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Meyer Lemon-Almond Cake with Raspberry Filling and Whipped Cream Frosting

Months ago when my friend Pia started planning her son's 5th birthday party, he came to Aunt Camillala (that's not a typo, that's what he calls me) and requested a Go, Dog, Go! cake.

Jake and I have baked the Garneau boys' cakes since they first had parties. My job is baker; Jake's job is cake-architect. If you think that "cake-architect" must be an exaggeration, well, then you haven't seen his cakes.

Go, Dog, Go! That didn't sound so hard.
"...in a tree." Okay.
"...with a green dog in a canon." Okay.
"...with rainbow frosting." Okay.

Two things we ensure about these birthday cakes: (1) they have cool details that match the party theme and, most importantly, (2) they are fresh and delicious. Though, truth be told, as we were cutting out and backing dogs and assembling this cake in a tree, Jake exasperatedly said, "Cam, it's called a sheet cake from Safeway. Why are we doing this?!?"

My love, we are doing this because you cannot simplify.

As I mentioned, I'm the baker. I decided to make a meyer lemon-almond cake, filled with homemade raspberry preserves, and frosted with a barely sweetened whipped cream.


The Cake
3 sticks of butter
1-1/2 C organic granulated sugar
6 eggs
2-1/2 C flour
1 C ground almonds
4 t baking powder
3 T meyer lemon zest
4 T freshly squeezed meyer lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter baking dish. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add flour, ground almonds, and baking powder, folding into the batter until just moistened. Mix in zest and juice. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake till the cake is lightly browned and firm to the touch, approximately 35-40 minutes. Cool slightly. Using a knife, cut around the pan sides to loosen cake. Invert cake and cool completely.

The Filling
2 C fresh raspberries
1/2 C organic granulated sugar
1/4 C red wine (I used some pinot noir)

Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Sitr over medium heat until the mixture boils and thickens. Cool. Cover. Chill until cold. Spread between cake layers.

The Frosting
Organic heavy whipping cream with a dash of pure vanilla and a scant sprinkling of organic granulated sugar.

I joked about the frosting: "oh, I made the dye. The pink is from beets, the orange from carrots, the yellow from golden beets, and the blue from a smurf." [silence] "No, I actually did use food coloring!"

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