Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Raspberry Lemonade Cake

I found an adorable recipe online for a pink lemonade cake.  Perfect for summer and perfectly sweet and tart....but it needed.....something.  So what do I like in pink lemonade - RASPBERRIES.  Yup, that's the way I roll, fresh and fruity, and definitely with an extra hint of flavor.

There is nothing better than a cake that combines 2 things I love.  The fresh flavor of lemon and raspberries.  We live somewhat near (less than an hour drive) several you pick it farms that have raspberries so I always have a few pounds of them tucked in my freezer.  This was just the excuse I needed to get them out and into a yummy dessert.

My husband is not especially fond of lemon desserts (though he loves lemonade, so go figure - actually if you do figure it out, please let me know, I'm curious as hell), but found the flavors here to be balanced and not too, well, lemony.  The fresh berries folded in gives this cake alot of extra flavor and it looks absolutely beautiful when you slice into it.

Always handle berries carefully - this rule goes double for frozen berries, as they can lose their shape easily.

1 French vanilla cake mix ($.75)
3 eggs ($.30)
1 ¼ cup water (free)
1/2 tsp. raspberry extract ($.15)
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce ($.15)
2 tbsp raspberry lemonade mix ($.05)
A few drops of red food coloring, if desired
1/3 C. raspberries (fresh or frozen) ($.35)

1 container of butter cream frosting ($.85)
1-2 T. raspberry lemonade mix ($.15)
1 tsp. milk ($.05)
12-14 small fresh raspberries, for garnish if desired
1 lemon, sliced in half and into thin slices, for additional garnish as desired

Mix all the cake ingredients except raspberries until well incorporated.  Gently fold raspberries into cake batter.

Pour batter into two greased 8" or 9" round pans. Bake for 30 minutes on 350 degrees, or until lightly golden on top and toothpick in center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, dissolve lemonade mix in either water or milk, then combine this with the store bought frosting.  I know I could make it from scratch, but I was lazy and tired of being in the kitchen.  It happens...to all of us.  Or that's what I tell myself when I feel that way. If you don't get this way, then keep it to your self, leave me my subtle delusions.  When the cake is gone, that may very well be all I have.  Until inspiration strikes again, anyway.  Sorry for the tangent, it's just one of those days.

Place one cake on plate and frost the top. Add the second cake and frost the whole thing. This is where it gets a little dicey, I never am neat at frosting anything and this was no exception.  If it looked less sloppy I would have been excited to take a picture, but alas...such is not my life.

Keep covered in fridge and serve chilled and topped with fresh berries and thin slices of lemon.  A side note: garnishing the cake helps hide less than pretty frosting application, at least it does for me.  Never be afraid of garnishing a cake well, it looks fancy and people instantly think you are amazing - which is great for the ego.

Yields: 16 servings
Cost: $2.80
Cost per serving: $.18

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