fluffy and lighter in color. Add eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest and butter milk. Mix it until fluffy. Add the flour mixture. Mix the batter until everything is thoroughly incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly among 2 8-inch cake pans. Bake for 28 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean. Cool the layers in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the raspberry filling combine corn starch and lemon juice in a medium sized pan. Mix it until it is smooth. Add raspberries and sugar and let it come to a simmer at medium heat. Let it cook for about 5 minutes or until it is thickened. Press it through a metal strainer into a heatproof bowl to separate the seeds and let it come to room temperature.
In the meantime make the raspberry frosting. In a large mixing bowl add the softened cream cheese and mix it until smooth for about 4 minutes. Add butter and vanilla and mix it until everything comes together with a smooth consistency. Slowly add the sifted powdered sugar. Mix it on low until it is completely incorporated. To make it a raspberry frosting add 1/2 cup of the raspberry filling at room temperature and mix it in. If you want a more intense flavor or color feel free to add powdered freeze dried raspberries or some pink food coloring.
Cut each cake layer one time horizontally to get 4 cake layers. To decorate the cake place the bottom layer on a plate and spread a thin layer of raspberry frosting on top and smooth it out. Pipe a boarder around it and fill it with 1/3 cup of raspberry filling. Add the second cake layer and repeat the step. Cover the cake with frosting on the top and its sides. Smooth it out and let it cool in the fridge for about 40 minutes or place it in the freezer for 8 to 10 minutes.
When the cake is cooled add a final layer of frosting and smooth it. Pipe some decorations on the top of the cake and decorate with fresh raspberries and lemon slices shortly before serving.
Substitute cake flour with 2 1/2 cups (300 g) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (40 g) cornstarch mixture. Sift at least 5 times.