I often find bucket loads of reasons to cook something, bake something, eat something. Is this necessarily a bad thing? I’d like to think not, especially when these lead to something indelibly good in the end. Like this light, moist and buttery lemon raspberry cake.
You’ll be teased by the sweet and sour taste notes in a lemon raspberry cake, making this a refreshingly tangy treat. This is also good as muffins or cupcakes, so if you’re thinking of what you could feed your kids for breakfast or pack in their lunch boxes, I think nothing is a better pick-me-up for kids (adults and seniors included) than citrus fruit in sweet mouthfuls.
I just happen to love loaf shapes, so I used a bread loaf pan to bake my lemon raspberry cake (my bread loaf pan is smaller than a regular cake loaf pan, so I get a taller loaf cake, which is how I prefer it). You can substitute the raspberries for whatever berries you fancy – blueberries, blackberries, deep reds of cranberries or bright reds of strawberries, or even a mix of assorted berries.
I’ve omitted the syrup and glaze, not because I wouldn’t enjoy it (on the contrary, I’m sure it would give this cake that extra tangy zing and a delightful sugar-crusted topping), but I have found over time that if I want my cakes eaten up, they’re better off without any glazes or frostings – at least in my household of one other who loves his snacks and treats simple and sweet, nothing too over-the-top. Plus, it’ll likely help me keep a couple of inches off my waistline too!
Lemon Raspberry Cake
- 235 g plain flour plus 1 tsp
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 125 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 185 g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
- 3 large eggs
- 125 ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup raspberries (or choice of berries)
For the lemon syrup (optional):
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
For the lemon glaze (optional):
- 60 g confectioner's sugar
- 3 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Pre-heat oven to 190 deg C (375 deg F). Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch (23 x 13-cm) loaf pan.
- Sift the flour (excluding the extra 1 tsp), baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl.
- In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, place butter, sugar, and lemon zest into the mixer bowl and cream on medium-high speed (speed 3 to 4 on my Kitchen Aid mixer) until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the milk and vanilla extract and stir until well combined. Fold in the flour mixture, using a wooden spoon or spatula, until just blended. In a separate bowl, toss the raspberries with 1 tsp flour to coat evenly. Gently fold into the batter.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and level the surface. Gently tap the pan on the counter-top a few times to eliminate air pockets. Bake in the centre of the oven until the cake turns golden brown, or until a metal or bamboo skewer inserted into the centre emerges free of batter, about 55 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for a few minutes, then turn out onto the wire rack. Turn the cake onto its side to cool, while you make the syrup (optional).
To make the lemon syrup (optional):
- In a small saucepan, simmer the lemon juice and caster sugar over medium heat until syrupy, about 2 minutes. Using a metal or bamboo skewer, pierce the sides and bottom of the cake at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep all over. Brush the cake generously with the syrup. You may not need to use all of it.
To make the lemon glaze (optional):
- In a small bowl, combine the confectioner's sugar and lemon juice. Stir until smooth. When the cake has cooled completely, turn it right side up and drizzle the glaze all over the top. Serve.