Summer has commenced and all my favourite fruits are lining the fruit bins at the grocery stores, bursting from their crates, alluring me with their bright colours and beautiful textures. So when I volunteered to make my sisters 27th birthday cake in early June I instantly thought that I must take advantage of the ripe fresh raspberries. But because it was my sister’s Birthday I told her that she could have the cake of her choice. I was relieved when she said she wanted something light and lemony, for lemon pairs perfectly with raspberry. And voila Jessica’s Lemon Birthday Cake with Raspberry Buttercream Icing was born or rather re-created from a recipe I found online that seemed utterly scrumptious. The result was visually spectacular but I held my breath for the real test was to come. As people took their first bites their faces lit up and I knew that it was also a flavourful success.

I must warn you though that this cake is not for the fair weather cake eaters of the world. You must not be concerned with your faddy diets being destroyed of the fact that you may have to let out one belt buckle after consuming this cake. What I am trying to say is that you must be prepared to embrace your inner fat kid.

On that note, I must also disclose that this cake was not in any regards light. In fact I would say that it is rather like a lemon – five- pound cake. But every pound of cake was consumed with joy and I would definitely put it in my recipe memory bank for another Birthday or summer occasion.

I adapted this recipe from: http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/2011/10/lemon-birthday-cake-with-raspberry-buttercream.html

 For the cake you will need:
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sour cream, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons
3 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 sticks butter, at soft room temperature

For the icing and decoration:
3 cups fresh raspberries
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
4 sticks butter, at room temperature

To make the cake layers: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Then grease very veeeeery well with oil or butter two 9-inch spring form cake pans.

You will first want to whisk the eggs with 6 tablespoons of the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest.

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda. Add the butter, cut into rough tablespoon-sized chunks, and the remaining sour cream, and, using your hand-held mixer beat this together for nearly two minutes until it is very creamy. Then add in the egg mixture in two parts, beating in the mixture well.

Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 30 minutes. You will want to do the toothpick test (if it comes out clean you are good to go). If it passes the test run a butter knife along the edges, then remove the sides of the pan and cool completely. When cool, flip the cake onto the plate you wish to serve it on.

To make the icing:

Puree 1 1/2 pints of raspberries with 1/3 cup sugar in a blender –thank god for the magic bullet-. You will save the other 1 ½ of raspberries for decorating the top of the cake. I may have also nibbled on a few while doing so.

Combine the eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl and set it over a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly but not too hard, until the egg-sugar mixture is warm. Make sure that you do not end up curdling the mixture.

Remove from the heat and beat on high speed using a mixer. After about 5-7 minutes, it should have increased in volume. It should be light, airy, and cool. Add the butter a few tablespoons at a time. Mix it super duper well because no one likes getting a big buttery mouthful with their lemon cake.  At points, the icing may look curdled but do not fear you just have to give it a good whipping. When all the butter is mixed in, you can then add in the raspberry puree and beat again.

To put together the final creation, place one layer on a serving platter. Spread a thick layer of butter cream across. Carefully place the second layer, top side down, on the buttercream. Use the remaining icing to ice the top and sides thickly and evenly. Arrange the fresh raspberries as you like! And then …OM NOM NOM.

Happy Baking!

-L