Do you like lemons? Great. What about raspberries? Even better! This dairy-free lemon raspberry layer cake is the cake for you! Bursting with fresh fruity flavors that are both sweet and tart, this dairy-free lemon cake with raspberry filling and cream cheese buttercream is the cake of your dreams! Perfect for a spring birthday or celebration.
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Dairy-Free Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake
We have finally hit the end stages of winter and while there may still be snow on the ground my soul is singing for spring. Mornings are a bit brighter and the days are slowly getting longer. Oh, sweet spring I see you coming! And sure enough, as the sun is slowly warming, I find myself craving the bright fruity and zesty flavors of spring most of which are lemon and raspberry!
What better way to celebrate the impending arrival of melting snow and trees slowly budding than with a deliciously sweet dairy-free lemon cake as light and fluffy as a cloud packed full of tart raspberry filling and covered in a glorious whipped vegan cream cheese buttercream frosting.
How Do I Make A Lemon Cake From Scratch?
I have a lemon cake recipe here on my blog already but it uses a doctored lemon cake mix. I wanted to show you how to make a fluffy and moist lemon cake from scratch and it’s really not that hard to do.
First up, using my basic vanilla cake recipe as a base, I add a box of lemon jello to the sugar and flour mixture and give it a quick whisk together to break up any clumps and large sugar crystals. Next, a splash of lemon extract added in with the milk, eggs, and vanilla and you’ve got yourself a moist and sweet lemon cake made from scratch.
Should I Use Fresh Or Frozen Raspberries?
The great thing about this zesty and tart raspberry filling recipe is that you can use either fresh or frozen raspberries. Whatever you have on hand! I have a freezer loaded with raspberries picked from my raspberry patch last summer so I used frozen but the only difference fresh versus frozen will make is cooking time. If you prepare the raspberry filling using fresh raspberries, it’s going to thicken a bit quicker than if you were to use frozen raspberries.
Do I Use Cream Cheese Instead Of Butter In The Frosting?
The answer is no! This incredibly indulgent whipped vegan cream cheese buttercream recipe uses a combination of dairy-free butter and vegan cream cheese to achieve a frosting stable enough to stack the cake layers but soft enough to spread with that oh-so-beloved cream cheese taste.
Lastly, I added a small portion of the raspberry filling to the cream cheese frosting for a hint of raspberry and that glorious pink color that simply screams spring!
I can’t wait to see your Dairy-Free Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake. Tell me all about it below in the comments or tag me in it on social media.
Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake
- Total Time: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
- Yield: 14 Slices 1x
This dairy-free lemon raspberry layer cake is full of fresh and zesty fruit flavours. Covered in a tangy-sweet whipped cream cheese buttercream frosting, this cake makes the most delicious and fluffy spring party dessert.
- ¾ cup dairy-free milk, divided & room temperature
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. lemon extract
- 1 ¾ cups cake flour, sifted *can substitute with a gluten-free 1:1 baking blend
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 pkg. (85 grams) lemon jello
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ⅔ cup dairy-free salted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
⅛ cup granulated sugar *
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Cream Cheese Buttercream
- 1 ½ cups dairy-free salted butter, cold
- 1 pkg. (8 oz.) dairy-free cream cheese, cold
- 6 cups icing sugar
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
- ⅓ cup raspberry filling **
- fresh raspberries
- fresh lemons
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray and parchment line two 8-inch round cake pans.
- In a small mixing bowl combine ¼ cup of milk and the vegetable oil. Set aside.
- In the other small mixing bowl gently whisk together the remaining milk (½ cup), eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon extract. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer and with the flat beater attachment, combine the flour, sugar, lemon jello powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and give it a quick mix together for approximately 1 minute.
- Add the butter, in small pieces, to the dry ingredients and mix on low until it looks like coarse sand.
- Slowly pour in the milk and oil mixture and mix on high for 2 minutes.
- Slowly pour the milk, egg, and extract mixture in and mix on high for another 2 minutes. Scrap the sides of the bowl when necessary.
- Divide the cake batter into the two prepared cake pans and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Allow the cake layers to cool for 10 minutes and then invert them on a cooling rack to fully cool.
In a medium pot mix the raspberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice together.
Heat over medium until the raspberries begin to let out their juice and the mixture begins to thicken. Approximately 5-7 minutes.
Once the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon remove it from the heat.
Pour the raspberry filling into a shallow dish and cover the surface directly with plastic wrap.
Allow to fully cool to room temperature before using it.
Cream Cheese Buttercream
In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter and cream cheese on high speed with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, approximately 5-10 minutes.
Add the icing sugar and salt and mix on low until combined.
Turn the mixer up to medium and let mix for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary.
- If you are adding some raspberry filling to the cream cheese buttercream do so now with ⅓ cup of fully cooled raspberry filling. Mix until combined. Keep the frosting chilled until ready to use.
Level each fully cooled lemon cake layer with a cake leveler or knife.
