Lemon Raspberry Cake

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We took a 10 day vacation to Amelia Island Florida and visited with my husband’s aunt. While we were there I took a vacation from baking… But not from dessert! I sampled desserts from every restaurant and bakery I could find. It was great but I was happy to get home to start baking again. We got home Saturday night, went grocery shopping on Sunday, and started baking Monday! This cake looked interesting to me because of the fruity flavor combination. It turned out great. Perfectly refreshing for hot summer days in Miami!

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INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE

1/2     cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
3        large eggs, room temperature
1        teaspoon vanilla
2        tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1        cup milk
2        cups all-purpose flour
2       teaspoons baking powder
1/4   teaspoon salt
6       ounces white chocolate bar, melted

FROSTING

2     cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter; softened at room temperature
8     ounce cream cheese; softened at room temperature
3     tablespoons lemon juice
1     teaspoon rum (optional)
1     teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
3     cups confectioner’s sugar
yellow food coloring
1/2     cup lemon curd (I used store bought)
2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
Pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

1. FOR THE CAKE; Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, grease parchment, and flour pans. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl.

2. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add vanilla and lemon juice. Reduce speed to medium-low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk in 2 additions, scraping down bowl as needed. Add melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until completely incorporated, about 30 seconds. Give batter stir by hand.

3. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth tops with rubber spatula. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cake cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discarding parchment, and let cool completely on rack.

4. FOR THE FROSTING; Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Add cream cheese and beat until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla, food coloring, lemon juice, and salt. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar, beat until smooth.

5. In a medium bowl, use a fork to crush the raspberries. Set aside. Using long serrated knife, cut 1 horizontal line around sides of each layer; then following scored lines, cut each layer into 2 even layers.

6. Line edges of cake platter with 4 strips of parchment to keep platter clean. Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread about 3/4 cup icing evenly over top, right to edge of cake. Spoon half of raspberries, and spread over top, leaving 1/2 inch border around edge. Top with middle layer and press lightly to adhere. Spread about 3/4 cup icing evenly over top, right to edge of cake. Spread lemon curd over top, leaving 1/2 inch border around edge. Repeat with the third layer, spread about 3/4 cup icing evenly over top, right to edge of cake. Spoon half of raspberries, and spread over top, leaving 1/2 inch border around edge, top with remaining cake layer and press lightly to adhere.

7. Spread about 1 cup icing evenly over top, right to edge and sides of cake. Refrigerator the cake for 30 minutes or freeze for 20 minutes.

8. Spread remaining icing evenly over sides of cake. To smooth icing, run edge of offset spatula around cake sides and over top. Spoon 1/2 cup icing into pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip, pipe on top of the cake and decorate with Raspberry Macarons if desire. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours until cake is set. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe slightly adapted from Tatyana’s Everyday Food