It was my boss’s birthday recently — the perfect opportunity to bake a special cake, and practice my icing techniques. There are loads of “lemon and raspberry” cake recipes on Pinterest, but I decided to go with a recipe from Janes Patisserie, primarily because the recipe made 2 layers. Most fancy cake recipes make 3 layers, and we really didn’t need a cake that large. As it happened, we only ate half the cake!
My colleagues said the cake tasted delicious, and my boss said it was the nicest cake anyone had ever made her. I’m happy I contributed to making her day special.
The cake had a lovely, moist sponge, packed with lemon flavour. The two types of icing had distinct, sharp flavours of lemon and raspberry. I also splurged and used the Sainsbury’s taste the difference lemon curd, which is sharper and more flavourful than the generic kind, helping to cut the sweetness of the frosting.
I think I could have baked the sponges a couple of minutes less, and I’m not a huge a fan of icing, but that’s a personal preference. As Jane mentions in her blog, the sponge is a hybrid between a victoria sponge and lemon drizzle cake. I took it to another level by adding some raspberry drizzle on the inside, and having a raspberry layer of icing (plus raspberries on top!).
Getting this cake to work was a bit of a palava. The cake (even at only 2 layers) was slightly too big to transport in my dome carrier with the lid collapsed (you can get it on Amazon). I had to transport the cake with its giant expandable lid in a bin bag.
Lucy was away and couldn’t drive me to the bus stop, so I waddled the 20 minute journey. A jogger went past me and I couldn’t help but think, “sure, you’re exercising, but I’m working out by carrying my own cake!”. I strained my arm muscles slightly (PATHETIC), but it was worth it to see my boss’s bemused face when I bought in a giant garbage bag wrapped “surprise”, and her subsequent delight with the cake.
This weekend I’m baking again as we’re having a small summer party with the family. I’m making orange and carrot cake, and – the summer classic – strawberry shortcakes! Recipes to follow.
Here is the recipe for the cake, let me know if you try it out! 🙂
350g. unsalted butter, room temperature
350g. caster sugar
7 medium eggs
350g. self-rising flour
grated zest of two lemons
75 ml. lemon juice
3 tbsp. lemon curd
200g. unsalted butter, room temperature
400g. icing sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
juice from a handful of raspberries (strained)
raspberries and lemon rind twists for decoration
*to get the tri-coloured/ombre look, I added some orange food colouring to the lemon icing.
Grease and line two 8 inch cake tins. Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C with a fan.
*Set your oven racks so you have enough ceiling clearance! I didn’t and lost the top of one of the cakes.
With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and caster sugar for several minutes until smooth. Once combined, add the eggs, then flour, lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat until combined, but don’t over-mix!
Pour the mixture evenly into the tins and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Leave the cakes to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from tins and let cool completely on wire racks before frosting.
For the icing, beat the butter until it’s smooth. Then gradually add the icing sugar. I divided my plain buttercream and beat in the lemon juice in half, and the raspberry juice in the other half. You should beat the frosting well (5 minutes) until it is light and whipped.
Note: I found that the lemon icing crystalized (hardened) easily, likely due to the acidity.
On the base layer, pipe a circle of buttercream around the edge. Generously spread lemon curd in the middle. Add swirls of raspberry puree.
Add the top layer of cake and then decorate as desired. I did lemon icing on the bottom, raspberry on the upper half, orange in the middle, with a blend of the two icings on the top.
I topped the cake with swirls of frosting, dotted with fresh raspberries and twists of lemon rind.