This Gluten Free Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Filling and Meyer Lemon Buttercream is a decadent spring dessert that is light in texture and bold in flavor. A vanilla cake with fresh raspberry sauce filling and a smooth and tangy lemon buttercream.
April Fools on me! Curse April Fools, I tell you. Curse it!
My computer must have a sense of humor because after TWO HOURS of writing this post, it didn’t save a dang thing. So, I started over. And it’s almost midnight. Happy day.
So here it goes. This is what I can remember from what I wrote:
This is the dessert that will be gracing our dinner table come Easter…well half of it at least.
We already ate half, so the remainder of this delicious cake is just sitting in the freezer waiting to make its debut this Sunday. It we weren’t eating dinner with really good friends we have known for years, I may be slightly embarrassed showing up to a dinner party with a half eaten cake. Haha!
Aside from this cake being special simply because it’s being served on such a wonderful holiday, this cake is special because it has quite the story to go with it.
Let’s just rewind to about a month and a half ago when a friend of mine asked me to make a gluten free cake for a women’s dinner program that our church was putting on as a birthday celebration for our organization.
“Sure!” I said.
Of course I said sure. Not only does it give me a reason to bake something new, but I enjoy sharing my talent with others. Let’s face it; I have about ONE talent, and this is it! I might as well flaunt it when I can.
Now let’s fast forward to about 2 weeks ago while I was ending my Spring break with the kiddos in Utah. During one of our nightly chat sessions, Ben told me that I had received an invitation in the mail to this church dinner party. I immediately told him that I wasn’t going and he could throw away the invitation…not in a mean way, but in a getting rid of clutter kind of way.
You see, between raising kids, blogging, baking, taking my kids to extracurricular activities, and volunteering in our church youth program, I just don’t have the time, energy, or desire to participate in anything else. More often than not, social engagements just don’t sound all that appealing to me. Plus, I was ending a 10 day vacation with my children. I WAS TIRED.
Okay, now fast forward to 2 days before this dinner event. I received a text message. It went a little something like this:
“Hi Brielle. Are you still willing to make a birthday cake for our party on Thursday?”
Uhhhhhh…holy crap!!! I FORGOT. I completely forgot that I had agreed to do this. Looks like I was going after all.
Not only did I have a bad attitude about baking the dang cake, but I was totally stressed out about DECORATING the dang cake. I wanted to make a pretty cake, of course, so a layered cake only seemed natural. Except for I don’t decorate! I am not creative or artistic at all.
Making this cake was about the death of me. (Please don’t read that previous statement as: This cake is too hard to make! Trust me, I made all the mistakes for you.)
However, to no avail, I did succeed in making quite a beautiful, elegant, and delicious cake and I learned a few pointers about decorating layered cakes along the way:
- Avoid putting too much filling in between each layer. It will ooze out the sides under the weight of the cake and you will yell and curse at anyone that tries to talk to you or walks within reach of you.
- Spread a very thin layer on top of the layers of cake before adding the filling. Otherwise, the filling will soak down through the layers of cake. It won’t be pretty. Hence the 3 layer cake in the photo rather than 4.
- Pipe a small stream of frosting on the top of each layer, around the edges, to create a border for the filling. This will ensure that the filling stays in the middle and does not ooze out. Trust me, oozing frosting coming out of the bottom of the cake is not the ombre look you may be going for.
- Use straws or small rods to stabilize a cake taller than 3 layers. A leaning tower of cake will not last as long as the Leaning Tower of Pisa…guaranteed.
- Spread a thin layer of frosting over the cake once assembled. Place it in the fridge to set the frosting, and then add another thicker layer of frosting all around the cake. It spreads easier and makes for a much prettier cake.
- And most importantly…BREATHE!!! I learned very quickly that frosting can fix almost any mistake. Plus, a lick or two here and there can really calm the nerves.
If you follow these tips carefully, you are bound to create the most insanely delicious and beautifully sophisticated Gluten Free Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Filling and Meyer Lemon Buttercream that you ever did taste. This is a promise.
Oh, I did forget one more tip. If you plan on transporting this cake…well, good luck.
Haha! Just kidding. I actually did make it to the car, cake in tow, only to realize there was no way I was going anywhere with that thing. The only way to keep this cake safe was to stabilize it on my lap.
But, with the cake in between me and the steering wheel, the seat was too far back to reach the pedals. I sat there for five minutes in an exchange of laughter and tears.
Solution? A friend.
I quickly realized that a real friend is someone that will rush over and nervously hold your cake while you drive a few miles down the street. Thanks Lauren!
Seriously, this cake is a miracle cake for sure.
Another miracle is the fact that this cake batter actually bakes up into two beautiful layers of soft, tender vanilla scented circles of deliciousness. I’m telling you, this batter is quite deceiving.
