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Lemon Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling and Vanilla Buttercream

A light and fluffy lemon raspberry cake with a lemon cake, raspberry cake filling, and a vanilla buttercream.  Utterly delicious!

Lemon Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling and Vanilla Buttercream

Happy birthday to MEEEEE!  Let’s eat lemon raspberry cake. With raspberry cake filling.  And vanilla buttercream.  Okay? Okay!

Lemon Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling and Vanilla Buttercream

Yep, that’s right.  I’m in my last and final year of my twenties.  Dun dun dunnnnn.

Nah.  Not really.  I don’t feel that weird about thirty being right around the corner (okay maybe it’s a leeeetle weird) but I definitely don’t feel old enough to be almost thirty.  Does that make sense?  Like it doesn’t freak me out, but I don’t feel old enough to be as old my age sounds.

Getting old is confusing.

Lemon Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling-6

Things that are not confusing?  Cake on your birthday.  It’s a no-brainer, right?  My dilemma is always choosing what kind of cake to have.  Chocolate or vanilla?  Vanilla or chocolate?  It’s such a hard decision!

You see, I have a special place in my heart for light and airy white cake with fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting, I think it stems from my Chuck-E Cheese birthdays.  If you’re not familiar with Chuck-E Cheese’s birthday cake you, my friend, are missing out.

ANYWAYS.  I love, love, love white cake.  But then again, I loooooove chocolate cake.  You know – rich, moist, chocolate-on-chocolate cake.

So what’s a girl to do when she is torn like this?  Make TWO birthday cakes, that’s what!  Or at least that’s what I did.

Lemon Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling and Vanilla Buttercream

It might seem weird to you that I made my own birthday cake but let me assure you – I insisted.  Marc told me I could only have two birthday cakes if he made both of them but I really, truly, madly, insisted that I make them myself.  While baking cakes may not be my specialty or favorite thing to do, there’s something special that I enjoy about making my own birthday cake.   Why not make two of them while I’m at it?

Components of Lemon Raspberry Cake

First up was this light and lemony layer cake, with a sweet raspberry cake filling and simple vanilla buttercream.   SO GOOD, you guys.  If I hadn’t already just eaten a piece, I’d go back and eat another right now.  Who am I kidding?  It’s birthday week, which obviously calls for two pieces a night.

The lemon raspberry cake is tender but holds up really well when sliced.  I thought the raspberry cake filling perfect complemented the lemon flavor of the cake, and the neutral but obvious vanilla buttercream rounded it all out.

Perfect Easter Cake

I’m thinking this would be a beautiful cake for Easter, with it’s spring flavors and all, and definitely any spring birthday.  I can attest it is definitely birthday worthy!

Lemon Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling and Vanilla Buttercream

You might be wondering if I’m going to post the chocolate cake I made this weekend, too.  Since I pretty much followed this recipe exactly, I’ll just direct you over there.  It is, hands down, the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made or eaten.

So tell me – do you prefer a vanilla or chocolate birthday cake?  Or another flavor?  Or are you non-traditional and like pie or something else for your birthday?  I’d love to know!

Like this recipe?  Check these out, too!

Funfetti Birthday Cake

Funfetti Ice Cream Cake

Lemon Almond Pound Cake

Lemon Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling and Vanilla Buttercream

Lemon Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling and Vanilla Buttercream

A light and fluffy lemon cake with raspberry filling and a vanilla bean buttercream!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, lemon, raspberry, vanilla, birthday, dessert
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 664kcal


  • For the lemon cake:
  • 2 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 5 large eggs whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • For the raspberry filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • For the buttercream frosting:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons whole milk


