By Julia Busuttil Nishimura - @juliaostro
Photography by Eve Wilson - @evegwilson
This lemon and raspberry cake is a happy combination of an everyday sponge that you can whip up without a recipe, and a special occasion cake that gets whipped out only a few times a year. It has layers (which gives the cake height and drama), but at its core, it’s a very simple lemon butter cake sandwiched between lemon curd, raspberries and a whipped raspberry icing. You can use a quality store-bought lemon curd for a shortcut to cake heaven, but making it yourself is rather easy if you have 20 minutes up your sleeve.
For a smaller cake, simply halve the recipe to make a two-layer beauty. You can even leave the cake as one whole cake and simply top it with the frosting, a swirl of lemon curd and some raspberries. I topped my cake with some beautiful garden roses, just be sure they’re spray-free before using them on your cake!
400g caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of two lemons
400g unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
400g self-raising flour, sifted
250g raspberries, to layer
Roses, to decorate
125 ml (½ cup) lemon juice
150 g caster sugar
Pinch of sea salt
5 egg yolks
100 g softened unsalted butter
Zest of a lemon
100g pure icing sugar, sifted
600g creme fraiche
200g pure cream
Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line two 23cm round cake tins.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Stir in the lemon zest and cooled melted butter. Mix to incorporate.
Add the sifted flour and gently stir, ensuring there are no lumps in the batter. Pour into the prepared tins and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and turn the cake onto a wire rack to continue cooling. Split each cake in two with a sharp knife so you now have four thinner cakes.
Meanwhile, for the lemon curd, combine the lemon juice, sugar and sea salt in a large bowl. Sit it upon a pot of simmering water and whisk to combine. Whisk in the egg yolks and cook, continuously whisking, until the mixture thickens. This will take around 10 minutes. If you have a thermometer, the mixture should be about 80C. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, a little at a time. Ensuring it is incorporated before adding the next piece. Mix in the lemon zest and pour the curd into a container and cover with baking paper or cling wrap, pressing it directly onto the curd to avoid it forming a skin. Chill in the refrigerator.
Crush the raspberries with a fork and then strain into a large bowl, discarding the seeds. Add the icing sugar, creme fraiche, and cream and whip until stiff peaks form.
To assemble the cake, place one layer of the cake on the base of a serving plate. Place 1/4 of the cream mixture on the base and spread to the edge. Spoon 1/3 of the curd mixture onto the cream and use the back of a spoon to swirl towards the edges. Top with 1/3 of the raspberries and then place another cake layer on top. Repeat this process with the remaining cream, curd and cake layers. Finish the top of the cake with the cream mixture and decorate with roses.