Lemon Raspberry Glitter Cake
Have you ever seen a cake glitter and sparkle? I made this gorgeous cake by special request for Justine’s 30th birthday. I usually don’t sell cakes because it stresses me the f out. But I couldn’t say no when she told me, “I buy myself a fun cake every year to eat along, not because I’m sad but because I don’t like to share yummy cake, and turning 30 this year, I’m ready to go all out!”
It was so fun coming up with a custom cake just for her that matches her sparkly personality. Her requirements were: dairy-free, fruity, no chocolate, and fun inside and out.
I made a Lemon Cardamom Cake with Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting and fresh raspberries between each layer, topped with a crown of toasted meringue, and dusted with Fancy Sprinkles Rose Gold Prism Powder until it glittered and sparkled like a disco ball.
Dairy-Free Cake Substitutions
To make it dairy-free I substituted Coconut Cream instead of Sour Cream in the batter to make the cake extra moist and soft. There was barely any coconut taste that I could tell, because the strong lemon, cardamom and raspberry flavors hid the coconut.
For the buttercream frosting, I used Miyokos Vegan Butter instead of regular unsalted butter. It was more melty than regular butter so keeping it cool is key!
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Get the Recipe
Lemon Raspberry Glitter Cake
Dairy-free recipe for moist lemon cardamom layer cake with raspberry buttercream frosting and toasted meringue topping that glitters and sparkles like a disco ball.
Makes one 8-inch three-layer cake, serves 6-8
Lemon Cardamom Cake
Time to Prepare: 1.5 hours
2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Zest and juice from 2 medium lemons
1 cup oat milk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two round 8-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper.
2. Separate the egg yolks and whites. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
3. Combine egg yolks, 1 cup coconut cream, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, zest and juice from 2 lemons, and 1 cup oat milk in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon ground cardamom.
5. On low speed, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
6. Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter until no white streaks remain.
7. Pour the batter into the two cake pans: ⅔ of batter into one pan, and ⅓ of batter into the second pan in order to get three layers. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or light golden brown on top. Turn the pans in the oven about 25 minutes into baking to bake evenly on both sides. Don’t open the oven too early before the centers have baked, or you’ll get cake belly buttons.
8. Remove the cake pans from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes, then lift the cakes using the parchment paper and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill, which will make it easier to frost and slice the cake later.
Raspberry Swiss Meringue Frosting, adapted from King Arthur Baking
Time to Prepare: 30 minutes
Makes: 5 cups of frosting
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup (3 large) egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups (4 sticks) Miyokos Vegan Butter*, at room temperature
1 bag (34g) freeze-dried raspberries
*Check your vegan butter label to see if salt is added. If salt is added in the vegan butter then do not add salt any to the frosting. If your butter is unsalted, add ⅛ teaspoon salt with sugar and egg whites.
1. Pulverize the freeze-dried raspberries into a fine powder. Set aside.
2. Whisk sugar into the egg whites, then set the bowl over a saucepan filled with just two inches of simmering water over medium-low heat. Do not let the bottom of the egg whites bowl touch the water.
3. Whisk the whites and sugar constantly until sugar is dissolved, mixture has thinned out, and looks foamy, about 4 minutes.
4. Transfer warm mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. On medium-high speed, beat the mixture until stiff glossy peaks form, at least 10-15 minutes. If the bowl and meringue still feel warm, wait until both cool to room temperature before adding the butter in the next step. Place it in the refrigerator. A warm bowl and meringue will melt the butter.
5. On medium-high speed, add the room temperature butter 1 tablespoon at a time. After all the butter has been added, turn the mixer down to low-medium speed and fully beat in the freeze-dried raspberry powder, about 30 seconds.
6. Your Swiss meringue buttercream should be thick, creamy, and silky smooth.
Too Thick: If your meringue has separated, curdled, or is too thick at any point after you mix in all of the butter, place the mixture in your heat-proof bowl back over a pot of 2 inches of simmering water. Without stirring, let the edges of the meringue warm up and become liquid (the center of the meringue will still be solid), about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and return to the mixer. Beat meringue on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to medium-high speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Too Thin: If your mixture has become too thin and soupy after you add the butter, place the entire bowl in the refrigerator (covered or uncovered, doesn’t matter) for 20 minutes to cool down, then return it to the mixer and beat on medium-high speed until thickened. Any longer than this will solidify the butter, so only refrigerate in 20-minute spurts. If it’s still soupy, place back in the refrigerator for longer before re-whipping again.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
1½ cups fresh raspberries, rinsed and pat dry
3 egg whites (room temperature)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1. Take your cooled cake out of the fridge, unwrap, and place onto a cutting board. Using a long knife, slice across the top of the cakes to cut off the domed part to create a flat cake top. Slice the thickest cake that had ⅔ batter in half so you end up with three individual cake layers. Save the cake scraps to make cake pops or mason jar cakes.
2. Place one layer of cake down on top of a round 8” cake board. Use a small dollop of frosting between the cake board and cake to help hold it in place.
3. Evenly spread a thin layer of frosting on top of the cake. Arrange half the fresh raspberries on top of the cake layer. Lightly spread more frosting on top of the raspberries and cake to sandwich the fruit.
4. Gently place your second layer of cake on top of the raspberries and frosting, and repeat frosting the cake and place the second half of the raspberries. If at any time your frosting is getting too soupy or soft, place the cake and frosting into the fridge to chill. If the frosting gets too soft, the cake layers between the cake will squish. You may have to do this several times throughout the frosting process depending on the temperature in your kitchen.
5. Place the third cake layer on top. Frost a thin “crumb layer” of frosting around and the top of your entire cake. This helps seal in all the crumbs and hold the cake together. Place in the fridge to cool and set for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
6. Take cooled cake out of the fridge. Slather on the frosting and frost your cake on the sides and top until you get smooth sides. Put the cake back into the fridge to cool and frosting to set.
7. Make the Meringue Topping. Combine 3 egg whites, ½ cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer or another large heatproof bowl.
8. Set over a large saucepan filled with simmering water (bowl shouldn’t touch the water). Heat, whisking constantly, until sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes.
9. Remove from heat and fit bowl onto mixer fitted with whisk attachment (or use an electric mixer) and beat on medium-high speed until meringue stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes.
10. Take cake out of the fridge and spread meringue topping on top of the cake. Using your cake spatula, make swirly swooping shapes with the meringue.
11. Using a culinary torch, toast the meringue topping until golden brown while avoiding the buttercream frosting. If the torch heats the buttercream, it will melt the butter. If that happens, chill in the fridge to reharden the butter.
12. For the pièce de résistance, GLITTER! Gently and lightly dust the cake with the Prism Powder by blowing the edible glitter onto all sides of the cake. Be prepared to get glitter all over you, your face, your hair, and your kitchen counters.
Store in a cool, dry place, preferably refrigerated until ready to serve. Take it out to come to room temp a couple hours before serving.
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