  • To make the cake:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans.
  • In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir to combine.
  • In small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the sugar with the lemon zest, stirring until zest and sugar are completely combined.
  • In large bowl with electric mixer, beat lemon sugar with butter until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  • Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and beat until smooth, about another minute.
  • Add 1/4 cup of the milk and beat in until just combined.
  • Then add a quarter of the flour mixture, beating until just combined. Repeat with remaining milk and flour mixture until all of it is added to the batter. Don't over mix.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy.
  • Add cream of tartar, then beat on until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold in the egg white mixture gently, 1/3 of it at a time, being careful not to deflate the mixture.
  • Pour batter into the prepared cake pans, dividing evenly, and smoothing the tops with a spatula.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Mine took 35 minutes.
  • Let cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes, then carefully invert each cake onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.
  • While cakes are cooling, make the filling.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the raspberries, sugar, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of water. With a whisk or fork mash the raspberries down to release some juices.
  • Heat over medium heat until it reaches a low boil.
  • In small bowl, mix remaining tablespoon of water with cornstarch.
  • Add to raspberry mixture and and stir quickly to combine.
  • Continue heating the mixture at a low boil for another minute, until it is thickened and looking glossy.
  • Let cool.
  • While cake and filling are cooling, make the frosting.
  • Beat butter on high until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  • Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating for 10 seconds after each cup is combined.
  • Add vanilla, salt, and milk, beating until well combined. Use 3 tablespoons of milk for firmer frosting, and use 4 tablespoons for a little bit thinner of a frosting, whatever your preference.
  • To assemble the cake, place first cake on cake stand/plate.
  • If cake is not even, use a sharp knife to cut off any excess to level it out.
  • Spread raspberry filling over the cake, leaving about 1 inch around the edge so it doesn't spill out the side when you put the second cake on top.
  • Place second cake on top.
  • Frost cake to your liking.
  • Smooth the surface with an offset spatula or pipe decoration, if desired.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Sodium: 283mg | Calcium: 88mg | Vitamin C: 6mg | Vitamin A: 871IU | Sugar: 79g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 218mg | Cholesterol: 74mg | Calories: 664kcal | Saturated Fat: 18g | Fat: 28g | Protein: 6g | Carbohydrates: 100g | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @greensnchocolate to let me know!
Need more ideas?Find all of my recipe pins @greenschocolate

Lemon Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling and Vanilla Buttercream - the perfect spring cake!

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Recipe Rating

  1. Happy birthday, Taylor! You’re just a spring chicken at 29! I’ll be 31 this year, womp womp. 😉

    I think it was good idea to make your own cakes too. That way they turn out perfect. 🙂 This one looks like pure bliss! I’m seriously drooling over here!!

  2. happy birthday! I can totally relate to the age thing and often forget how old I am!

    This cake looks like a fabulous way to celebrate–pinning it and thinking about making it for Easter!

    Also, saw your recent IG and you look GREAT! Enjoy this last bit of pregnancy!

  3. Happy happy birthday!!! I know what you mean – I turned 30 in August and still don’t feel 30 (even though I clearly am haha).

    This cake looks like a fantastic way to celebrate! Love sound of this flavor!

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAYLOR (this delayed post is with purpose…to celebrate you all over again) but ummm…that cake…mouth is watering…can not wait to make my own…this recipe is perfection. I am a Vanilla girl all day long, oh so good…but for real Chuck-E Cheese Cake…the best (the pizza wasn’t bad either) oh how I want to be a little kid again. Another really good bakery…HyVee…I don’t know what it is, but they put out one mean cake with a whipped frosting and the cake is always so moist and just perfect. Yum, its 7:45 AM and I am about to go whip up my own cake. Thanks for sharing and hope you had and are having a great week, cheers to you!

    1. Thanks Chelsea! I’m SO glad someone else remembers the Chuck-E Cheese cake!! And yes – I miss HyVee! Their cakes and cookies were the best!

  5. This cake looks FABULOUS! I’m so glad I found it because I’m gonna make it this weekend for my fiance’s birthday party. He will love it! All the recipes on this site look amazing.

  6. Can I just tell you how delicious this cake is?!? My twin sister and I made it for our birthday yesterday and it was a huge hit! Thank you for recipe! I’m sure it will be used over and over in the years to come!!

  7. Just a question, is the lemon cake very sweet? I’ve been asked to make someone a lemon cake that’s not too sweet because they prefer tart. Having trouble finding anything. They just want it with a simple frosting, no fruit filling. Do you think this could work?
    Happy belated birthday!

    1. Hi Vivian,
      This cake, like most, is sweet. I think you could decrease the sugar to 1 1/3 cups without sacrificing texture, but any more than that and the cake won’t be as light and fluffy. And it would definitely work without the fruit filling! Good luck!

  8. Never tried this version of lemon cake before, sounds delicious though. Will have to give this ago. Thanks simon

    1. Sonia,
      Cream of Tartar helps activate baking soda, but I suppose it could be made without it, as it’s not always found in cake recipes. Hope this helps!

  9. Does the lemon in the cake really come through even though it only uses lemon zest and no lemon juice as the flavor for the cake?

  10. 5 stars
    I have been baking a lot recently but this is one of the best things I’ve made! I made it for my moms birthday and everyone loved it! The filling was so good and tart and the buttercream was so so so good. The cake was so good also.

  11. 5 stars
    My Family Loved it. I am definitely sharing Guys, Thanks For sharing this Great Recipe. this recipe and this website with my friend. Hope they also love it. Thank you again for sharing such a great recipe.

    1. Hi Carol,
      I am not certain, as I’ve never made it in 8″ pans. My suggestion would be to 1.5 the recipe to make sure you have enough for all 3 of the layers! Hope this helps!