Recipe by Mandy Merriman

Raspberry Lemonade Swirl Cake

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Dairy Dairy
Hard Hard
12 Servings
2 Hours, 30 Minutes

This cake is double the fun with double the filling between each layer. I couldn’t decide between lemon curd or raspberry filling, so I decided that using both would easily solve the problem. I was right! They are equally delicious, and both really enhance the lemon and raspberry flavors in this cake. I also slice my three cake rounds in half horizontally, creating six thin layers and therefore more space for the delicious fillings. If you’re short on time, use store-bought lemon curd.


Raspberry Lemonade Swirl Cake

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (room temperature)

  • 2/3 cup sour cream (room temperature)

  • 3 large eggs plus 1 egg white (room temperature)

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • 1/4 cup flour

  • 1 box lemon cake mix

  • 2 tablespoons raspberry emulsion

  • 2 drops soft-pink gel coloring

Lemon Curd

  • 1 large egg plus 3 egg yolks

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

  • zest of 2 lemons

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Raspberry Filling

  • 1 cup raspberry jam (homemade or store-bought)

Raspberry Lemonade Buttercream

  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract

  • 1 drop yellow gel coloring

  • 1 teaspoon raspberry emulsion

  • 1 drop red gel coloring

For Decorating

  • lemon slices

  • fresh raspberries, cleaned

  • wavy cake scraper

  • piping bags

  • Wilton 6b piping tip


For the Cake


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, then prep three six-inch round cake pans with a swipe of shortening and dusting of flour to prevent sticking.


In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, eggs, oil, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice until thoroughly combined. Sift in the flour and cake mix and whisk until just combined. Do not overmix.


Divide the batter in half in two bowls, then gently fold the raspberry emulsion and gel coloring into one bowl. Split the batter evenly among the prepared pans, alternating between scoops of lemon and raspberry cake batter.

For the Lemon Curd


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and zest until the mixture thickens, three to five minutes. Remove the curd from the heat and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Strain the curd to remove the zest. Transfer to a glass dish, cover, and refrigerate until thickened and cooled completely.

For the Raspberry Lemonade Buttercream


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until it’s light and fluffy.


Add the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt and beat again until combined, then scrape down the sides with a spatula.


With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar about half a cup at a time. The buttercream will be thick. Add a little more heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time, to thin it out if needed, and then flip the mixer to high speed and beat until the buttercream is lighter in color and texture, about two minutes.


Divide the buttercream between two bowls Add the lemon extract and yellow gel coloring to one bowl and the raspberry emulsion and red gel coloring to the other. Fill one piping bag with lemon buttercream and one with raspberry buttercream.

To Assemble


Place a cardboard cake round on a cake turntable. Dot a little bit of buttercream in the center of the round and spread it out with an angled icing spatula.


Place the first chilled cake layer in the center. Add a thin layer of either lemon or raspberry buttercream. Pipe a buttercream dam of the same flavor around the outside rim of the frosted cake layer, then add about cup of the same flavor filling to match the buttercream.


Place the next cake layer on top, then repeat, alternating flavors each time and making sure to line the layers up evenly.


After adding the top cake layer, crumb coat the cake (use the lemon on the top half and the raspberry on the bottom) by spreading a thin layer of buttercream around the entire cake. Freeze for two minutes to set the buttercream.


Using a wooden spoon, beat out any air bubbles in the remaining buttercreams. Finish frosting the cake as desired or follow the decorating instructions below.

To Decorate the Cake


Spread a thick final layer of lemon buttercream on the top half of the cake and raspberry along the bottom. Use a wavy cake scraper to make the decorative pattern on the sides and use an angled icing spatula on top to flatten and clean up the edges.


Fill a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 6B tip with the remaining buttercream, then pipe dollops around the top rim of the cake in a crown. Place a lemon slice between each dollop and a raspberry on top of each one.


Excerpted from I’ll Bring the Cake: Recipes for Every Season and Every Occasion © 2023 by Mandy Merriman. Photography © 2022 by Mandy Merriman. Reproduced by permission of Harvest, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved. Purchase on Amazon.

Raspberry Lemonade Swirl Cake

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