Tag Archives: summer desserts

Rustic Lemon Raspberry Buttercream Layer Cake

raspberry-lemon-layer-cake-homemakerchic.comI love family get togethers because it gives me the chance to show off my baking chops and to try out new recipes. Which really benefits everyone, especially you! Well maybe it benefits my family slightly more because they get to sample the delicious treats! This summer I made this fabulous Lemon Raspberry Layer cake which was equally as scrumptious as it was gorgeous. And the rustic messy buttercream frosting is so splendidly simple to do.Cake Decorating Suppliesrustic-buttercream-raspberry-lemon-layer-cake-homemakerchic.com

Craftsy Cake Decorating ClassYou will need two batches of your favorite vanilla cake recipe or vanilla cake mix. Its surprisingly easy to find organic and gluten-free cake mixes now! They’re a bit more expensive than your usual Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker mix, but they don’t have all the garbage in the ingredients. Check out your local supermarket (super Target, whole foods and Trader Joes have great selections) for products from Bob’s Red Mill or Arrowhead Mills or you can grab them on Amazon and have them delivered to your door!

Here’s what you need for the cake:

  • 2 x vanilla cake mixes (or your favorite homemade recipe)
  • 2-3 lemons (you will need 2 for the juice and zest, and one for garnish)
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (plus 8-10 extra berries for garnish)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 3 cups seedless raspberry jam
  • Yellow food coloring
  • Pink food coloring
  • Red food coloring
  • 1 x – 8″ cardboard cake round

For the frosting:

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 7.5 cups confectioners’ sugar (one 2 lb bag)
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  1. In a bowl combine butter, sugar and salt. Beat until blended.
  2. Add the milk, lemon zest and vanilla and beat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.Craftsy Cake Decorating Class

Make the following adjustments to your mix-

Lemon Cake:

  1. Substitute half lemon juice and half water for the liquid called for in the instructions.
  2. Substitute melted butter for the oil called for in the mix.
  3. Add 2 teaspoons of freshly grated lemon zest.
  4. Add 5-6 drops of yellow food coloring.
  5. Pour into two 8″ greased cake pans. I like to use Baker’s Joy cooking spray with flour added. Bake as directed

Raspberry Cake:

  1. Substitute cream for the water called for in the mix.
  2. Substitute melted butter for the oil called for in the mix.
  3. Add 1/2 cup pureed and sieved raspberries (about 1 cup of whole berries). Be sure to use fresh, ripe, sweet berries. Its best to let them ripen for a few days before you make the cake, so they are at their peak sweetness. Sieve them through some cheesecloth or a chinois (which is really just a fancy pants version of a fine strainer) to remove all the seeds. Because let’s face it, no one likes raspberry seeds.
  4. Add a few drops of hot pink food coloring, and 1-2 drops of red food coloring to get a nice deep raspberry color.
  5. Pour into two 8″ greased cake pans. Bake as directed.

Assembly and Frosting


To make this glorious layered effect we are going to be torting this cake. To tort a cake just means you are slicing each layer in half and adding filling in between. This makes your cake slices look beautiful plus it gives you more filling which makes for a much more delicious cake.

I recommend using a cake slicer (or cake saw) like this one from Wilton. You can use it to level off the tops of your cake, then drop it down to the lowest setting and slice your cakes in half. Be sure to do this on a level counter or table or your cakes will end up lopsided.

Slice all four cakes in half. Then begin by smearing a little frosting on your cake board then place the bottom raspberry piece down. The frosting will keep the cake from sliding around. Add about 1/2 cup of jam in the center and spread it around leaving about 1/2 inch of space all around the edge (that way when you place your next layer on the jam doesn’t smush out the sides.) Next, add a lemon layer and more jam. Continue layering one raspberry, then one lemon layer, with jam in between until you get to the top. Make sure your top piece is a “bottom” layer of one of your cakes. That way you will have a smooth top and not too many crumbs. Does that make sense?

Now for the frosting. Just drop a big blob of frosting on the top of your cake and, using a large offset spatula, begin working the buttercream down the sides in smooth swirly motions. Don’t worry about making it too smooth. Just make sure you have a nice even layer. Then go back and using the tip of the spatula make some nice rustic swirls. Finally, slice your lemon and stick a few slices around the bottom of the cake and add a few berries for garnish. That’s all she wrote friends! I hope you enjoy this delicious and delightful cake!



