Lemon Raspberry Cake
This Lemon Raspberry Cake has delicious lemon cake layers studded with fresh raspberries filled with a smooth homemade Raspberry Sauce and frosted with a vibrant raspberry buttercream!
I love that this lemon raspberry cake combines two of my favorite fresh flavors: Lemon and Raspberry! I have so many delicious lemon recipes and raspberry recipes if you also love these fresh and vibrant flavors! Be sure to try my Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake, Lemon Bar Cake, Raspberry Sorbet, and Raspberry Shortcake Sheet Cake recipes!
Why This Recipe Works
- Lemon cake layers studded with fresh raspberries. This lemon raspberry cake is studded with fresh raspberries in each cake layer! The raspberries are carefully broken into pieces to ensure their color doesn’t bleed into the lemon cake, affecting the color. There are no raspberry preserves in any element — all fresh raspberries!
- Made with fresh lemons. The moist lemon cake layers are made with fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest! This ensures the best and freshest lemon flavor!
- Raspberries don’t sink! Tossing the raspberry pieces in flour ensures they won’t all sink to the bottom. Gently fold in the flour-coated raspberries for the best results!
- Lemon cake with raspberry filling. The filling is my favorite Homemade Raspberry Sauce and the buttercream also uses real raspberries too!
- Cake Flour: Cake flour is a finer milled flour with a lower protein content compared to other flour.
- Vegetable Oil: You can use vegetable oil, canola oil or grapeseed oil. The oil will provide a more moist texture.
- Buttermilk: The buttermilk is acidic, so when combined with the baking powder, it will create a chemical reaction that will give rise to the cake.
- Sour Cream: The sour cream will provide additional fat for the cake, making the layers extra moist.
- Lemon Juice: While you can use store bought lemon juice, you need fresh lemons for the zest so you may as well use the juice from fresh lemons too!
- Lemon Zest: You’ll need fresh lemons for the lemon zest. This will give you the best and freshest lemon flavor for the raspberry lemon cake layers.
- All-Purpose Flour: You only need a tiny bit of all purpose flour to toss the raspberries in so they don’t sink to the bottom of the cake layers while baking.
- Raspberries: You can use fresh or frozen raspberries for each element of this lemon and raspberry cake. The raspberries for the lemon cake need to be gently broken into pieces to reduce the risk of the raspberries turning the cake batter pink.
- Cornstarch: The cornstarch will help to thicken the raspberry cake filling!
Make the Lemon Raspberry Cake
- Whisk dry ingredients. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the cake flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
- Cream together some of the wet ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until creamed. Add the oil and beat until light in color and texture. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each.
- Combine remaining wet ingredients in a separate bowl. In a separate bowl, add the buttermilk, lemon juice, lemon zest, sour cream, and vanilla extract.
- Add together. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture in the stand mixer. Mix on low. Add the buttermilk mixture and the rest of the dry ingredients and mix. Stop mixing as soon as the dry ingredients are combined. Do not to over mix.
- Coat the raspberries in flour. Toss the raspberry pieces in 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour and gently fold into the lemon cake batter. Divide batter between two 8-inch cake pans that have been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and lined with a parchment paper circle on the bottom of the pan.
- Bake the lemon raspberry cake layers. Bake at 325° F for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. Remove and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Raspberry Filling
- Dissolve the sugar. Bring the raspberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup water to boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once boiling, reduce to low and add the vanilla extract.
- Make a cornstarch slurry. Mix the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water in a separate small bowl. Add the cornstarch slurry to the raspberry sauce filling. Stir and boil over medium-low heat until the thickened (about 4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the butter until melted. Pour through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds (if desired). Let cool completely.
Make the Raspberry Buttercream
- Make the raspberry mixture. Cook the raspberries over medium heat in a small saucepan, mashing and stirring (about 8 minutes) until slightly thickened. Pour through a mesh sieve to remove seeds if desired. Cool in the fridge.
- Beat together the ingredients. Beat butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth and light. Mix in the salt and cooled raspberry mixture. Slowly add powdered sugar, cream and vanilla extract and beat on high for 3 minutes.
Assemble and Decorate
- Assemble the lemon raspberry cake. Place a dollop of buttercream on a cake board to keep the cake in place. Place 1 layer of the cake on top and spread a thin layer of buttercream in an even layer. Pipe a rim of buttercream around the edge to create a dam for the filling. Spread 2/3-3/4 cup raspberry filling into an even layer.
- Add second layer. Place the other cake layer on top and frost the cake in a thin layer of buttercream. Freeze for 5-10 minutes or until the frosting is firm.
- Decorate! Frost the entire lemon cake with raspberry buttercream and decorate as desired.
