Our oven doesn't cook very evenly, so we had some trouble with the shape of the cake. But it tastes so good, I couldn't possibly care that it looks hideous.
Cheesecake stuffed lemon cake
Prep: 35 min.; Cook: 32 min.; Other: 1 hr.
1 (18.25-oz.) package white cake mix
1 (3.4-oz.) package vanilla instant pudding mix
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (4-oz.) white chocolate bar, finely chopped
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind (about 2 large lemons)
3 (16-oz.) cans homestyle cream cheese frosting
1 (19-oz.) package frozen cheesecake with strawberry topping, finely diced (like Sara Lee, we used plain cheesecake)
2 cups fresh raspberries, divided
1 (10-oz.) jar premium lemon curd
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Beat first 6 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute; beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Fold in chopped chocolate and lemon rind. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
3. Bake at 350° for 30 to 32 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely. Wrap and chill cake layers at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
4. Using a serrated knife, slice cake layers in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on cake plate. Spread with 1/2 cup cream cheese frosting; sprinkle with one-third of chopped cheesecake and 1/2 cup raspberries. Repeat procedure twice. Place final cake layer on top of cake, cut side down. Spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake. Cover and chill in refrigerator until ready to serve. Store in refrigerator.
5. Just before serving, drizzle lemon curd over cake.
Test Kitchen Tip: If the lemon curd is a bit too thick to drizzle over the frosted cake, microwave it at HIGH for 30 seconds. Stir the warm lemon curd, and drizzle over cake using a small spoon. (NOTE: This DOES NOT work. It was hot, and melted all the cream cheese frosting off. In the future, we'll spread lemon curd in between layers instead, then ice the whole outside of the cake.)