First of all, you have to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Normal. No big deal.
But then, you move on to making the batter for the cake, and it starts out looking more like pie pastry with all its buttery pea sized crumbs. Don’t be alarmed. It eventually smooths out.
But here’s the real kicker. Right before you pour the batter into the cake pans it looks like…well…this. You use your imagination.
Okay, can we all agree that this cake batter seriously looks like barf?! Haha! I’m sure that description really makes you want to make this cake, right?
Don’t worry. There is a reason for this. We all know that beaten egg whites give cakes rise and structure. When you fold them into the batter, you want to mix very gently, keeping the egg whites intact as much as possible. So, the batter ends up looking like the photo above.
However, once you pop those pans in the oven for a good 25-30 minutes…VIOLA! Gorgeous!
Let’s talk about this cake.
This cake is light, not dense. Soft, but not crumbly. Tender, not tough. But most of all this cake screams VANILLA!
This is the perfect cake recipe to use for any of your favorite frostings. It can compliment any flavor you choose to put on it. Or, you know, just eat it plain. It’s really that good.
I, however, chose to fill this loveliness with layers of fresh raspberry filling. Raspberry filling that is tart, tangy, sweet, and totally berrylicious.
But there’s one more player in this cake trio we have to talk about and that is the Meyer Lemon Buttercream.
I’ve had many people ask me from the look of the frosting whether it was whipped cream. Nope. Just some good old whipped buttercream. If you add whipping cream to your frostings rather than milk, you get a light and fluffy, satiny smooth frosting that is finger licking good.
Using Meyer lemons in this buttercream frosting gives it a sweeter, less acidic flavor than using regular lemons. Although, either would work. If you choose to use regular lemons, you may want to reduce the amount of lemon juice to 2 tablespoons rather than 3.
The great thing about this frosting recipe is that it makes plenty. No, not so you can eat all the leftovers. But instead, you will have more than enough frosting to decorate so get creative and have fun!
And then lick the bowl clean.
What dessert are you serving for Easter?
- For the Vanilla Cake:*
- 6 egg whites, beaten stiff
- 1½ sticks butter, room temperature (3/4 cup)
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk (I used 1%)
- ⅔ cup potato starch
- ½ cup white rice flour
- ⅓ cup sweet sorghum flour
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ¼ cup tapioca starch
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- For the Raspberry Filling:
- 1¼ cup fresh or frozen raspberries, pureed
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- For the Meyer Lemon Buttercream:**
- 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice (about 3-4 lemons)
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1½ sticks butter, room temperature
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 5-6 cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9" round cake pans with cooking spray and lightly dust with white rice flour. Set aside.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Scrape excess whites off of beaters and into bowl and rinse beaters.
- In a larger mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and mix until smooth.
- In a separate smaller mixing bowl, sift together potato starch, white rice flour, sorghum flour, coconut flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum.
- Add half of dry mixture to butter mixture and mix on medium speed until pea sized crumbs form. Add milk and mix until smooth. Add remaining dry mixture to wet mixture and beat on high for 2 minutes, scraping sides as needed.
- Gently fold in egg whites, being careful not to break their structure. Fold until egg whites are well distributed throughout batter. Batter will be lumpy, but will bake beautifully!
- Divide batter in halt between two 9" round pans and bake for 26-28 minutes or until tops spring back at touch of a finger and toothpick inserted into middle of the cake comes out clean or with few crumbs.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on cooling racks for 10 minutes. Use a knife to loosen around edges of cake. Place a cooling rack over the top of the cake and flip cakes out to continue cooling. Allow to completely cool before assembling.
- As cake is cooking, begin making filling. Puree raspberries and remove seeds using a fine strainer, pushing pulp through with a spatula. You should have about a cup of juice. Pour juice into a small saucepan and add cornstarch, sugar, and lemon juice. Heat just above medium, stirring to dissolve sugar, until mixture reaches a boil. Reduce heat to a low boil and cook for 3-5 minutes until mixture reaches gravy consistency. Pour into a shallow pan and cool in the fridge until ready to use.
- To make frosting, beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add lemon juice, whipping cream, and a pinch of salt. Beat until incorporated. Beat in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, until desired consistency is reached. You should have to add at least 3 more cups of sugar. Mix in lemon zest.
- To assemble cake, place bottom layer on platter. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the top; thin enough that the cake shows through. Pipe a circle of frosting, about ½ a centimeter in from the edge,of the cake, to keep the filling contained. Add about ¼ cup of filling on top of cake and spread evenly to frosting border. Repeat with additional layers.
- Spread a light coating of frosting over entire cake and refrigerate for 30 minutes to set frosting. Remove from fridge and add a thicker layer of frosting over entire cake. Decorate as desired and serve at room temperature.
**Recipe makes enough frosting for a 3-4 layer cake.