Do you have any friends who don’t like sweets? It seems to me that all the people I know don’t like chocolate or sweets. What’s a girl obsessed with sugar supposed to do?! Its downright difficult pawning off my baked goods. That’s why I get so excited when friends’ birthdays roll around. I pretty much know they’re going to indulge in at least one piece of a homemade birthday cake.
It used to be that most of the cakes I made were liberally frosted. Not because I was a huge fan of frosting, but because I love the way frosted cakes look. It’s the best when you cut into a frosted cake and all the layers underneath are revealed. Unfortunately for me, no one I know (aside from my four year old nephew) actually likes frosting so I’ve taken to making naked cakes.
I feel like naked cakes don’t have that wow appeal when you cut into them, but they sure do get eaten a bit more quickly. Instead of having frosting in between the layers I’ll do whipped cream with fresh fruit, jam or a fruit curd.
Raspberries and lemon taste just like summer so I baked them into a cake for my friend Bruce, whose birthday is right before the first day of summer. Sweet, tart and fresh tasting, this cake is the perfect for summer time treat. The sour cream makes this cake super moist and the random raspberries throughout make each bite a delight.
Raspberry Lemon Cake Recipe adapted from sweetapolita.com
yield: one four layer four inch cake
- 1 cup + 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.5 cups raspberries
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cups sugar
Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare 2 4 inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Sift dry ingredients into medium bowl. Transfer 1 tablespoon flour mixture to larger bowl. Add fresh raspberries and toss to coat them with flour. Set remaining flour mixture and raspberries aside.
Stir milk, sour cream, vanilla extract, and lemon zest in small bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar, until pale yellow and very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, until well combined. Mix in flour mixture alternately with milk mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Gently fold in the raspberries. Divide batter equally among the pans.
Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks for about 10 minutes, then invert onto racks until completely cool.
Lemon Curd Recipe adapted from epicurious.com
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup + 1/6 cup sugar
7 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Whisk together the zest, lemon juice, sugar and eggs in a heavy saucepan. Add butter all at once and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of the whisk and bubbles appear on the surface. Immediately pour curd through a fine sieve and chill.
To assemble the cake: trim any doming with a very sharp knife. Split each cake into two by making one even horizontal cut. Put a bit of lemon curd on the plate or cake stand your cake is going on. Put 1 layer on (cut side up) and spread the top with 1/4 of the lemon curd. Repeat with the remaining layers. Top the top layer with raspberries.
**These work equally as well as tiny cupcakes just topped with and extra raspberry. Spray a mini muffing pan with non-stick spray and top with a raspberry before baking for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.