Lemon Cake with Fresh Raspberry Filling and Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Good Memorial Day to you! I hope that you have been enjoying a wonderful holiday weekend.
In a break from a regular story-telling tradition I will start with the happy ending of the story. I created this cake for the guests at a picnic, which also marked the celebration of my mother in-law's birthday. There were a lot of oohs and aahs when everyone saw the cake, and lots of happy noises as people enjoyed it.

The surprise to everyone was that the cake did not contain one bit of refined sugar. It tasted just as sweet and satisfying as a proper cake should without that pesky cane product.

Since I have a food sensitivity to cane sugar, I am motivated to find work-around solutions because I have a large sweet tooth. I have learned, through trial and error, that one can still bake cakes (and cookies and breads) and eat them too! And as an economist by trade, I am a big fan of spreadsheets. I have created a natural sweetener conversion chart in case you want to modify some of your own recipes. My favorite natural sweeteners are agave nectar, honey and maple syrup. Whether you are sensitive or not, try a few substitutions and see what you think about the finished products.

And now I’ll end this blog with the start of the story: creating the cake. I found recipes for lemon cake and vanilla buttercream frosting, substituted the sugars with agave nectar and doubled the cake recipe to have two layers. To make the raspberry filling, I mashed one pint of raspberries with one tablespoon of agave nectar and one teaspoon of water. And I halved the frosting recipe to just cover the top of the cake. Serve with agave-sweetened ice cream or raspberry sorbet.

Lemon Cake Ingredients (one 9-inch cake):
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 cup agave nectar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 large lemon
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Cake Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter, or spray with a nonstick spray, a 9 inch circular pan and dust with flour.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer) beat the butter and agave until light and fluffy and pale in color. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and then add to the batter along with the lemon juice. Mix only until incorporated. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula. Bake about 40 – 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Ingredients (enough to frost top and sides of a two-layer cake):
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/3 cups agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoon milk

Frosting Instructions:
After all of the ingredients are in a bowl, mix on medium-high for a few minutes until the frosting is stiff and lightened in color. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add 1 extra tablespoon of milk.

Assembling Instructions:
Spread the raspberry filling evenly between the two cake layers, and frost the top of the cake with the vanilla frosting. Decorate with your favorite fruit – I chose blueberries and strawberries.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free and Food Trip Friday.


One response to “Lemon Cake with Fresh Raspberry Filling and Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  1. Needless to say, the mother-in-law (MIL for short) loved this cake!

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