Richard Burr shows you how to make a show stopping, three tiered lemon and raspberry cake that is guaranteed to impress.
590 g Unsalted Butter
340 g Caster Sugar
340 g Plain Flour
3 tsp Baking Powder
6 Large Eggs
Zest of 4 Lemons
300 g Raspberries
750 g Icing Sugar
Splash of Milk
STEP 1: PREHEAT OVEN AND GREASE TINS
Preheat the oven to 180oC / 160oC Fan / Gas Mark 4. To make the sponges, grease and line three 20cm sandwich tins with baking parchment. If you only have one or two tins, you can still do the cake, but you’ll have to do the baking in batches.
STEP 2: START THE CAKE MIXTURE
Beat together the caster sugar and 340g butter with an electric whisk, or using a stand mixer if you have one, until they are light coloured, smooth and creamy. Beat in each egg thoroughly, one by one (rather than dropping them all in together). If the mixture starts to split, just add a tablespoon of flour and continue beating – this will bring the mixture back.
STEP 3: FOLD IN OTHER INGREDIENTS
Sift together the flour and the baking powder and fold into the mixture using a silicone spatula, making sure to mix any flour that ends up at the bottom of the bowl. Be gentle when you’re folding in the flour – you don’t want to knock out any air you’ve incorporated into the mix through all that whisking!
STEP 4: ADD LEMONS, DIVIDE MIXTURE AND BAKE
Fold in the lemon juice and zest, and then divide the mixture evenly between the three tins. Smooth out the surface of the sponge mixtures with an offset palette knife and bake for about 20-25 minutes (keep an eye on it from 20 minutes), or until a cocktail stick comes out clean when poked into the center of the sponge.
STEP 5: TAKE OUT AND COOL
Remove from the oven and when the tins have cooled enough to handle, take the sponges out of the tins and set to cool on wire racks.
STEP 6: RASPBERRY ICING
While the sponges are cooling, prepare the raspberry icing. Take 150g of the raspberries and force them through a sieve with the back of a spoon into a large bowl. Keep squashing them until you think you’ve got most of the juice out of them. Add 250g butter and beat with the raspberry juice using an electric hand whisk until soft. Gradually add the icing sugar and continue to mix, adding a splash of milk if you need to loosen the mixture.
STEP 7: EVEN OUT TOPS
Once the sponges have cooled, if they have raised middles, slice the tops flat with a bread knife.
STEP 8: ASSEMBLE LAYERS
Put the bottom sponge on your display plate or cake board. Neatly spread about 1/3 of the buttercream icing onto the bottom layer of sponge using an offset palette knife. Try to spread evenly, and right up to the edges of the sponge, so you can see a neat line of icing once the top layer of sponge goes on.
Add the next sponge and repeat. Turn the top layer of sponge upside down and lie on top of the spread icing; pressing down gently, and scraping off any excess icing that squidges out of the middle.
STEP 9: GARNISH TOP AND SERVE
Using the offset palette knife, neatly spread the remaining icing on the top of the cake and garnish with the remaining 150g raspberries and a dust of icing sugar.