Lemon Snack Cake with Raspberry-Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 10 mins
10 to 12 Serves

There's so much to love about snacking cakes, those single-layer confections meant to be sliced into any time of day. Here lemon juice and zest brighten the batter, and ground freeze-dried raspberries give classic cream-cheese frosting a natural rosy tint. Pile on whole berries, and help yourself.



  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for pan

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • cup whole milk

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus ⅓ cup fresh juice

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla paste or extract

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature


  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, sifted

  • ¼ ounce freeze-dried raspberries (⅓ cup), finely ground

  • Fresh raspberries, for serving


  1. For the Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush a 9-inch round cake pan with butter. Line bottom with parchment; brush with butter. Dust with flour, tapping out excess.

  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another, stir together milk and lemon juice. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter with lemon zest, granulated sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

  3. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture in three additions, alternating with milk mixture, just until no dry flour remains (do not overmix). Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until cake is golden and springs back when gently pressed, about 40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool 20 minutes. Turn cake out onto rack, remove parchment, and let cool completely.

  4. For the Frosting: In a bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in confectioners' sugar and freeze-dried berries until smooth.

  5. Spread frosting over top of cake. Decorate with fresh berries. Cake is best served on the same day, but can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.

    Lemon Cake with Raspberry-Cream Cheese Frosting
    Chris Simpson
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