When Tradition Becomes Entrenched

The guys in my family—well, the ones on my dad’s side—all share the same first name. It’s a tradition to pass the name down from father to son, but a second tradition is for them not to go by that name. Many have gone by their middle names, and some by nicknames.


A third tradition is for the men to ask for lemon-lemon cakes for their birthdays. Somehow, a love for lemons must get passed on along with their namesake. Why else would I get requests year after year after year for a lemon bundt cake with lemon icing from multiple male family members? (In case you were wondering, chocolate cake is the tradition for the girls. We’re just predictable like that.)  


With the birthday season just around the corner, it was time for me to pull out the trusty ol’ lemon cake recipe. But I just couldn’t bring myself to follow tradition for the umpteenth year in a row. Instead of the bundt pan, I grabbed my cute 6” cake rounds, halved the recipe, and shook things up with a different fruity flair.


I’m positive that this cake will become the new tradition for all of the future birthdays to come. The irresistible combination of the tart raspberry filling mixed with the sweet chocolate frosting and zesty lemon cake will have all the boys banging their forks on the table, begging for more.



Lemon Cake with Raspberry Filling and Chocolate Frosting

serves 6-8

Despite the eclectic flavors thrown together, they really work! If a larger cake is desired, double the measurements for a two-layer 9” cake.


1 tsp all-purpose flour

1½ c. cake flour

1 c. sugar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

zest from 2 lemons

1 c. skim milk

1 tbsp Ener-G (egg replacer) OR 2 eggs

6 tbsp water (OMIT IF USING EGGS)

2 tbsp canola oil

2 tbsp margarine or butter, melted and cooled

½ tbsp vanilla

juice from half a lemon

¼ c. raspberry jam



1 tbsp margarine or butter, softened

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1-2 c. powdered sugar

½ tsp vanilla

2-4 tsp milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spray the bottoms of two 6” cake pans with nonstick cooking spray, line with wax paper, and lightly spray the wax paper. Dust each pan with ½ tsp flour. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the cake flour through lemon zest in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the Ener-G and water (or just the eggs), and then whisk in the oil through lemon juice.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until combined. Evenly distribute the batter between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans, and then turn out onto wire racks to cool to room temperature.
  4. Optional: If the cakes have a “dome” top, cut it off with a serrated knife to make a level surface.
  5. To make the frosting, cream the butter and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Add ¼ c. powdered sugar and mix to combine. Add vanilla and ½ tsp of milk, and mix again. Continue alternating the addition of small amounts of powdered sugar and milk until the desired consistency is achieved.
  6. Stir the raspberry jam with a spoon in a small bowl until smooth. Pour on one cake layer, and top with the other layer. Spread the frosting across the top of the cake, then around the sides. Let cake stand at least 10-20 min before serving to allow the frosting to set.



August 15, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss.

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