I was delighted to see the response for yesterday’s photos since I’d planned to post the cake recipe today. I’m always a little nervous about updating old recipes, because I don’t know if anyone will feel like they’re getting something new out of the blog. It’s great when I get the chance to update things for the better.
It’s going back to recipes like this one that show me that I really have grown a little since I first started blogging. I first developed this recipe to be a cupcake recipe. Michael’s been begging me to make them again FOREVER, but it seems like I’m always trying something new and somehow I never got to it.
Still, when we were discussing birthday cakes a few weeks ago, I told him of this image I had of a lemon cake with lemon cream frosting and raspberry sauce. His eyes got wide, his mouth opened a little and he said “can we PLEASE have that sometime soon?!”
I decided to make it a priority, so it was one of his 14 Days of Valentine’s gifts over the weekend. He was thrilled.
I ended up not having to tweak my original cupcake recipe much. I doubled it, so there’d be enough for a layer cake, then I doubled the lemon cream frosting and made a simple raspberry sauce. It worked out beautifully and I was thrilled! Watch out for that lemon cream frosting…it’s addictive. In the best way possible (it’s also really good on sugar cookies).
Tip: If you have a hard time getting your cakes out of your cake pans, prep your pan by buttering or spraying it, then placing a circle of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, then buttering or spraying the parchment. I’ve recently taken to doing this and it’s worked like a charm every time.
2 (8oz) packages Neufchatel (1/3 less fat) cream cheese at room temp (you could use full-fat)
12 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
juice of two lemons
1–1 1/2tsp lemon extract (add just enough so you don’t feel overwhelmed. I like mine on the lemony side)
1tsp vanilla extract
1–1 1/2c powdered sugar (you may add more if you want a stiffer frosting)
For the Raspberry Sauce
2c raspberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
2–3 Tbsp sugar
juice of 1 lemon
For the cake:
Cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs, one at a time, making sure the first egg is well incorporated before adding the second. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, lemon extract, and vanilla. In another bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.
Alternate adding dry and wet ingredients by adding 1/3 of the dry mixture into the butter/sugar, then 1/2 the buttermilk mixture. After adding the last 1/3 of the dry mixture, stop mixer or hand mixer and stir in by hand till just combined (over beating after adding flour will make for more dry, dense cake).
If making a layer cake, pour batter into two round cake pans that have been sprayed or buttered and lined with parchment. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5-7 minutes, then turn out of cake pans and allow to cool completely before frosting.
If making cupcakes, pour into two muffin pans lined with muffin cups. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or till tops are JUST golden and cupcakes test clean with a toothpick. Allow to cool entirely before frosting.
For the lemon cream icing:
Cream together cream cheese and butter till well combined and not lumpy. Add lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon extract, and vanilla. Beat in 1c powdered sugar. Taste and add more lemon extract if desired. If you want a stiffer frosting, feel free to stir in more powdered sugar. If you want it looser, you can add less. It’s really personal preference.
Frost cupcakes or assemble layer cake by placing one cake layer on your plate/cake stand, 1/2 of the frosting, the second cake layer, and the remaining frosting. Serve with raspberry sauce.
For the Raspberry Sauce:
In a blender or food processor, puree raspberries with sugar and lemon juice. Taste and add additional sugar if desired. Push through a mesh strainer to remove seeds and refrigerate until ready to serve.