Lemon + Raspberry Layer Cake

This recipe has been waiting to pop up on here for a few months. For a while, I thought it was destined to stay that way until I realised it was coming into Autumn. Soon I would lose out on posting it due to seasonality and it almost not ‘fitting in.’ Before we are engulfed by all things beige, I’m sending you something with a hint of colour.

I love making my friends and family cakes for special occasions and this Raspberry & Lemon cake was made for my sisters 30th birthday. The elegant duo of lemon and raspberry is a classic and always goes down well. The sponge is tender, contrasting against the raspberry jam that punches through. All coated in a delicate, glossy swiss meringue buttercream which is both zesty and light.

Ingredients – makes one 6inch layer cake

Lemon Sponge

  • 300g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • zest of one lemon
  • 6 medium eggs
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Lemon syrup

  • 125ml water
  • 100g sugar
  • juice of one lemon

Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 150g egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 400g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • zest of one lemon
  • raspberry jam, to sandwich
  • fresh raspberries, to garnish (optional)


  • Start by pre-heating your oven to 160Β°C. Grease and line three 6inch cake tins (If you don’t have three tins, just use two and bake the last sponge after the first two.) Cream together the butter, sugar, lemon and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Gradually add in the eggs, one at a time, until completely incorporated. Scrap down the bowl and add in the flour and baking powder. Mix until just combined. Divide the batter into the three tins equally, this should be approximately 400g per tin. Smooth to flatten evenly and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before turning out.
  • Once the sponges are cool, trim off the domed top and cut each sponge in half so you are left with 6 sponges (I only used 5 sponges as I think an uneven number of layers looks nicer.)
  • For the lemon syrup, heat all the ingredients together until they come to the boil. Leave to one side to cool.

To make the swiss meringue buttercream (can be made while your sponges are baking):

  • Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Rest the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Continue to whisk while cooking until the eggs reach 71Β°C on a digital thermometer. Take the bowl off the heat and place on the stand mixer. Whisk on medium speed until cool, light and fluffy.
  • Gradually add in the softened butter in small chunks while the meringue is on low-medium speed. Once incorporated, add in the lemon zest, scrap down the bowl and whisk for a few more minutes until sufficiently whipped. It should be pale and airy.

To assemble:

  • Place a third of your swiss meringue buttercream into a piping bag with a large plain nozzle. Choose a serving plate or cake board and place a blob of buttercream in the centre before placing on your first sponge, cut side up. Soak with some of your lemon syrup using a pastry brush. Spread over a layer of buttercream before placing on your next sponge and soaking. For every other layer, pipe a ring of buttercream around the outside before spreading a generous layer of raspberry jam to fill the centre. Repeat until all sponges are used (or just 5 which is how I have built mine.) Make sure to reserve a base sponge for the top. Soak it before placing it cut side down, leaving the browned side up.
  • Spread a crumb coating of swiss buttercream over the cake before placing in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to firm up. Continue with a second coating and decorate as desired. Garnish with fresh raspberries and buttercream piping.

3 thoughts on “Lemon + Raspberry Layer Cake”

  1. This looks delicious, Hope. I’ll definitely try it but might halve the ingredients as there are only two of us! 😁


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