Meet the best (non-chocolate) cake I've ever made. That's a quite a statement, I know but seriously, this cake went way beyond my expectations. The melted white chocolate added to the batter gave it a super moist and slightly dense texture, almost similar to pound cake. I don't know about you but when it comes to cakes, I prefer them on the heavier side. Lighter, airy cakes usually remind me of ones that come from a box. And even worse I find they are less filling meaning I always eat more. Sneaky cake calories trying to front.
And ohh that raspberry buttercream...it's sooo ridiculously intense. I cooked down a bag of frozen berries and brown sugar until it reduced and became thick and syrupy, thus condensing all that tart, sweet flavor which I then added to a standard buttercream. It's a little extra work but I'm telling you the added effort truly pays off. And honestly no need to spend a fortune on fresh raspberries for this frosting. Frozen is totally fine. Frozen fruits and vegetables are almost always frozen at their peak of freshness, and besides the berries will be cooked down anyway so it won't make a difference.
Ok yes the color does scream hearts and butterflies and won't you be my Valentine...I was tempted to add some purple food coloring to deepen the tint, but the frosting was just so lovely and delicious, what if I added too much and it turned grey or egglplanty-brown? Out of fear of screwing with the color and having to make a second batch (with two kids under the age of 3 in the house my baking happy-time is limited to after their bedtime aka my Zombie hour), so au natural it stayed.
White Chocolate & Lemon Layer Cake with Raspberry Buttercream
makes one 2 layer 8-inch cake
For the Cake:
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 (5 ounces) tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
Zest of one large lemon
2-3 teaspoons lemon extract (depending on the strength of your extract, mine was pretty weak I probably could have used 4)
1 1/4 cups whole milk
For the Buttercream:
One 400 gram bag frozen raspberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
To prepare the cake, preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans. I use a sandwich baggie as a glove to make this step easy.
Cut out two 8-inch circles made from baking paper and line bottoms of pan; grease paper. Add about a tablespoon of flour to each pan and shake thoroughly to coat. Knock out excess and set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.
Place chocolate in a heat safe bowl and microwave for one minute.
Stir chocolate until no lumps remain.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add lemon zest and lemon extract and mix to combine.
*here's a little tip I like to share often. Cover the top of your mixer with a kitchen towel to stop the flour from flying everywhere. A clean kitchen is a sober mother.
Add the warm white chocolate and mix until just combined.
Equally divide the batter into the two prepared pans. You can see here I've used Wilton's Bake Even Strips. These help to keep the cake layers flat (meaning less waste having to cut the top even prior to assembly) creating a straight, non-bulgy cake.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes on a wire rack. Remove cakes from pan and discard baking paper. Allow cakes to cool completely on wire racks.
To prepare the frosting, cook the frozen berries and brown sugar over medium heat.
Bring to a gentle simmer, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes until the mixture has reduced and become thick and syrupy, stirring often.
Place mixture over a fine strainer to remove seeds (sorry the picture I had of this was very blurry). Allow to cool to room temperature.
Place butter in the bowl of a mixer. Beat for about one minute.
Sift in powdered sugar one cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
*It's very important to sift the powdered sugar otherwise you will end up with lump like these in your frosting.
Add raspberry mixture and beat until combined.
To assemble the cake, place a cake board on top of your cake platter (this makes transferring/storing the cake easier). Add one cake layer on top of the board. If the top of your cake isn't level (or has domed), use a bread knife to even it out. I used Wilton's Cake Leveler because I like unnecessary gadgets hoarding up my kitchen. But honestly it's a great tool, always guarantees a level top. I've tried leveling with a knife and they still come out crooked. Just depends on how steady your hand is.
Add about 1 cup of frosting to the first layer and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
Top with second layer of trimmed cake and continue to frost the top and sides using a metal spatula to evenly distribute the frosting.
Keep cake refrigerated but it is best served at room temperature to allow the buttercream to soften.
cake recipe adapted from Epicurious