Baking, the saw goes, is like chemistry. You can't really mess with the recipe or you will create a messy, disaster or just a disappointing cake. But still there is some room for those of us who aren't really bakers or the types who like to follow the recipe. You can combine different flavors, experiment with tastes and see how it goes. This recipe, for lemon cake, is basically an add-on of a simple vanilla layer cake with store bought lemon curd for the filling and a buttercream frosting that has lemon juice added to it. If you know someone who loves lemon this is the cake to make...
So the recipe goes in three parts; cake, filling [I highly recommend buying a jar], and icing. The cake can be made a day ahead, filled and iced the day-of.
This recipe serves 12
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups (white) sugar
2 eggs plus 3 egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk
1 - pre-heat oven to 350 while you are preparing the batter. Butter and flour two 8 inch cake pans. In a bowl mix together flour, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2 - Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat in eggs and yolks, on low, one at a time. Then mix in 2 Tablespoons of the lemon juice. Then beat in buttermilk and flour, alternately.
3 - Pour batter into two pans, making sure they are even and level. Bake 35 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then invert and cool on wire racks.
When you are ready to put cake together:
1 jar of lemon curd
Stack the two cakes so that the smooth ends are face up. If you are feeling ambitious, carefully slice them in half, length-wise to make two layers so that you have a four layer cake. Carefully smooth the lemon curd and stack the cakes. Cover with plastic wrap, then refigerate for at least one hour before frosting.
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 - Beat the butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds - 1 minute until it is creamy. Then, gradually beat in confectioners sugar. Add the cream, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and vanilla. Increase the speed and beat for approximately three minutes until the frosting is creamy and fluffy.
Frost the cooled, assembled, lemon-curd filled cake. I like to leave a few hours for the whole thing to settle but it is ready to go. Yum. If you want, you can sprinkle it with dragees, silver or another color...