Fresh raspberries and lemon team up in this flavorful Raspberry Cake, which is topped with a lemony mascarpone frosting. This cake is perfect with seasonal raspberries and delicious for any summer gathering.
Summer raspberries are a super sweet and tasty treat. My kids love snacking on them (usually leaving raspberry stains all over), but even I can’t resist. I love transforming these berries into this delicious lemon-flavored Raspberry Cake that is perfect for summer birthdays and BBQs.
Why this recipe works
- Lemon and raspberry are the perfect pair.
- Marscapone lemon frosting is creamy and delicious.
- The cake and frosting can be made ahead of time.
- Easily transforms into a 2 layer 9-inch round cake.
Before you begin
Take out the following baking equipment.
Digital kitchen scale
9 x 13-inch baking pan
Stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
2 small bowls
Wire cooling rack
Allow all your ingredients to come to room temperature.
Read the recipe through from start to finish.
Milk is the most common binding ingredient in cakes. Unless otherwise specified, always use whole milk instead of low fat or skim milk for baking cakes. The fat helps tenderize your crumb which creates a moist and finer cake crumb compared to using low fat or skim milk.
Sour cream plays several essential roles in this cake. It adds moisture, the acidity and tanginess add a more complex flavor to the batter, and the extra fat adds another layer of richness. You can substitute the 120 g (1/2 cup) of whole milk with a 120 g (1/2 cup) of sour cream for an even richer flavor.
Mascarpone is known as Italian cream cheese. Because it has a higher fat content than traditional American cream cheese, it adds a richer, creamier flavor. Mascarpone is also softer and less tangy than cream cheese and has a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture that complements this lemon frosting.
How to select the best fresh raspberries
Typically the raspberry season lasts from May through September. Here are tips for selecting the best berries.
- Buy local and in-season. The closer to home that berries are picked, the more likely they are picked when ripe. When berries have to travel a long way before reaching the consumer, they are picked before ripen and have less flavor. Once picked, raspberries do not continue to ripen.
- Choose bright red raspberries. Select berries that are dry, plump, firm, and entirely red. Avoid berries that are crushed and have bruising.
- Storing. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How to make raspberry cake
Sift dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) until well mixed.
Cream butter. Using a mixer, beat together softened butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Occasionally, stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
Add eggs and flavorings. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is mixed evenly. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream and combine.
Add milk and dry ingredients. With the mixer on low speed and in three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat until just combined to avoid overmixing the batter. Toss the raspberries with a bit of flour to lightly coat and gently fold into the batter, being careful not to crush them.
Bake. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool. Allow your cake to completely cool in the baking pan on a wire cooling rack before frosting.
How to make creamy lemon mascarpone frosting
Cream cheese and butter. In a mixer, beat the mascarpone cheese and butter together on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
Add powdered sugar. Turn off the mixer and add the powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until completely incorporated.
Add flavorings. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and beat the mixture for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and creamy.
How to prevent common cake mistakes
Sometimes a recipe doesn’t always come out as we hoped. Here are some tips for preventing common mistakes when it comes to baking a cake.
- Measure by weight. For the most accurate and consistent results, measure all your ingredients by weight. Using measuring cups and spoons can vary depending on certain variables, such as using sifted flour vs. unsifted, packing down your ingredients, etc.
- Do not overmix your cake. Only mix until all the ingredients have just come together evenly. Overmixing cake overdevelops the gluten and will result in a more dense, chewy cake.
- Grease your baking pan. Sure, it’s easy to skip this step, especially when using a nonstick pan. However, regardless of the pan, always grease your baking pan to prevent your cake from sticking, especially in the corners.
- Bake your cake immediately. Leavening agents (baking soda and baking powder) are activated once they come into contact with the liquid ingredients. Leaving your batter out too long will cause it to begin to deflate. Always prep your baking pans first so that once your cake batter is ready, you can bake it immediately.
Tips and takeaways
- When lining your baking pan with parchment paper, it is easiest to allow the paper to hang off the sides of the pan. Doing this will allow you to easily lift the cake out of the pan when it is completely cooled.
- If your mascarpone frosting becomes too warm and runny, refrigerate for about 20 minutes to thicken it back up. It is easier to frost a cake when the frosting is slightly thicker than too runny.
- You can easily transform this cake into a 2 layer 9-inch round cake. Begin checking for cake doneness at the 30-minute mark. Use a cake tester or toothpick to check the center of the cake before removing from the oven.
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Make sure to tag me @thesweetoccasion on Instagram and leave me a review below if you make this Raspberry Cake. I’d love to see your creations and read your feedback. And if you would like to make this recipe later, be sure to pin this recipe using the button on any of these images. Let’s make every occasion a sweet occasion!Print
Fresh raspberries and lemon team up in this flavorful Raspberry Cake, which is topped with a lemony mascarpone frosting. This cake is perfect for seasonal raspberries and delicious for any summer gathering.
For the raspberry cake
- 350 g (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 6.8 g (2 teaspoons) baking powder
- 3.2 g (1/2 teaspoon) baking soda
- 4.2 g (3/4 teaspoon) salt
- 170 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 330 g (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
- 150 g (3 large) eggs, at room temperature
- 11 g (1 tablespoon) pure vanilla extract
- zest of 2 lemons
- 120 g (1/2 cup) sour cream
- 120 g (1/2 cup) whole milk, at room temperature
- 312 g (2 1/2 cups) fresh raspberries*
For the lemon mascarpone frosting
- 224 g (8 oz) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 480 g (1 pound) powdered sugar
- 7 g (2 teaspoons) pure vanilla extract
- zest of one lemon
For the raspberry cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C. Grease and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together softened butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, 4-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream until mixed well.
- With the mixer on low speed and in three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat until just combined. Gently fold in the raspberries, being careful not to crush them.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Set the pan on a wire cooling rack and allow the cake to cool completely in the pan before frosting.
For the lemon mascarpone frosting
- In a mixer, beat the mascarpone cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until completely incorporated. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and beat the mixture for 3 minutes until light and creamy.
- Raspberries*: Gently toss the raspberries with a small amount of flour, just enough to lightly coat. This will help prevent the raspberries from sinking in the cake.
- Make-ahead: Make cake up to 1 day in advance. Keep in the baking pan, cover tightly, and store at room temperature. Lemon mascarpone frosting can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to use, bring the frosting to room temperature and re-whip for 5 minutes using a mixer.
- Freezing: Freeze cake frosted or unfrosted for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.
Keywords: raspberry lemon cake, mascarpone frosting, lemon frosting, summer cake