This Lemon Raspberry Cake features tender lemon cake with fresh raspberry filling and luscious raspberry frosting. Lemon extract is added to the batter to enhance the lemon flavor but it’s totally optional!
Lemon Raspberry Cake
It took me a couple tries to get the recipe perfect and I couldn’t be more pleased with the final result. It features two thick layers of lemon cake sandwiched around a fresh raspberry filling and covered in the ultimate raspberry frosting.
The cake uses lemon juice, zest, and lemon extract. I found that without the lemon extract the cake was lacking in flavor. It’s totally optional for you to use but I highly recommend it.
Fresh raspberry sauce is used for the filling. It needs to be cooled completely before filling the cake so I suggest making it first. You can pop in the refrigerator to chill while you make the cake layers.
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How to get the best lemon cake flavor?
The key to intense lemon flavor is to use a combination of lemon zest, juice, and extract. I highly recommend Watkins Pure Lemon Extract because doesn’t contain artificial flavors, colors, or additives.
Raspberry filling for lemon cake
The filling for this lemon cake is made with just four ingredients – raspberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. You can use fresh or frozen raspberries. Frozen raspberries may take longer to cook down.
How to make lemon cake with raspberry filling?
Step 1: Make the cake layers
Take care not to overmix the batter. Mix until everything is just combined.
Divide the batter between two 9-inch pans that have been lightly greased and floured. Bake the layers and let them cool completely before assembling the cake.
Step 2: Make the raspberry filling
Cook the raspberry filling until the raspberries are soft and the filling has thickened. Run the filling through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the pulp and seeds.
Cover the filling with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Step 3: Assemble and frost
Tips for making lemon raspberry cake
- This recipe calls for cake flour. If you don’t have any on hand, you can make homemade cake flour with all-purpose flour and cornstarch.
- Oven temperatures can vary. Start checking for doneness about 5 minutes sooner than the recipe calls for.
- Lemon extract is highly recommended for the best lemon flavor. I use a combination of extract, zest, and juice in this recipe.
- Fresh or frozen raspberries can be used for the filling.
Lemon Raspberry Cake
For the filling
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180 g) fresh raspberries, frozen can also be used
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the cake
- 3 cups (360 g) cake flour, sifted
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice, from about 2 lemons
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable or canola oil
- 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 and 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest, from about 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract, *
For the frosting
- 1 recipe for Raspberry Frosting
- fresh raspberries for garnish, optional
- lemon slices for garnish, optional
Make the filling
- Combine all the ingredients for the filling in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and press through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Discard the pulp. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.
Make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk and set aside.
- in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk the milk, lemon juice, and oil together; set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, followed by the lemon zest, vanilla, and lemon extract.
- Gradually add the flour mixture alternating with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating well after each addition.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
- Cool in the pans for 10 minutes then invert the cakes on a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the frosting
- Prepare the raspberry frosting according to the recipe instructions.
Assemble the cake
- Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Pipe a dam of frosting around the outer edge and fill with raspberry filling. Top with the second cake layer and cover the entire cake with frosting. Garnish with fresh lemon slices and raspberries if desired.
Make ahead tip
- Wrap baked and cooled cake layers tightly in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator. Assemble and frost the cake within 2 days
- Or layers can be triple wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 2 weeks. Leave wrapped and set on the counter to thaw slightly before use.
- Once the cake has been assembled, cover it and keep it stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Bring it to room temperature just before serving.
- The frosted cake can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature just before serving.