Recipe: Charlotte’s Lemon Cake with Raspberry Buttercream




Here’s a deliciously decadent cake from Charlotte Ree’s  new cookbook Just Desserts (Pan Macmillan). Her easy, user-friendly creations taste as splendid as they look.  The book showcases 30 of Charlotte’s best cake, biscuit, slice and dessert recipes in one fine little package. “Imagine Florence Broadhurst baking Nana’s tastiest favourites on acid and you’ve pretty much got Charlotte’s Ree-markable first book,” says Matt Preston.

Here’s her recipe for Lemon Cake with Raspberry Buttercream:

This is the cake you’ll make once you feel confident about your baking and you also want to show that you’re not too shabby on the icing. It’s actually dead easy and there is a sneaky trick I want to highlight here. When icing the cake, use a lazy Susan. It helps you to keep the spatula steady and gives the cake a nice even finish (it doesn’t have to be perfect; in fact I prefer a more rustic look, but the spinning makes it so much easier to even out the icing). You can also add more raspberries to your buttercream, depending on the colour and consistency you would like.


Serves 12


250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

360 g caster sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

4 large eggs, at room temperature

250 ml buttermilk

finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons

750 g self-raising flour

250 g freeze-dried raspberries

Raspberry Buttercream

250 g fresh raspberries

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons caster sugar

350 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

500 g icing sugar, sifted


400 g full-fat ricotta,

at room temperature

400 g mascarpone,

at room temperature

1.2 litres thickened cream,

plus 3 tablespoons extra

1 tablespoon vanilla

bean paste

250 g fresh raspberries



Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line two 22Öcm springform tins with baking paper. Place the butter, caster sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fi tted with the whisk attachment and beat until light and creamy. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the milk, lemon zest and juice and fl our and mix to combine.

Divide the batter between the prepared tins and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, swapping the cakes halfway through to ensure even baking. Set the tins on baking trays and leave to cool.

To make the buttercream, puree the raspberries, lemon juice and caster sugar in the bowl of a food processor until smooth. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fi tted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and vanilla on high speed until pale and fl uô y. Reduce the speed to medium and add the

icing sugar in three batches, beating well after each addition and scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Add the berry puree and beat until combined. Set aside.

For the filling, process the ricotta and mascarpone in a food processor until smooth. Whip the thickened cream and vanilla in the bowl of the stand mixer fi tted with the whisk attachment. Add the ricotta mixture and the extra thickened cream and beat until combined.

To construct the cake, cut each cooled cake in half horizontally, trimming the top of each cake to create four fl at, even layers. Place the base of one cake on a serving platter over your lazy Susan. Top the base with one-third of the fi lling and a sprinkling of fresh raspberries. Repeat with two more layers and the remaining whipped cream and raspberries, then place the fi nal cake half on top.

To ice the cake, dollop a large spoonful of buttercream onto the cake and smooth it with a palette knife. Spread the icing around the side of the cake and smooth with the palette knife.

Finish by decorating with the freeze-dried raspberries. You can add a splash of colour by placing fresh fl owers on top as we have done here – but please note that these are not edible. Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.





Just Desserts by Charlotte Ree, Published by Pan Macmillan, Photography by Luisa Brimble