Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake

I often try to incorporate whiskey into desserts. Unfortunately, more than often, whiskey is a little too strong and dominant for dainty desserts.  

However, it does work well in ice creams, bread puddings, and buttercream because there is enough fat and sugar to mellow out the whiskey.

Instead of using plain simple syrup to soak my cake layers, I experimented with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey.  Its a delicious marriage of honey liqueur and Jack.  With a little splash of simple syrup, I found it to be perfect for my Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake.

Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake

Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake

This lemon raspberry layer cake is very light and refreshing.  The flavors are clean and summery and a great combination for wedding cakes.

Most traditional weddings serve some sort of dry white cake with a little fruit filling and an overly sweet buttercream frosting. This is because much of the focus on wedding cakes are on it’s appearance rather than its taste.  

This cake is far from dry.  It is quite moist and very flavorful.  It tastes more like a lemonade cake than a simple white cake flavored with some lemon.

Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake

cake components:

This cake has it all.  You get a little tart from the lemon, some sweetness from the raspberry filling, and the silky fat from the buttercream, which are all rounded out by the honey notes from the whiskey.  

This isn’t a one dimensional cake that is boring to eat.  Each bite is be different and exciting.

The lemon cake uses the same recipe from my popular Rosemary Lemon Cake. Use your favorite store bought raspberry jam, or use the homemade raspberry jam from this Linzer Torte

Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake

The raspberry jam can be found in the previous post.

Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake

Yield: 8-inch layered cake

Author Maryanne Cabrera

Ingredients

Lemon Cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, room temp
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temp
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, room temp
  • 2/3 cup whole milk, room temp
  • 5 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

Italian Meringue Buttercream:

  • 8 oz granulated sugar
  • 2 oz water
  • 1/2 cup egg whites, room temp
  • 12 oz unsalted butter, room temp, cut into tablespoons
  • raspberry jam (homemade) or store-bought

Whiskey Simple Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • splash Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey

Instructions

Lemon Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 8-inch cake round pans with parchment paper. Lightly grease and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter. Add sugar and whip until smooth. Add eggs and continue to mix on medium speed until incorporated. Incorporate sour cream and mix. Scrape down bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing.

  4. Add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with milk. Begin and finish with flour mixture. Add lemon juice and lemon zest and mix until well incorporated.

  5. Divide batter evenly among the two prepared cake pans. Level batter using a mini offset spatula, or the back of spoon. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan for 5 minutes, then run a mini offset spatula around the cake and unmold. Let cake cool to room temperature on wire rack.

Italian Meringue Buttercream:

  1. In a saucepan, combine sugar and water.  Stir until it resembles wet sand.  Set to high heat and cook until candy thermometer reads 245 degrees F.  While the heat is on, DO NOT stir or disturb the sugar solution.  Agitation will cause unwanted crystallization in the sugar solution.  If any sugar splashes onto the sides of the saucepan, use a pastry brush soaked in water to dilute any crystal formation.

    3.  Once sugar reaches 245 degrees F, pour it into the whipping egg whites in a slow and steady stream.  After all the sugar has been poured, increase the speed to high.  Continue to whip until the mixing bowl is slightly warmer than room temperature to the touch.

    4.  Turn down the mixer to medium speed and slowly add the butter a couple tablespoons at a time.  Continue to whip at medium speed until all the butter has been added.  Whip until buttercream is smooth and creamy.

    Notes:  If you add the butter when the meringue is too hot, it may melt and the buttercream may not emulsify.  If this happens, place the mixing bowl in the freezer for a couple minutes to cool down the mixture.  Once cool, start whipping again.

  2. While the sugar is cooking, whip the egg whites in a stand mixer on low speed.  Keep it at low until the white are foamy (it should look like the foam on top of beer).  Once foamy, begin whipping at medium speed.  Starting at a low speed helps to make for a stronger meringue.

  3. Once sugar reaches 245 degrees F, pour it into the whipping egg whites in a slow and steady stream.  After all the sugar has been poured, increase the speed to high.  Continue to whip until the mixing bowl is slightly warmer than room temperature to the touch.

  4. Turn down the mixer to medium speed and slowly add the butter a couple tablespoons at a time.  Continue to whip at medium speed until all the butter has been added.  Whip until buttercream is smooth and creamy.

    NOTE: If you add the butter when the meringue is too hot, it may melt and the buttercream may not emulsify.  If this happens, place the mixing bowl in the freezer for a couple minutes to cool down the mixture.  Once cool, start whipping again.

    If the butter is too cold when added to the meringue, the buttercream may be very chunky.  Use a torch to warm the bowl or place it over a bain-maire to soften the butter.  

Whiskey Simple Syrup:

  1. In a small sauce pot, combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add whiskey before using.

Assembly:

  1. Slice each cake into two layers.

  2. Place one layer of cake on a cake board.  Lightly soak the cake with the simple syrup whiskey mixture.  Spread a think layer of raspberry jam followed by a layer of buttercream about half the size of the cake.  Repeat with remaining layers.

  3. Crumb coat the cake and let chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.  Once chilled, coat the cake with another layer of buttercream.  The final icing of the cake should have the same amount of buttercream on the sides as well as the top.  Do not put on too much buttercream.  As a guideline, it should be as thick as half a layer of cake.

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Comments

liquor online

JD is a pretty strong statement for an alcohol flavor modifier. I’m actually quite curious as to how that works. I’ll definitely give that a try.

wine online

I’ve actually tried several dishes shaped by strong alcoholic beverages. This is the first time I’ve seen the idea applied to a dessert dish though.

chardonnay

I must admit, I haven’t tried eating dessert items with strong liquor. It sounds like a weird but rather inviting idea.

George Schneider

Honestly, I have never tried incorporating any kind of liquors with desserts. It sounds odd indeed, but I think it’s a good idea. However, I am not really a fan of whiskey. I love wines over the latter. I always buy wines online whenever I am looking forward to a special event. My girlfriend will be celebrating her birthday this month, and I think it would be a good idea to serve some wines and desserts. I look forward to enjoying that event.

Angela Scavuzzo

What ratio of simple syrup to jd honey whiskey do you use? How much total do you brush on the cut cakes? Excited to try it, just want to get it right!

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Hi Angela, I do a one to one ratio of simple syrup to jd honey whiskey. I’ve never measured how much syrup I actually brush on to the cut cakes. Moderately moisten cake with the syrup. Don’t soak it too much, as it will make the cake fragile. You just want enough to moisten the cake. I hope that helps!

Stephanie

Hi!

Mine and my father’s birthday’s are coming up in July (born on the same day!) and I was wondering if there’s any chance you could share this recipe with me if you’re not going to post it? We always do a special cake and we love lemons and raspberry. I was really excited to find this blog (I’m actually making the honey whiskey lemonade now) and was elated to see this cake linked only to find that the recipe wasn’t here!

I would really really appreciate it! My email is smote@kent.edu

Thank you for making this awesome blog! I love it!

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