Summer is all about fresh flavors, and citrus really shines during the hot summer months. Lemonade is citrus-fresh for sure. It’s such a perfect treat that even little kids know that if they put a table and chair at the end of the yard with a ‘Lemonade’ sign, you will stop your car or even turn that car around. And you’ll pay big bucks for their engineered “lemon” drink, because these kids are so cute and who doesn’t want to support the next generation of entrepreneurs? That’s how popular lemonade is during the season. And what about dessert? Well, dessert is popular any time of year and cake never takes a break or goes out of style. But the most popular summer desserts seem to involve fruit. But something fruity and reminiscent of lemonade but served as cake? Jackpot.
While we’re talking about cakes… I must admit I’ve become quite the cake snob. This is bound to happen to anyone after experimenting and tasting cakes that are made from scratch; the cake-mix variety is easily spotted and just doesn’t quite measure up. This Raspberry Lemonade Cake is unmistakably homemade, both in appearance and delicious flavor.
The cake itself is dense and just sweet enough but also not too tart. You could omit the raspberries if you want. They add pretty color and contrast, but don’t add much to the flavor really. And the frosting! The frosting is what makes this cake, with the mixture of lemonade concentrate, fresh lemon zest, cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. I doubled the frosting for this presentation though the recipe as written makes plenty. If you want thick frosting layers, why not make a double batch.
So here we have – fruity, light, tart, homemade, and pretty all in one presentation. Raspberry Lemonade Cake is a crowd pleaser. And you might just want to serve some fruity, light, tart, homemade, ice-cold lemonade with it.
Raspberry Lemonade Cake
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter softened
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
- 3 tablespoons thawed raspberry lemonade concentrate
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons dry lemon jello
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
- 1 pint fresh raspberries
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 2 teaspoons thawed raspberry lemonade concentrate
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans with butter and flour. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, butter, lemon rind, thawed lemonade concentrate and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, dry jello, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; stir well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat well after each addition.
- Pour batter into prepared pans, roughly 2 cups in each pan; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Push fresh raspberries into batter of each pan, add as many as you like. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out nearly clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.
- To prepare frosting, place 2 tablespoons butter and the next 4 ingredients (2 tablespoons butter through cream cheese) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, and beat at low speed just until blended (do not overbeat). Chill 1 hour.
- Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from Lemonade Layer Cake.