What is it about a lemon that makes me think of fresh and light? Not sure I would call this cake light but I would call it fresh and fluffy and tangy and yummy.
I made this for as part of my Mother’s Day brunch for dinner. It fit in well with my yellow themed dessert table but I could have just as easily left the frosting white and it would have looked and tasted equally as delicious. I did not use lemon oil in the frosting because between the cake and the curd filling, I thought it was enough lemon.
I had really wanted to post it before Mother’s Day but somehow time got away from me. I’m pretty sure a lot of the time was spent hunting down yellow candy, sewing the yellow banner and yellow tablecloth and not blogging … but I digress.
It’s a great all year round special occasion cake.
And here is how to made it….
1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1½ cups self-rising flour*
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup milk (I used 1%)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon rind
LEMON CURD FILLING
3 TBSP lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup butter (cut into 1 tbsp pieces)
[NOTE: I always grate the lemons and then squeeze them -- and I do this before I get all the other ingredients together.]
3 egg whites
½ cup cold water
1 ½ suagar
½ tsp cream of tartar
[food gel if you want to colour the icing]
Directions & Tips
Preheat oven to 350o.
Grease and lightly flour two or three 9” round cake pans. I use a cake release by Pillsbury that has flour in it – it is clean and easy and works like a charm.
In a large bowl, on a medium speed of an electric mixer, cream butter. Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, three to five minutes. Add eggs one as a time. Combine the flours and add in four parts, alternating with milk and lemon juice and zest, beating well after each addition. Divide the matter among the cake pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack. I actually made my cake the day before and wrapped in saran wrap.
Spread the curd evenly between layers (you may have extra curd which is great with toast) and use the icing for the top and sides. [NOTE: if you want to skip the curd you can simply use the icing for the whole cake]
LEMON CURD FILLING
Whisk egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan until well combined. Over a medium heat cook for about 20 minutes until the curd comes to a nice thick consistency. You will need to stir constantly and watch carefully as the curd cooks. Remove from heat and add butter one tablespoon at a time, stirring until it is melted and mixed in. Refrigerate overnight until firm.
In a medium-size saucepan over high heat, combine the water with the sugar and the cream of tartar. As the mixture begins to bubble stir to ensure the sugar is dissolved then let it come to a good boil (about 3 minutes) and remove from heat.
While the sugar is boiling, whip the egg whites until thick (about 2-3 minutes) with an electric mixer.
Without turning off mixer, pour the sugar mixture into the beating egg whites in a thin, steady stream. Continue beating constantly, on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form but frosting is still creamy. If you are adding colour add now a little at a time to get the colour you are looking for. I made this cake a soft yellow.
This is an awesome icing that I use over and over again. It beats up quite a bit so you can half it if you are using the lemon curd filling.
I added some lemon sugar candies around the cake and really liked the way it turned out.
If you make this cake, let me know your tips and tricks you used to impress your guests.