A light and fluffy lemon layer cake with a raspberry cake filling and a vanilla buttercream! Utterly delicious!
Happy birthday to MEEEEE! Let’s eat lemon cake. With raspberry cake filling. And vanilla buttercream. Okay? Okay!
Yep, that’s right. I’m in my last and final year of my twenties. Dun dun dunnnnn.
Nah. Not really. I don’t feel that weird about thirty being right around the corner (okay maybe it’s a leeeetle weird) but I definitely don’t feel old enough to be almost thirty. Does that make sense? Like it doesn’t freak me out, but I don’t feel old enough to be as old my age sounds.
Getting old is confusing.
Things that are not confusing? Cake on your birthday. It’s a no-brainer, right? My dilemma is always choosing what kind of cake to have. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla or chocolate? It’s such a hard decision!
You see, I have a special place in my heart for light and airy white cake with fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting, I think it stems from my Chuck-E Cheese birthdays. If you’re not familiar with Chuck-E Cheese’s birthday cake you, my friend, are missing out. If it wasn’t weird for me to walk into a Chuck-E Cheese establishment at my age, without any kids (and pregnant to boot), I would go there and eat cake on my birthday. Since that’d be creepy, I’m stuck making my own cake. #almost30yearoldproblems
ANYWAYS. I love, love, love white cake. But then again, I loooooove chocolate cake. You know – rich, moist, chocolate-on-chocolate cake.
So what’s a girl to do when she is torn like this? Make TWO birthday cakes, that’s what! Or at least that’s what I did.
It might seem weird to you that I made my own birthday cake but let me assure you – I insisted. Marc told me I could only have two birthday cakes if he made both of them but I really, truly, madly, insisted that I make them myself. While baking cakes may not be my specialty or favorite thing to do, there’s something special that I enjoy about making my own birthday cake. Why not make two of them while I’m at it?
First up was this light and lemony layer cake, with a sweet raspberry cake filling and simple vanilla buttercream. SO GOOD, you guys. If I hadn’t already just eaten a piece, I’d go back and eat another right now. Who am I kidding? It’s birthday week, which obviously calls for two pieces a night.
The lemon cake is tender but holds up really well when sliced. I thought the raspberry cake filling perfect complemented the lemon flavor of the cake, and the neutral but obvious vanilla buttercream rounded it all out.
I’m thinking this would be a beautiful cake for Easter, with it’s spring flavors and all, and definitely any spring birthday. I can attest it is definitely birthday worthy!
You might be wondering if I’m going to post the chocolate cake I made this weekend, too. Since I pretty much followed this recipe exactly, I’ll just direct you over there. It is, hands down, the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made or eaten.
So tell me – do you prefer a vanilla or chocolate birthday cake? Or another flavor? Or are you non-traditional and like pie or something else for your birthday? I’d love to know!
Lemon Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling and Vanilla ButtercreamPrint Pin Rate
- For the lemon cake:
- 2 1/3 cups cake flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh grated lemon zest
- 3/4 cup 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk
- 5 large eggs whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- For the raspberry filling:
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- For the buttercream frosting:
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 tablespoons whole milk
- To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans.
- In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir to combine.
- In small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the sugar with the lemon zest, stirring until zest and sugar are completely combined.
- In large bowl with electric mixer, beat lemon sugar with butter until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and beat until smooth, about another minute.
- Add 1/4 cup of the milk and beat in until just combined.
- Then add a quarter of the flour mixture, beating until just combined. Repeat with remaining milk and flour mixture until all of it is added to the batter. Don't over mix.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy.
- Add cream of tartar, then beat on until stiff peaks form.
- Fold in the egg white mixture gently, 1/3 of it at a time, being careful not to deflate the mixture.
- Pour batter into the prepared cake pans, dividing evenly, and smoothing the tops with a spatula.
- Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Mine took 35 minutes.
- Let cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes, then carefully invert each cake onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.
- While cakes are cooling, make the filling.
- In a small saucepan, combine the raspberries, sugar, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of water. With a whisk or fork mash the raspberries down to release some juices.
- Heat over medium heat until it reaches a low boil.
- In small bowl, mix remaining tablespoon of water with cornstarch.
- Add to raspberry mixture and and stir quickly to combine.
- Continue heating the mixture at a low boil for another minute, until it is thickened and looking glossy.
- Let cool.
- While cake and filling are cooling, make the frosting.
- Beat butter on high until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating for 10 seconds after each cup is combined.
- Add vanilla, salt, and milk, beating until well combined. Use 3 tablespoons of milk for firmer frosting, and use 4 tablespoons for a little bit thinner of a frosting, whatever your preference.
- To assemble the cake, place first cake on cake stand/plate.
- If cake is not even, use a sharp knife to cut off any excess to level it out.
- Spread raspberry filling over the cake, leaving about 1 inch around the edge so it doesn't spill out the side when you put the second cake on top.
- Place second cake on top.
- Frost cake to your liking.
- Smooth the surface with an offset spatula or pipe decoration, if desired.
- Serve and enjoy!