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Lemon-Raspberry-Coconut Cake

I love this flavor combination! When friends commissioned a birthday cake for a magical-themed party, I thought a coconut cake topped with a top hat and a stuffed rabbit would be just the ticket. Like most of my cake creations, it's hearty and not too sweet...and made with whole wheat!

Lemon Cake Layers
2-1/4 C white whole wheat flour
1 T baking powder
8 T softened butter
1-1/2 C organic sugar
1 T finely grated lemon zest
1/2 t fresh lemon juice
1-1/4 C organic whole milk
4 egg whites

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Blend all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat the butter and sugar until light. Beat in the lemon zest and juice. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then half of the egg mixture. Continue adding and mixing until all are incorporated. Divide the batter into two prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes till a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool layers in pans for 5 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack.

Lemon Buttercream
4 egg whites
1/2 C organic sugar
1/2 C powdered sugar
2-1/2 sticks of softened butter
1/4 C strained fresh lemon juice
1 t vanilla extract

Whisk together the egg whites and sugars. Over a pan of simmering water, continue whisking till the egg whites are warm and the sugars are dissolved. Whip till cool and increased in volume. Beat in the butter until smooth. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla.

Assemble the layers with raspberry preserves and lemon buttercream. Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream. Press shredded coconut all over the outside of the cake.

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