I used my hands to break apart the raspberries for the lemon and raspberry cake layers instead of cutting them into pieces using a knife so they wouldn’t leave lots of streaks of red or turn the cake batter pink when I folded them in.
When piping the rim of buttercream on top of the first cake layer, note if the buttercream is extra soft. If so, place the cake in the freezer to firm up before adding the filling. You want the buttercream dam to be firm enough to hold in the filling while you finish decorating.
I used fresh berries for this lemon-raspberry cake, but you are welcome to use frozen raspberries!
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
If making in advance, wrap the lemon raspberry cake layers in plastic and store in the freezer for up to two weeks.
The fresh raspberry buttercream can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. About three hours before you assemble the cake, remove the buttercream from the fridge. Once it has softened, beat until it’s smooth again.
For more information on storing and freezing cakes, including how to freeze cake layers, buttercream and decorated cakes, check out my How to Store and Freeze Cakes guide!
Yes! This delicious raspberry cake filling should be stored in the fridge for up to 7 days.
I strained the seeds out of the filling and the buttercream. So this raspberry cake filling and raspberry buttercream is seedless. However, you can also choose not to pour the raspberry mixtures through a fine mesh sieve.
Yes! I tossed the raspberries in flour so they wouldn’t sink in the cake layers while baking.
If you don’t toss the raspberries in a bit of flour prior to adding them to the batter, they can sink. I would also be sure to carefully fold in the raspberries for best results.
Yes you can! This delicious lemon raspberry cake recipe is studded with fresh raspberries in each cake layer.
More Raspberry and Lemon Desserts
- Lemon Jello Cake
- Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cake Mix
- Raspberry Ice Cream
- Freezer Raspberry Jam
- Raspberry Mojito Mocktail
Lemon Raspberry Cake
Lemon Raspberry Cake Layers
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter - slightly softened
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil - or canola oil or grapeseed oil
- 2 large eggs - at room temperature
- 1/2 cup buttermilk - at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream - at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries - broken into pieces, see note #1.
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour - to toss the raspberries in
- 6 oz raspberries - fresh or frozen (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 tablespoon butter - salted or unsalted is fine
Lemon Raspberry Cake Layers
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Prepare 2 8-inch round cake pans by spraying with nonstick spray and lining the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl mix together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until homogenous. Add the oil and beat until the mixture lightens in color and texture. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon zest.
- With the mixer on low speed, add half of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg mixture. Add the buttermilk mixture and then the rest of the dry ingredients. Stop mixing as soon as the dry ingredients are combined and the mixture is homogenous. Be careful not to overmix.
- Toss the raspberry pieces in 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour and then carefully fold into the lemon cake batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake for 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with a couple cake crumbs on it.
- Let the cake layers cool for 10-15 minutes and turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. If making in advance, wrap the layers in plastic and store in the freezer for up to two weeks.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat add the raspberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Heat until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat and add the vanilla.
- In a small bowl stir the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water. Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan of raspberries. Stir and boil over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened a bit.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter until it is completely melted.
- Pour the raspberry sauce through a fine mesh sieve to strain the raspberry seeds. (This step is optional, you don't have to strain the sauce). Place the raspberry sauce in a bowl to cool to room temperature, or cover and store in the fridge for 1 week.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat cook the raspberries, mashing and stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened a bit. Doing this will concentrate the raspberry flavor and prevent the buttercream from having too much liquid in it. If desired, pour the warm sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove the raspberry seeds. Refrigerate until completely cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until it’s light and smooth.
- Mix in the salt, and cooled raspberry sauce. Slowly add the powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla. Once all the ingredients have been mixed in, beat the buttercream on high for 3 minutes.
- This buttercream can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. About three hours before cake assembly remove the buttercream from the fridge. Once it has softened, mix it until its smooth and creamy again.
- Spread a small dollop of buttercream on the center of a cardboard cake round or cake stand and place a cake layer on top. Spread a thin layer of buttercream evenly over the top of the cake layer and then pipe a rim of buttercream around the edge to create a dam for the filling.
- If the buttercream is extra soft, place the cake in the freezer so it can firm up before adding the filling.
- Spread 2/3-3/4 cup raspberry filling onto the cake layer, being sure to not fill past the rim of buttercream.
- Place the other cake layer on top and cover the entire cake in a thin layer of frosting. Freeze or refrigerate the cake until the buttercream is firm, then add the final layer of buttercream around the cake. Decorate as desired and enjoy!
- Breaking apart the raspberries: I used my hands to break apart the raspberries instead of cutting them into pieces using a knife. I did this so they wouldn’t leave lots of streaks of red or turn the cake batter pink when I folded them in.