Lemon & Raspberry Sponge Cake

Morning everybody! Sorry to be so stereotypically British and start talking about the weather but how gorgeous has the weather been this last week? I was lucky enough to spend yesterday at Wimbledon after camping out for tickets the night before and despite the 4 hour downpour we had preventing play for the majority of the day, the sun came through just at the end of the day and we managed to watch Serena Williams get knocked out of the competition by Alize Cornet – hooray! Not that I have anything against Serena, I just love an underdog and Alize has a surname that reminds me of ice cream so she’s got my vote just for that!

All the British favourites were seen out in full swing yesterday: Strawberries & Cream, Pimms & Lemonade and their were even a few scones around, all of which got me really excited about thinking of all the things I could get cooking over the summer – I can’t wait to get experimental back in the kitchen at home and share my adventures with you all! Saying that, as you’ve probably noticed, the recipes that I’ve shared recently have been very cake heavy so for all you non cake lovers out there, I’m sorry! I’ve been busy cooking up lots of savoury treats over the last few days so expect to see those coming very soon 🙂

Lemon & raspberry is one of my favourite combos when it comes to baking in the summer – you can see my other recipes combining the two here. The tartness of the raspberries and tang from the lemons come together so perfectly and when you throw the summer sun into the mix you can’t go wrong! When I was asked by a friend to make a layer cake for his parents summer anniversary party a few weeks ago I knew straight away that this was the cake I had to bake.

The recipe is tweaked from my favourite baking book: Home Sweet Home by The Hummingbird Bakery. Their recipe does not incorporate raspberry into the sponge and suggests icing the cake with cream cheese frosting but as this cake was going to have to travel to Somerset on warm 3 hour train, I thought using cream cheese might be a bit risky so played it safe with some lemon buttercream instead. This complimented the tartness from the raspberries used in the sponge perfectly so I can say its a change I would make again.

Note: The quantities given for the frosting below gives you enough frosting to fill and cover the sponge cake and 12 cupcakes (I’ll be sharing the recipe for those in a few weeks) so if you are only making the sponge cake, use ⅔ of the quantities.

Ingredients (Serves 12)

For the cake:

110g unsalted butter, softened

380g caster sugar

320g plain flour

4 tsp baking powder

320ml buttermilk

Zest of 2 lemons

3 large eggs

80g raspberry jam

For the raspberry ripple:

250g Fresh Raspberries

For the frosting:

500g Icing Sugar, sifted

160g Unsalted Butter, softened

2 Tbsp Milk

Zest of 2 Lemons


For the raspberry ripple:

It’s best to start with this so you can have it to hand when you need it half way through the preparation of the cake.

Mush the raspberries to a smooth pulp, pass through a sieve to get rid of all the seeds and leave to one side.

For the cake:

– Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/350F and grease and line two or three 18 cm cake tins with greaseproof paper.

Add the butter, sugar, flour and baking powder to a large mixing bowl and mix together with an electric mix or wooden spoon until they come together and form a sandy consistency.

In a large jug, combine the buttermilk, lemon zest and eggs.

Add half the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly, scraping down any unmixed ingredients from the sides of the bowl as you go along. Once there are no lumps remaining in the mix add the rest of the liquid and again mix until well combined.

Divide the batter evenly amongst the prepared tins and dot the raspberry ripple into the cakes. Stir a knife through the mix to get a rippled effect.

Bake the sponges in the centre of the oven for 20-30 minutes until they are golden brown and the sponge bounces back when lightly touched and a skewer can be inserted into the centre of the cake and come out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in their tins for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and allowing to cool completely before frosting. Now is a good time to prepare the frosting.

 DSC_0356 2One cake rippled a bit better than the other!

For the frosting:

Slowly beat the icing sugar and butter together, adding the icing sugar a bit at a time, with an electric whisk or good old fashioned wooden spoon. Keep beating until the mixture comes together and is well combined.

Add the milk a tablespoon at a time and slowly mix it in until well mixed. Finally mix the lemon zest into the frosting and continue beating for at least 5 minutes, until the frosting is light and fluffy. The longer you beat the frosting at this stage the fluffier it will become.

Transfer the frosting to the fridge until you need it.

Putting the cake together: 

Once the sponge layers are completely cool you can frost and assemble the cake. If you have two cakes you can slice them in half so you have a four layer cake but this is up to you.

Place the first layer on a plate or cake stand and spread on a layer of raspberry jam. Spread 3-4 table spoons of frosting onto the bottom of the next cake using a palette or butter knife and place this cake (frosting side down) onto the raspberry jam-coated cake. Repeat these steps until all the cake layers have been used.

*Don’t add raspberry jam to the top layer as this is the top of the cake!

Once you have assembled all layers of the cake, cover the cake with a thin layer of frosting and transfer to the fridge for at least 30 minutes so it can firm up and form a crumb coating – this will make the final frosting layer nice and smooth.

After this cooling time, remove the cake from the fridge and frost the top and sides of the cake using a palette or butter knife again, covering it completely so no sponge can be seen.

Finally, decorate the cake with raspberries, lemon slices, or a few white chocolate shavings and serve with a tall glass of lemonade, delicious!

I’ll be sharing with you the recipe for the lemon cupcakes in the next few weeks, what’s your favourite cake to enjoy in the summer sun?

DSC_0370 2Helena x



6 thoughts on “Lemon & Raspberry Sponge Cake

  1. Sounds yummy, do you mean to use cake tins with an 18inch diameter? That seems very big comparing it to the 8inch tin i have in front of me! Thanks in advance – I want to make this cake this week!

    1. Hi Ellie, sorry for my late reply! Oh my goodness that’s a massive tin haha! No I meant 18cm so 7 inches is what I used – I’ll get it changed and check all my recipes now!

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