This Luscious Lemon Cake Has a Sweet Raspberry Filling (2024)

Sweet and tart lemon raspberry cake is a springtime dessert that's sure to impress. With two layers of tender lemon cake, fluffy raspberry frosting, and a surprisingly easy raspberry jam filling, this homemade cake recipe will make every home baker feel like a pro. The workhorse of this recipe is a jar of seedless raspberry jam. It not only makes for a show-stopping filling; it also gives the frosting the perfect kiss of raspberry flavor and lovely pink color. This blushing dessert makes an amazing addition to a Mother’s Day celebration, a graduation party, or a birthday bash! Any lemon dessert lover will simply adore it.

How do you keep the jam filling from squishing out the sides?

A baker’s secret to keeping a cake's filling from squishing out the sides and discoloring the frosting is piping a border or dam of frosting around the edge of the cake before you spread the filling. The raspberry filling in this recipe is seedless raspberry jam thickened on the stove with a little cornstarch. While thickening the jam does help keep it in place, the weight of the top cake layer can cause it to spread.The frosting border provides stability for that top cake layer, keeping it locked in place rather than slipping, sliding, and spreading the filling. The good news is you don’t even need a piping bag or special piping tips. Simply spoon a little frosting into a zip-top plastic bag, snip off a corner, and pipe away. Spreading a light layer of frosting on the cake before adding the raspberry filling helps prevent the filling from seeping into the cake, as well.

What are common mistakes when frosting a cake?

Always start with a completely cool cake. If the cake is even slightly warm, the buttery frosting will start to melt and look droopy and sad rather than light and fluffy. Also, be sure to go slowly: Even the simplest layered cake takes some time to frost! A filled cake like this greatly benefits from a crumb coat—a thin first layer of frosting that keeps stray crumbs in place and seals in the filling. Chilling the crumb-coated cake helps everything set up and makes it easier to spread the remaining frosting all over. Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. A cake does not need to have perfectly smooth edges or elaborate piping to be delicious and beautiful.

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Prep Time:
1 hr
Total Time:
3 hrs


For the cake:

  • Baking spray with flour, for the pans (optional)

  • 2 1/2 c.

    all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsp.

    baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp.

    baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp.

    kosher salt

  • 1 3/4 c.

    granulated sugar

  • 8 tbsp.

    (1 stick)salted butter, melted and cooled slightly

  • 1/2 c.

    vegetable oil

  • 2 tbsp.

    lemon zest plus 1/3 c. fresh lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)

  • 3

    large eggs, at room temperature

  • 3/4 c.

    buttermilk, at room temperature

  • 2 tsp.

    vanilla extract

For the jam filling:

  • 1 tbsp.


  • 3/4 c.

    seedless raspberry jam

For the raspberry frosting:

  • 1 c.

    (2 sticks)salted butter, at room temperature

  • 1/3 c.

    seedless raspberry jam

  • 1 tbsp.

    fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tsp.

    vanilla extract

  • 5 c.

    powdered sugar

  • 1

    (6-oz.) container raspberries (optional)


    1. Step1For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour. (Alternatively, butter and flour the pans.) Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and spray (or butter)again.
    2. Step2In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
    3. Step3In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, melted butter, vegetable oil, and lemon zest until combined. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until lightened in color, about 1 minute. Whisk in the buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, whisking to combine after each addition.
    4. Step4Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans. Tap the pans a few times on a kitchen towel on your countertop to level the surface and remove air bubbles.
    5. Step5Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.
    6. Step6For the jam filling: Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. In a small saucepan, heat the jam over medium heat until pourable and smooth, about 1 minute. Remove the jam from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return the saucepan to medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly, until no longer cloudy with cornstarch and a rubber spatula dragged through the mixture reveals the bottom of the pan for a few seconds before the jam flows back together, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the thickened mixture to a bowl and let it cool completely.
    7. Step7For the frosting: To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape downthe bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the jam, lemon juice, and vanilla, and beat on low speed until just combined, 30 seconds. The mixture might appear broken but that is okay. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the butter and jam are no longer separated, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar, and beat on low speed until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
    8. Step8Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate. Spread about ½ cup of frosting over the top; this will be a barrier to prevent the cake from absorbing the jam filling. Spoon about ½ cup of the frosting into a zip-top bag and cut a ¾-inch opening in one corner. Alternatively, use a pastry bag fitted with a ¾-inch tip. Pipe a thick border around the edge of the frosted cake layer; this will prevent the jam filling from leaking out the sides of the cake.
    9. Step9Stir the jam filling to loosen it up. Spread the filling on top of the cake within the frosting border, leaving about ½ inch of space between the filling and the border. Top with the second cake layer.
    10. Step10Spread about 1 cup of frosting in a thin layer over the top and sides of the cake. Chill the cake, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or in the freezer for 10 minutes to set the frosting and the filling. Use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake.
    11. Step11Decorate the cake with the raspberries or serve on the side, if you like.

Tip: An 18-oz. jar of seedless raspberry jam should provide plenty of jam for this recipe!

This Luscious Lemon Cake Has a Sweet Raspberry Filling (2024)
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