Naked Lemon & Raspberry Layer Cake

I love to bake birthday cakes. It’s a chance for me to get even more creative, bake bigger and better and try out new skills.

This week was my best friend’s birthday and after a short conversation about cake flavours, I knew I would be baking something lemony. I really wanted the cake to be something more than a lemon drizzle, so I Tweeted fellow bakers, surfed Google and read my baking books. After all that, I settled on a recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery book, Home Sweet Home. A triple layered sponge, with raspberry jam and a cream cheese frosting. Not content with just trying a new recipe, I had to tweak it and put my own spin on it.

Following a very popular trend and being sceptical of using too much cream cheese, I decided to make a naked version and decorate the top with fondant daisies. This was my first naked, triple layered sponge made with buttermilk and after having a slice, it certainly won’t be the last. It was a moist sponge and although it has lemon zest in it, the addition of lemon juice in the frosting gave more of a zingy taste.

If you would like to try this cake yourself, the recipe is below. Happy Baking!

PS. Apologies for the lack of photos, I chose to make this on one of the hottest days…

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Naked Lemon & Raspberry Layer Cake

Ingredients:

For the sponge:

110g unsalted butter

380g caster sugar

320g plain flour

4 teaspoons of baking powder

320ml buttermilk

Zest of 2 lemons

3 large eggs

80g raspberry jam

For the cream cheese frosting:

Note: this makes more than you will need for a naked cake so you may want to reduce the quantities

450g icing sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ a lemon

75g unsalted butter

180g cream cheese (Philadelphia)

How to…

Preheat your oven to 170°C and butter the sides of your 3 sandwich tins and line the bottom with greaseproof paper

In a large bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, flour and baking powder until you get a sandy consistency

In a large jug, beat together the buttermilk, lemon zest and eggs

On a medium speed, whisk half of the liquid mixture into the crumb mixture and once the batter is smooth, add in the rest of the liquid mixture and whisk until combined

Divide the batter evenly between the 3 tins and bake them in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the sponge is golden brown or a cake skewer comes out clean

Once out of the oven, leave the cakes to cool slightly, then remove the cakes from the tins and leave to cool completely on a wire rack

To make the cream cheese frosting, whisk together the icing sugar, lemon zest and butter until there are no large lumps of butter

Add in the cream cheese and lemon juice, whisk together and taste to check the lemon flavour

Once the sponges are cool, you can assemble the cake

Put 1 sponge onto your cake board, spread a layer of raspberry jam and then add a spoonful of cream cheese frosting and spread that over the jam

Repeat the above step until the 3rd sponge is placed on top

Then add spoonfuls of cream cheese frosting to the top and sides of the cake and spread evenly

To create the naked effect, use your palette knife to scrape excess cream cheese frosting off the sides

Then you are ready to decorate with any fondant decorations – for mine I rolled out some ready roll white fondant and using daisy cutters, cut out 7 daisies, then using yellow fondant icing, I pulled small pieces and rolled them into little ball and using the leftover cream cheese icing, stuck the yellow balls to the daisies

Then using more of the cream cheese frosting, I put a blob on the back of each daisy and placed them on top of the cake 

If you do not wish to decorate with fondant icing, you could just add some fresh raspberries and lemon rind

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