Hello to all my lemon lovers! Ya girl is back with another EPIC cake recipe just in time for Valentine’s Day, because every holiday deserves cake. Last year you all went crazy for this incredible inside out chocolate covered strawberry cake, so I bought back the beautiful berry theme to share with you and your sweetie pies.
This beautiful lemon raspberry cake has fresh raspberries, lemon juice and zest, plus a touch of almond flavor that makes it taste like your favorite nostalgic lemon poppy seed muffin. To make it extra special and even more beautiful for any occasion, I added a gorgeous lemon raspberry buttercream frosting.
I kept the cake gluten free to share with all of your GF friends and loved ones, and it’s easily made dairy free as well. The cake layers are perfectly moist thanks to siggi’s yogurt and I LOVE the extra berry flavor that the raspberry plant-based cup adds! Bake this beauty up, share with your love and have a fabulous Valentine’s Day.
Fall in LOVE with this lemon raspberry cake
Besides being the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert, there’s even more to love about this perfectly moist, delicious lemon poppy seed cake. Its:
- Gluten free: thanks to almond flour and oat flour (which you can make at home!)
- Naturally sweetened: with some honey.
- Deliciously moist: from baking siggi’s yogurt right inside! Siggi’s yogurt also has more protein than sugar per cup so you can really feel good about incorporating it into recipes (and enjoying it as-is). The cake gets its texture and perfect fat for the crumb thanks to almond flour and siggi’s – whoo hoo!
- Easily dairy free: by using siggi’s plant-based cups and your fav vegan buttery stick (in the frosting). I’m currently dairy free while I’m breastfeeding Viggo, so I tested it this way and it was fabulous!
Ingredients in this gluten free lemon raspberry cake
As I mentioned, this beautiful raspberry lemon cake is not only gluten free, but it’s also easily dairy free, naturally sweetened, and bursting with flavor. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Eggs: you’ll need 4 eggs in this cake recipe to give it the right texture.
- Sweetener: we’re naturally sweetening this raspberry almond cake with honey.
- Yogurt: I absolutely love baking with siggi’s yogurt because it’s made with super simple ingredients and adds the perfect amount of moisture and flavor without adding a ton of sugar. As I mentioned, I used the raspberry or mixed berry plant-based siggi’s yogurt because I’m currently dairy free, but you can also use their regular raspberry or mixed berry cups.
- Lemon: that lovely lemon flavor comes from both fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Flour: we’re using a mix of fine blanched almond flour and oat flour as the base of this recipe to keep it gluten free. The almond flour adds a beautiful almond flavor to the cake along with an amazing texture!
- Baking staples: you’ll also need baking soda, salt, and almond extract to really bring out that almond flavor.
- For the lemon raspberry frosting: you’ll need butter (or a vegan buttery stick like Miyokos), powdered sugar, more lemon juice & zest, fresh raspberries, and a little milk of choice.
- For the filling & garnish: don’t forget fresh raspberries for between the layers and on top of the cake!
More raspberry options
This raspberry lemon cake is seriously perfect as-is, but there are a couple of different ways you can use fresh raspberries or raspberry jam that will still be delicious!
- Feel free to bake fresh raspberries directly into the cake layers. Simply toss 1 heaping cup of fresh raspberries in a tablespoon or two of oat flour before adding them to the batter so that the raspberry juice doesn’t spread.
- Instead of using fresh raspberries you can use ¼ cup raspberry jam between each layer on top of the frosting (so ½ cup total). Just don’t spread the top of the cake with the jam!
Can I make it vegan?
I haven’t tried making this healthy lemon poppy seed cake vegan, but if you want to try you can use 4 flax eggs (¼ cup flaxseed meal + ¾ cup water) and allow it to sit for 10 minutes until a gel-like consistency forms. Learn how to make a flax egg with this tutorial, and let me know in the comments how it works out!
Feel free to sub maple syrup for the honey in the cake to make it truly vegan, too!
A note on flour substitutions
Please note that I cannot recommend a substitute for the almond or oat flour as the ratios are what give this cake the perfect texture. See below for how to make your own oat flour for ease!
Make your own oat flour at home
You can easily make homemade oat flour to use in this lemon raspberry cake recipe. Check out my tutorial on how to make homemade oat flour right at home. So easy!
Tips for decorating this raspberry lemon cake
If you’ve never decorated a three-layer cake before, don’t worry! It’s easy and will turn out beautifully with a few tips:
- For the layers: cut the raspberries in half lengthwise to add them between the cake layers and carefully smoosh them into the layers. This will ensure that there isn’t too much space between the layers.
- For the frosting: make sure you only frost your cake once the layers are completely cooled, otherwise the frosting will melt. Do a crumb coat first by frosting the layers as you normally would and then coat the outside of the cake with a very thin layer of frosting then place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before you finish frosting. This is so that the crumbs stick to this layer of frosting and not your main layer.
- For the top: garnish the entire top of the cake with raspberries by placing whole raspberries upside down onto the cake. See the photos for reference! I recommend doing this just before serving the cake so that the berries stay fresh and juicy!
How to make the lemon raspberry buttercream frosting
Not only is this easy lemon raspberry buttercream frosting gorgeous, but it’s also SO delicious and bursting with flavor. Here’s how to make it:
- Blend the raspberries. You’ll want to start by blending ½ cup of raspberries until smooth. Pour that mixture into a bowl through a sieve to strain the seeds out, and use the back of a spoon to get all of the juice out.
