Raspberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream

Raspberry Lemon Tea Cake with fork

My Raspberry Cake recipe with lemon buttercream is made with yogurt, fresh raspberries, and lots of lemon juice for an old fashioned from-scratch layer cake that’s perfect for birthdays and special occasions, or any time you want to pamper yourself!

A slice of Raspberry Lemon Cake on a wooden table

my raspberry lemon cake is over the top delicious but not at all fussy.

It’s just the thing with a cup of tea or coffee for an afternoon pick me up. Yes, you can definitely serve it as an after dinner dessert, but it seems a shame to waste such a good cake on people who’ve just had a big meal. And anyway, I’m always looking for ways to insert more cake into my day 🙂

This recipe is inspired by European style cakes, it has a moist, dense texture, and it’s not over the top sweet. The berries add just the right fruity element, and the frosting pulls it all together with a burst of tartness.

what you’ll need for this simple raspberry cake

  • flour ~ I use all purpose flour, but you could use cake flour as well.
  • butter ~ unless otherwise stated I always bake with unsalted butter. Be sure to bring your butter to room temperature before using.
  • granulated sugar
  • confectioner’s sugar
  • eggs ~ unless otherwise stated I always use large eggs for baking. We’re going to separate them.
  • yogurt ~ any kind you love, I use full fat vanilla. Yogurt has the surprising ability to make baked goods extra tender.
  • raspberries ~ for this cake I like to use frozen berries because they don’t break up when I fold them into the batter. If you’ve got fresh berries you might pop them into the freezer for a bit to firm them up.
  • lemon juice and zest ~ the zest is where all the flavor of the lemon hides!
  • baking soda, baking powder, and salt
Raspberry Lemon Cake made with yogurt

easy method for making a raspberry cake

This cake comes together a little differently than most cakes. The eggs are separated, and the whites are beaten and folded into the batter. It gives the cake a light sponge cake texture which is really nice.

  1. Separate the eggs, and whip the whites to soft peaks.
  2. Cream the softened butter, sugar, and lemon zest beating in the egg yolks one at a time. Add the vanilla.
  3. Alternately fold in the dry ingredients with the yogurt. Fold in the berries.
slicing a raspberry lemon cake

my best tips for baking with raspberries

The flavors of this cake really sing, partly because whole raspberries are folded into the batter just before baking. But fresh raspberries are incredibly delicate, and will inevitably break apart as you stir them in. I’ve got a solution for that!

  • Use frozen berries if you would like them to stay in tact when folded into the cake batter. Do not thaw them before using.
  • If you have fresh berries, consider popping them in the freezer for a short while to firm them up before using.
folding raspberries into cake batter

the tart lemon buttercream is everything!

Your reward for the light as air yogurt cake is the thick layer of insanely sweet tart lemon buttercream. It’s like lemon fudge, only better 🙂

I might be in the minority here, but I love the cake cold from the refrigerator. It does wonderful things to the buttercream.

A slice of raspberry lemon cake with lemon buttercream frosting

I recommend sturdy nonstick pans for layer cakes

Chicago cake pan

For those times when only a layer cake will do, you need good sturdy reliable cake pans. I like to use thick walled nonstick pans like Chicago pans, or USA brand pans. Both cook evenly and release the cakes every time. I have a set of both 8 inch and 9 inch pans, there really is a big difference in the size of the cakes when you bake in the different pans ~ sometimes the smaller cake pan works better, and vice versa.

How to care for your cake pans so they release your cakes perfectly every time!

  • I always hand wash my cake pans in warm water and dish soap, I never put them in the dishwasher. Be sure to dry them thoroughly before putting away.
  • Don’t ever let metal utensils touch the surface of your pans.
Raspberry Lemon Cake with fork

Raspberry treats on this blog can run the gamut from casual little Raspberry Almond Bars to the more exotic Raspberry Pavlovas

raspberry lemon cake
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4 from 2803 votes

Raspberry Lemon Cake

An old fashioned Raspberry Lemon Cake recipe with lemon buttercream frosting, made with yogurt, fresh raspberries, and lots of lemon juice for a sweet/tart delicious dessert.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 12 servings
Calories 585kcal
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • 8 inch cake pans

Ingredients

cake

  • 9 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt (you can use vanilla yogurt as well)
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries (I like to use frozen berries)

lemon buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, you may need a bit more.
  • optional 1 small drop yellow gel food coloring

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F Butter and flour 2 non-stick 8 inch cake pans. I like to put a round of parchment paper on the bottom of the pans just to insure a good release.
    prepped cake pans
  • Cream the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
    creaming butter and sugar together
  • Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, along with the vanilla.
    beating egg yolks into cake batter
  • In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
    whipping egg whites into soft peaks
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
    whisking dry ingredients for raspberry lemon cake
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with the yogurt and mix until well combined. Scrape down the bowl.
    adding yogurt to cake batter
  • Fold in the whipped egg whites, and when no white streaks remain.
    folding egg whites into cake batter
  • Fold in the berries.
    folding raspberries into cake batter
  • Spread the batter evenly between the two cake pans and even out the tops with an offset spatula.
    cake batter in two pans
  • Bake the cakes on the same oven shelf for about 30 minutes, or until the center springs back when touched and the edges are just starting to turn golden. Don't over bake.
  • Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes before turning them out and cooling them completely on a rack.
    two layers of raspberry lemon cake cooling on a rack
  • To make the frosting cream the butter, sugar, (and the drop of food coloring, if using) adding enough lemon juice to make a creamy spreadable frosting. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add more sugar for a stiffer frosting, and more lemon juice if it’s too stiff.
    making lemon frosting in a food processor
  • Frost the cake when completely cool. Add a generous amount of frosting to the first layer, then top with second layer and finish frosting top and sides.
    slicing a raspberry lemon cake

Cook’s notes

  • This cake has been wildly popular since its original posting, but a few of you have had issues with it, so I’ve re-tested the recipe, tweaked a few details, and made new notes, below. It’s the same amazing cake, only even better. Hope you love it!
  • 8 inch pans work best for this recipe, and I’ve increased the baking time accordingly. The slightly smaller pan makes a slightly taller cake.
  • I’ve added lemon zest and vanilla extract to the cake, and reduced the amount of baking powder.
  • I’ve upped the amount of berries.
 
Other amazing layer cakes to try ~

Nutrition

Calories: 585kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 272mg | Potassium: 170mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 67g | Vitamin A: 828IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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485 Comments

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  • Reply
    Alexis
    September 10, 2022 at 4:19 pm

    Can I bake these in muffins/cupcakes instead!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 10, 2022 at 4:38 pm

      yes, that should work fine.

  • Reply
    Sally
    August 30, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    I’d like to bake this in a single layer, such as a 13″ x 9″. Have you tried it that way?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 31, 2022 at 6:23 am

      I haven’t, but I believe others have. Watch the baking time because it’s not a super thick cake.

  • Reply
    Deb
    August 29, 2022 at 10:53 am

    5 stars
    For 8″ cake pan 350 degrees for 30 min.
    For 9″ cake pan increase oven temp by 25 degrees and cook time decrease by 1/4.

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