Lemon & Raspberry Cake for Two
Sometimes, I’m really craving a slice of lemon cake.
And sometimes, I make a lemon cake so that I can use the itsy bitsy gray cake stand I bought a long time ago but haven’t had the chance to use yet (I actually used it in my S’mores Cupcakes photos last week as well, but I photographed this lemon cake before those cupcakes).
Yes, I’m a food photographer who is sometimes ruled by my prop collection.
But if it took a long-neglected cake stand to get me to bake something this delicious, then so be it.
There’s another secret about this cake, too. I’m calling it a “Cake for Two” because you know, it’s tiny and adorable (unlike my lemon curd cake, which is a full size cake).
But if you just cut it in half and served it as two pieces, those would be some really big pieces of cake.
So, let’s just say that it serves two, a few times. Because who doesn’t want a slice of cake with their Valentine’s dinner, and then another slice the next morning for breakfast, right?
Yes, this is my idea of a Valentine’s cake. While my husband would probably prefer the more traditional chocolate approach for Valentine’s, lemon is more my love language.
We’ll go back and forth on this, some years baking deeply chocolate brownies, and some years brightening up a cold February night with something lemony fresh, like this Lemon & Raspberry Cake for Two or my Valentine’s Day dessert shooters with lemon curd on the bottom.
This year is one of those “lemony fresh” years. I’ve whipped up a classic white cake batter with the addition of fresh lemon zest and a spoonful of lemon extract.
I divided the batter between three 6-inch cake pans and baked them right up.
The frosting is a lemony variation of a classic Swiss meringue buttercream, meaning it’s easy to work with but not overly sweet.
Finally, hidden between each layer is a little pool of raspberry preserves (also perfect for heart jam cookies).
Lemon desserts for Valentine’s Day. Let’s make this a thing.
Lemon & Raspberry Cake for Two
For the Cake Layers:
- Nonstick baking spray
- 1 1/3 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
- 5 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened
- 2 large Egg Whites
- 2 teaspoons Grated Lemon Zest
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Extract
- 1/2 cup Whole Milk
For the Frosting:
- 2 large Egg Whites
- 7 tablespoons Sugar
- pinch of Sea Salt
- 13 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 teaspoon Lemon Extract
For Assembly :
- 2/3 cup Raspberry Preserves, Divided
- 1 cup Fresh Raspberries
- To Make the Cakes: Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray three 6-inch round cake pans with cooking spray.
- In small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
- In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
- Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add lemon zest and extract; mix until just combined. In alternating additions, add milk and flour mixture; beat until just combined.
- Divide batter between prepared pans (if scaling, each pan will take approximately 6.9 ounces of batter).
- Transfer pans to oven and bake 17 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, rotating pans halfway through.
- Transfer pans to cooling rack; let cool 5 minutes before turning cakes out of pans onto rack. Let cakes cool completely before assembling cake.
- To Make the Frosting:In heatproof bowl of standing mixer set over pan of simmering water, combine egg whites, sugar and salt.
- Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm and sugar has dissolved (when you rub the mixture between your fingertips, it should be completely smooth with no sugar granules still noticeable).
- Attach bowl to stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing speed to medium-high, whisk 8 to 10 minutes or until stiff peaks form, and mixture is completely cool.
- With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Add extract, beat until just combined.
- Switch to paddle attachment; continue beating on low speed 3 to 4 minutes or until frosting is completely smooth, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.
- To Assemble the Cake:Place one cake layer on turntable or cake stand. Using piping bag, pipe a ring of frosting around outer edge of cake (this frosting ring will hold the preserves inside the cake).
- Spoon 1/3 cup preserves into center of ring; gently spread until you have an even layer.Repeat process with second cake layer.
- Place third cake layer on top. Use remaining frosting to thinly frost outside and top of cake. Garnish top of cake with raspberries.
Is thirteen tablespoons of butter correct? For the icing?
Yes, it’s correct.
Hi! This looks delicious and I’m planning on making it for my daughter’s birthday. Did you use 6 inch x 2 inch pans? Thank you!
Hi Katie – I used these pans right here. They are 6-inches by 3/4-inch:
Never tried this version of lemon cake before, sounds delicious though. Will have to give this ago. Thanks simon
We love lemon & raspberry! Lori, any suggestions to adapt for standard sized round cake pans? I have two little boys + my husband & we will need more of this tempting cake!
Hi Jennifer – thanks for stopping by! So, the cake recipe was actually adapted from a Wilton recipe (link below) that calls for 5 of the mini pans, but I just used 3. I obviously didn’t use any food coloring, but did add lemon zest and lemon extract for flavor. I’m guessing that if you make that full recipe from Wilton, adding the lemon flavorings, you’ll have enough batter to divide between 2 (and possibly even 3) eight or nine-inch cake pans. You’d just need to bake it however long you need to until the cakes were cooked through. Sorry I can’t be more specific than that, but I don’t want to give you any misinformation without testing it myself. If you DO try it, please stop back and let me know how it went 🙂
What a sweet little cake! In a development that has truly startled me, I’ve been moving over from the chocolate side to the citrus side. This cake looks incredibly flavorful – thanks for sharing the recipe!
Oh man, once you move over from chocolate to citrus, you never go back 😉