- Whip the butter. Add softened butter (or vegan butter) to a bowl of an electric mixer and whip it on high until it’s light and fluffy.
- Mix the frosting. Add powdered sugar, lemon juice & zest, and the raspberry puree to the electric mixer and beat on high again for a couple more minutes until well combined. You may need to add a tablespoon or so of milk to thin the frosting and make it creamier, but this just depends on how you like it.
P.S. you can make the frosting up to a week ahead of time! Simply store it in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Let the frosting come to room temp before spreading it on your cake.
If you want to make a regular lemon buttercream: simply leave out the raspberry puree, add an extra tablespoon of lemon juice (so 2 tablespoons total) and 1-2 tablespoons of milk.
How to store & freeze this lemon poppy seed cake
To save time you can absolutely make this lemon raspberry cake 1-2 days ahead of time! Feel free to make the cake layers ahead and store them in the fridge, or make the whole frosted cake and store it.
- To store: I recommend storing the cake well covered in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.
- To freeze: feel free to freeze this lemon raspberry cake either frosted or unfrosted for up to 2 months. I recommend freezing it unfrosted in individual layers for the best results. First, wrap each individual layer in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and then place the cakes in a zip-top freezer bag. When you’re ready to serve it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then let the cake come to room temperature before frosting and serving.
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I hope you love this wonderful lemon raspberry cake recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
Almond Lemon Raspberry Poppy Seed Cake
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Gorgeous lemon raspberry cake made with fresh lemon juice and zest, raspberries, poppy seeds and a luscious lemon raspberry frosting. This lemon poppy seed cake is made gluten free thanks to almond flour and oat flour, and is easily made dairy free with siggi’s raspberry plant-based yogurt and vegan butter!
- Wet ingredients:
eggs, at room temperature
(5.3 ounce) container of raspberry or mixed berry plant-based siggi’s yogurt*
- Zest from 2 large lemons
fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Dry ingredients:
packed blanched fine almond flour
oat flour** (do not pack!)
- For the lemon raspberry frosting:
(12 ounces) butter or vegan buttery stick (such as Miyokos), at room temperature
fresh lemon juice
raspberries (to make 1-2 tablespoons raspberry puree)
- Optional: 1 tablespoon milk, if necessary
- For the filling:
fresh raspberries, cut in half lengthwise
- For the garnish:
fresh raspberries (do not cut!)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line the bottom of three 6-inch round cake pans or two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper rounds. Spray parchment paper and sides of the pans with nonstick cooking spray. YOU SHOULD USE PARCHMENT PAPER or the cake is likely to stick. Please do not forget.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey, yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice and almond extract. The mixture should be smooth and well combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk the almond flour, oat flour, poppyseeds, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well with a rubber spatula until smooth.
Divide batter evenly between pans and spread out with a spatula to smooth the tops. Bake for 18-28 minutes in the two 8-inch pans or 25-35 minutes for three 6-inch pans. Cakes are done when a tester comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting or removing from the pans. The cake should be room temperature when you frost it. This is very important. Cakes can be made a day ahead if you’d like.
Make your frosting: Add ½ cup raspberries to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour mixture through a sieve over a small bowl and use the back of a spoon to get all of the juice out so you only have the seeds remaining. Set the raspberry juice puree aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the softened butter or vegan butter and whip on high until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add 4 cups powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of the raspberry puree; beat on high for 1-2 minutes more until well combined. Taste and add more powdered sugar to your liking, if necessary. You may need to scrape the frosting down the sides of the bowl and then beat again. Optional: You may need to add in a little bit of milk (about 1 tablespoon) to thin the frosting out so it’s a little more creamy, but it depends on how you like it! I love a thick frosting.
Now it’s time to frost the cake: place about 1 tablespoons down onto the cake stand and spread out. Invert a cake onto the cake stand, add about 1/2 heaping cup frosting between each layer. Cut the raspberries reserved for the filling in half lengthwise, and place them over the filling between each layer, covering the entire surface. You want to sort of smoosh them into the frosting as best you can. It’s okay if they break a bit, but it is important that they are well nestled into the frosting so that there aren’t large gaps between the cake layers. Repeat with each cake, then frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining lemon frosting. If the cake is slightly ‘naked’ on the outside, that’s okay, it’s going to be delicious!
Garnish with fresh raspberries just before serving the cake to make sure they stay as fresh as possible!
Cake will stay good at room temp for a day or so, then should be placed in the fridge. Cake will stay good for 5-7 days in the fridge, and should be well-covered to ensure freshness.
If you want to make a regular lemon buttercream, simply leave out the raspberry puree, add an extra tablespoon of lemon juice and 1-2 tablespoons of milk of choice to the frosting.
*You can also use regular siggi’s raspberry or mixed berry cups.
To do a crumb layer: Frost the layers as you normally would and then coat the outside of the cake with a very thin layer of the frosting. Then, place the cake in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before you finish frosting. This is so that the crumbs stick to this layer of frosting and not your main layer.
**Feel free to make your own oat flour at home using this tutorial.
Instead of using fresh raspberries, you can use about ¼ cup raspberry jam between each layer, so you’d need ½ cup total. See more ideas in the blog post!
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by The Mindful Hapa
This post is sponsored by siggi’s. All text and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make AK possible!