How to Make a Gorgeous Summer Berry Tart

Each year for fourth of July I am charged with the wonderful job of creating beautiful and delicious summer deserts. I woke up early yesterday and as I began to bake, and thought of all those military wives who get far too little credit. At church on Sunday they had all the men and women who served come up on stage and it was amazing. I actually did an ugly cry, not the single sweet glistening tear on my cheek… like the really ugly slobbering cry. I am so proud to be an American.

But what about those wives who baked, and cleaned, and took care of children while dad was away. Who prayed and cried, and kept herself together so the kids didn’t fall apart? What about those wives who had no children, but had to say goodbye to their husbands anyway- all by themselves? What about the momma’s to sons and daughters who were so far away from home, but knew mom would always be there to send a care package, an encouraging letter, and pray day and night for his safety? This post is dedicated to all those women who served in the military, by being the GREAT women behind good men (and sometimes bad men), who fed their bellies, loved their hearts, and prayed for their souls. This goes out to you girls: you deserve a medal for all you’ve sacrificed, but instead I’ll give you these two wonderful recipes. ūüôā

This year I made two desserts, one which I borrowed from, ahem… “FoodSnots.” I’m gonna have to find out why she chose such an unappetizing name for her blog (scratch that- I just read the about me section and it seems to be some sort of joke, I guess I don’t get it.). Either way she is really sweet and she has lovely recipes and this is one of them. Head on over to her blog for the full recipe.

Summer Berry Lemon Tart with Sugar Cookie Crust

The main gist ¬†is to make a sugar cookie recipe (okay I cheated and bought the target brand mix and it was yummy!) and press it into a tart pan. I will recommend pressing it up as high as you can on the sides and as deep as you can in the center to create a good well for your filling. The dough rises up a good bit and you will end up with a flat tart with no crust if you do not do this. I actually ended up shoveling out a little from the center after it baked because I didn’t have enough space for the filling. You’ll do much better than I did.

After it bakes, the the crust cool (I popped it in the freezer for about 5 minutes to rush the process). Fill the center with what is basically like a key lime or lemon icebox pie filling. Another good alternative would be no bake cheesecake filling. I pressed the berries into the soft filling then refrigerated it for about an hour to set. I like making concentric circles but you can just toss them on if you want a more rustic look. This tart was absolutely delicious! It was light and sweet and everyone loved it.

The second dessert was an oldie but a goodie. I started making this treat when I was about 13, for my parents dinner parties and bible study groups. I loved baking and my mother did not, so I got to invent all kinds of yummy sweets for her guests. this one I call: The Cherry Zipper. 

What you’ll need:

One sheet of frozen puff pastry dough

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1 can of pie filling (any flavour you like)

What to do:

Let the pastry dough thaw on the counter or in the fridge overnight. You want it to be soft enough to handle but still very cold. Sprinkle your work surface with a little sugar ¬†lay the sheet on the sugar and then sprinkle more on the top. Gently roll out the dough so the sugar gets pressed into it. You just want to roll the dough so it gets a little longer and wider, you don’t want to completely flatten it out. Try it keep it in a relatively even rectangle.

Transfer the to dough to a cookie sheet or pyrex dish sprayed with Pam. Visually divide the sheet into  thirds (do it in your brain). The center will be where your pie filling goes. Using kitchen shears snip half inch strips down the sides leaving one third of the dough sheet in the center. Pour your filling down the center strip. Begin closing it up by laying the pastry strips over each other alternating sides like a zipper all the way to the top.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes on 375-400 (my oven tends to burn things so I go about 385). I don’t really use timing when I bake I just wait till I can smell it. You will know by the smell. When you smell the smell, brush the top with a bit of egg yolk mixed with a drop of cream (or half & half or milk), then sprinkle the top with a little more sugar and bake for about 5 more minutes or until it is a gorgeous golden brown. It is rustic and beautiful and tastes amazing. The best part is that it only takes 4 ingredients and about 5 minutes to prepare.