Recipe: Easy Lemon Cake with Whipped Raspberry Frosting

updated Jan 21, 2020
Easy Lemon Cake with Whipped Raspberry Frosting
This cake fits the bill for the most special occasions, yet is easy enough to make any day of the week just because.


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(Image credit: Christine Han)

Spring demands lemony desserts, and boy do we have one for you. It’s a team effort between layers of sunny lemon cake and the lightest, just-sweet-enough whipped raspberry frosting with the prettiest pink hue. Scatter some fresh berries and extra lemon zest over top and you’re good to go. Best of all, this impressive cake comes together with a single bowl (you’ll need one more for the whipped cream) and a lineup of basic ingredients from the pantry and fridge.

If you need a fast-and-fancy dessert to take to dinner with the new neighbors or something special for a bridal shower, this cake fits the bill for the most special occasions while still being easy enough for a weeknight. With some basics from the pantry and fridge, this impressive cake is one to remember when celebration season hits.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

One Bowl, 15 Minutes

This lemon cake is a fresh and fruity variation on our classic one-bowl vanilla cake. Like the original, and as the name implies, the batter comes together in a single mixing bowl. It just might be ready to bake before the oven is finished preheating. It blends together both lemon juice and zest for a sweet cake with bold lemon flavor that pairs beautifully with the raspberry whipped cream that gets piled on top.

5 Recipes for Fast and Fancy Baking

Fast and fancy baking is your secret weapon for creating stunning sweet treats that are deceptively easy to pull together. This week we’re sharing five pretty spring desserts that will make you feel like a total baking whiz. Each one is impressive enough for celebration but doesn’t require any elaborate ingredients or techniques. Along the way, we’re sharing tips and tricks to make baking these fancy-looking desserts a breeze.

Easy Lemon Cake with Whipped Raspberry Frosting

This cake fits the bill for the most special occasions, yet is easy enough to make any day of the week just because.

Serves 12

Nutritional Info


For the cake:

  • Cooking spray

  • 3 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 3/4 cups

    granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon


  • 1 tablespoon

    finely grated lemon zest (from 1 to 2 medium lemons)

  • 4

    large eggs

  • 3/4 cup

    canola oil

  • 3/4 cup

    whole milk

  • 1/4 cup

    freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 to 2 medium lemons)

  • 1 tablespoon

    vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces

    cream cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour

  • 1 1/2 cups

    heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup

    seedless raspberry jam

  • 1/4 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • Fresh raspberries, for topping

  • Finely grated lemon zest, for topping


  1. Make the cake: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with parchment paper rounds and coat with cooking spray; set aside.

    Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest together in a large bowl.

    Add the eggs, oil, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla and mix with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Do not overmix.

    Divide the batter between the 2 pans. Bake until the cakes are lightly browned and spring back when tapped gingerly with a finger, 2o to 25 minutes.

    Place on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Flip the cakes out of the pan, place on the rack, and cool completely before frosting.

  2. Make the frosting: Place the cream cheese in a small bowl and whisk or beat with an electric hand mixer until soft and aerated. In a larger bowl, beat the cream with an electric hand mixer until it forms soft peaks that collapse. Scrape in the cream cheese and continue beating on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Add the jam, sugar, and vanilla and beat until combined.

  3. Assemble the cake: Place one of the cakes on a cake stand or serving dish. Place half of the frosting on the center of the cake and spread into an even layer. Invert the second cake on top of the frosting. Spread the remaining frosting in an even layer over the top of the cake. Top with the raspberries and lemon zest. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The cakes can be baked up to 1 day in advance. Once completely cooled, wrap in plastic and store at room temperature. The frosting can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Storage: Leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.