Place one leveled layer of lemon cake on a cake board, plate, and/or cake turntable and top with approximately 2 cups of dairy-free cream cheese buttercream.
- With a piping bag, pipe a buttercream ring border around the top edge and fill with approximately half the raspberry filling. Be careful not to overfill the cake as it will cause the top layer to slip or the filling to leak out.
Repeat with the remaining lemon cake layer and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Note that dairy-free cream cheese frosting can be quite soft. If it feels too soft at any point in time while stacking or decorating, stop what you are doing and place the cake and the frosting into the fridge to firm up.
Cover the cake with another layer of buttercream and smooth the sides with a cake smoother.
Decorate the cake as you desire. I used the tip of my offset spatula to create horizontal lines around the cake and topped it with fresh raspberries, lemon slices, and a few piped dollops of buttercream using a Wilton 4b piping tip. Enjoy!
* If you enjoy a sweeter raspberry filling, use ¼ cup of granulated sugar
** Omit if you prefer a plain cream cheese buttercream frosting. Serve the extra raspberry filling on the side.
- Prep Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
- Cook Time: 25 Minutes
- Category: Cake
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: Slice
- Calories: 703
- Sugar: 71 grams
- Sodium: 553 mg
- Fat: 38.8 grams
- Carbohydrates: 88.7 grams
- Protein: 3.6 grams
- Cholesterol: 88.2 grams
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I had to make this cake immediately as I am a lemon addict and wow. So amazing!
I’m a hardcore lemon lover too Denise. So glad you loved it!
This cake put me into flavour combo heaven! Cake recipe was super easy to follow and the icing was hard to stop eating by the spoon full!
I am so glad to hear you enjoyed it, Sarah. I’ll admit to eating the icing by the spoonful as well.
I did not enjoy the taste of the fake lemon from the lemon jello in this cake at all. I thought it would make it so lemony, and it just left us all so disappointed. I will stick to the real stuff going forward.
I’m sorry to hear that Kyla but understand artificial flavoring isn’t for everyone. I have a few other lemon cake recipes that use real lemon that I bet you’d be more in tune with. Hope you have a great day!
I made this for my sister who is a lemon raspberry fan and she loved it. We all did! The layers were so fluffy.
I am so thrilled to hear she loved it. Thank you for taking the time to bake it up and share it with me.
Hello, if I like to use dairy butter to make lemon cake and buttercream, What would be the ratio?
And,should I still include the shortening?
Keep the measurements the exact same for regular dairy butter. The shortening is your choice. Keep the measurements the same if you use the shortening or sub in more butter. Good luck! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!
This recipe was amazing! For some reason my cake did sink a little. I didn’t open the oven too early and ingredients were fresh. But it may have been an error on my end. But I just stacked the layers and covered it all in frosting and no one even knew that it sunk in a little. It was moist and the lemon was amazing! I will be making This recipe again!
Sinking is generally due to underbaking, but that said, it sounds like you salvaged it perfectly. Nothing a bit of extra frosting can’t fix, right?! 😉
I made this for mother’s day and everyone loved it.
The perfect cake to pick for mother’s day!
Can you use real milk and real butter?
Yes, you absolutely can.
I used this buttercream for a cake and it worked perfectly.
I am so glad you tried it out. I’m a sucker for a cream cheese frosting!
I’m a big fan of lemon and raspberry and this cake was super delicious my family devoured it. Awesome recipe i will definitely make it again
I am absolutely thrilled to hear you and your family enjoyed this Kathy! Thanks for sharing!
I appreciate how you left the raspberry filling a bit tart.
Thanks Claire. I enjoy a tart filling with a sweet cake.
I don’t think there are enough stars to rate this cake. It is the MOST TO DIE FOR CAKE and would give anyone who even was considering trying this cake a 1000/10 review for it. It is the absolute best summer treat and is packed with so many great flavors! I love the tangy lemon and the most delish raspberry frosting that is not too sweet and it honestly the best frosting I’ve ever had!! a must try for summer and any time you want !!
You have absolutely made my day Sophie with this review. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to bake this summer cake up and sharing it with me. Truly, thank you!
This is everything a summery cake should be!
Yay! And I totally agree with you, Penelope.
I used regular dairy ingredients and it was great.
Yay! Dairy-full success!
Is this lemon jello “jello” mix or pudding mix
Hi Megan, good old regular lemon jello mix. You could use the pudding mix if that’s all you have just make sure the measurement is the same.
Can I use dairy products and achieve the same results?
Yes, you absolutely can.
I don’t own a stand mixer. Would my regular hand mixer work?
Yes, you can make this with a regular hand mixer. I would use the highest speed setting for both the cake batter and frosting and be prepared to put in some elbow grease.
Is there a way to make the cake vegan and still have it taste good?
I haven’t personally tested it but I would first try swapping the eggs with vegan sour cream or yogurt. If you do try, I’d love to hear about it.