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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.