The sun has returned. The hills are a vibrant emerald, the chirping birds have come out of hiding, and there is warmth! After one of the wettest March’s ever – 21 days of rain, in fact – we are basking in beautiful weather.
Spring has finally arrived.
I found myself smiling as I zested lemons for a Lemon Raspberry Cake. I would have been happy with the sun from the lemons, but having it outside my window made it even better.
Sweet and cake-y was my husband’s request, and one of his favorite store-bought treats is a Raspberry Pudding Cake. I thought I would try my hand at making my own version and used a wonderful Ina Garten recipe for Lemon Yogurt Cake as a spring board. I adore her recipe, as it is pure lemon-soaked heaven in a cake, but I wanted to have the elements of a jammy raspberry swirl, instead.
The blender made quick work of producing the tangy raspberry swirl I was looking for, and it was the resulting sauce that really became the star. Serve up a thick slice of warm sunshine in a generous puddle of raspberry sauce, and those cold and wet days will soon become a distant memory.
Lemon Raspberry Cake
Yield: Makes one loaf.
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 ¼ cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable oil
juice of 1 large lemon
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons framboise liqueur* (raspberry liqueur)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup sugar (for sauce)
Preheat the oven 350°F. Butter and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk and combine the buttermilk, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Mix the buttermilk mixture with the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the vegetable oil until evenly incorporated. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Allow batter to rest.
In a blender, blend the lemon juice, raspberries, framboise liqueur, and sugar. Blend until smooth. Take one ounce of the raspberry mixture, straining if desired, and drizzle lightly on top of the cake batter. Use a toothpick to swirl into the batter.
Place the loaf pan into the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Strain the remaining raspberry mixture into a sauce pan. Add 1/3 cup sugar, and cook over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool and set aside.
When the cake is done, let it cool on a wire rack. Serve the slices with the ruby raspberry sauce. Enjoy!
*Optional. If you do not have any raspberry liqueur, substitute with water.
Adapted from Ina Garten's Lemon Yogurt Cake.