Birthdays and cake go hand in hand. After getting together with all the people you love I would venture that cake comes a close second. So, with my birthday peeping up on the horizon I started to mull over the last one. This beautiful oozy raspberry and lemon yogurt cake was the glorious result of some ad hoc, guess and go, baking but, if I do say so myself, the outcome was rather special.
With dinner already on the cards with some of my best friends from home, I was already pretty chuffed with how my birthday was shaping up. Historically, of my friendship group, I’m definitely the baker. Let’s just say it doesn’t come as easily to some as others. Besides that, life was hectic for us all and it didn’t even occur to me that anyone would have the time or would have thought about it but I decided that cake for dessert would round off the night nicely so I set about whipping up something to take along. Great minds, clearly do think alike, it transpired that the girls had been cooking up a storm in the kitchen too with me completely unawares. I was reprimanded for having made my own, but frankly that’s half the fun and whoever complained about having too much cake…
Anyway, that’s all besides the point and really just me rambling on. The bit you should pay attention to is the recipe because I would suggest anyone and everyone give this a go for a special occasion. Raspberry and lemon will forever be a magnificent combination. This sponge somehow takes it to the next level. What you should be left with is a light, moist sponge with oozy cream cheese filling and sticky sweet jam. I have to add at this point, and I realise it’s not ideal, there was a serious amount of improvisation as I went along meaning the measurements below are a little hit and miss. I’ll make the promise to bake it again in a more considered fashion and update anything necessary. In the meantime consider it as inspiration if not a bible!
- 125g self raising flour
- 125g caster sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 100g butter
- 2 tbsp thick Greek yogurt or lemon yogurt if you prefer
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 large eggs
Lemon cream cheese icing
- 400g icing sugar
- 125g cream cheese, not straight from the fridge
- 35g butter
- Zest of one lemon
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice (depending on the stiffness you want for your icing and the lemoniness you’re after)
- Some good quality raspberry jam, as much as you like
- To decorate, whatever tickles your fancy! (Freeze dried raspberry bits worked really well)
Start by pre-heating your oven. At the time I was baking at home so I used the Aga but from a little googling I think you’re best off about 200°C.
I always use the all-in-one method so mix all your ingredients in one bowl. If you prefer, make your mixture as for a normal Victoria sponge then add the yogurt and juice along with the wet ingredients.
Line two cake tins 8 or 9 inch cake tins with butter and greaseproof paper. Split the mixture evenly between the two and place on the same oven shelf if possible. Leave until the tops are golden and crisped and a probe comes out clean, generally between 15-20 minutes but keep your eyes peeled.
While the cake is baking, prepare your icing. Beat your cream cheese together with the butter, lemon juice and zest until smooth and fluffy. Add the icing sugar gradually and keep beating until creamy. You may need to add more icing sugar or juice to get the consistency you like depending on if you want a drizzle or more of a thick, American-style frosting.
Once the cakes are baked, turn them out onto a cooking rack and leave for at least half an hour to cool. Depending on how much rise you’ve got on your sponges, you might need to level them off before you assemble your cake.
Once it’s cool and level it’s time to layer up. No rocket science here, pick your prettiest sponge for the top. Thicker icing should go on first before jam, thinner drizzle on top of it so be led by your own creation. Once you’ve smothered the bottom sponge, perch the second on top and spread on the remaining icing and any decorations. Chances are you’ll see icing splurge out of the sides but I’m rather partial to the ooze!