Monday, September 06, 2010

2, 3, & 4 Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd Filling and Lemon Meringue Buttercream

I accomplished 3 of my Top 100 in one Saturday afternoon. YAY Me!
2) A Birthday Cake for Mommy
3) Lemon Curd Filling
4) Swiss Meringue Buttercream (new recipe)

So now let us “chat” about this wondrous cake. I make a lot of cake for a lot of people, but I have never made a cake for my own mother. My mother is not really a cake person, but this year I asked her “Mom, what kind of cake would you like for you birthday?” Her answer and I quote “Lemon cake with lemon filling and a yellow icing.” I was thinking, wow, that is a lot of lemon all together. I tried to talk her into a fluffy white cake, so the lemon curd filling would be the star lemon flavor. But she wanted her lemon cake (and would have been okay with store bought filling… I wasn’t having that, however!), so she got her lemon cake. Lastly, I asked her to choose between two frosting recipes one with Lemon and one without Lemon. You know she choose the one with lemon. So, that explains why there are 3 lemon flavors in one cake. Oh and one last note, I wanted to break up some of the lemon flavors with a fresh burst of fruit like raspberries or blueberries. Mommy being a traditionalist wasn’t having it; she actually frowned her face up at the proposition and told me I could put them just on my piece.

The cake was lovely. There was a strong lemon flavor, but not overwhelming as I thought it would be. My mom took one bite of the cake and the first words out of her mouth were “It is not tart enough,” followed by “Its good.” See coming from my mom that is a compliment. She does not want me to get a big head, so usually whenever I bake she just tells me that the dessert is “fine”. So upgrading to “good” is reserved for things truly special.

This lemon curd recipe was divine! I am a horrible critic of lemon curds because most of them taste egg-y. This one did not taste like eggs at all. It was nice, creamy, and tart. Plus, unlike other recipes which used a whole carton of egg yolks, this recipe used 3 whole eggs, so no extra egg whites.

The icing was great as well. It reminds me of the consistency of an icing I used to get at my favorite dessert place back in California. I stopped eating desserts from there because I thought the icing was a stabilized whipped cream, stabilized with gelatin which I do not eat. But now I realize that the bakery used an egg white based buttercream. The lemon flavor was delicate and not overwhelming. Plus, the icing was not overly sweet like the “American” or shortening style buttercreams I have made (and don’t like) in the past. [Completely just a few items of my Top 100 have already taught me so much. I never knew there were different types of buttercreams.] I believe Swiss Meringue buttercream will be my new go to buttercream recipe!

Lastly, I know the candied lemon where just a garnish, but they were so good. The first thing I tasted on the cake was the candied lemons. From the pictures you can see five on the cake, but I candied seven lemon pieces :-)… I wonder where they went?


Lemon Curd

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tps finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 stick (6 Tbs) unsalted butter

1. Whisk together juice, zest, sugar, and eggs in a 2-quart heavy saucepan.

2. Stir in butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 minutes.

3. Transfer lemon curd to a bowl and chill, its surface covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least 1 hour.

Lemon Cake
from Martha

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.

2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.

3. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack.

4. While cakes are baking, bring remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add lemon slices and simmer 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lemon slices to a waxed-paper-lined plate. Stir remaining 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice into syrup.

5. Using a toothpick, poke holes in warm cakes on rack. Brush with lemon syrup. Let cool completely. Prepare frosting, substituting 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for vanilla extract. Frost cooled cakes and top with candied lemon slices.

Lemon Buttercream
from Country Living

3 large eggs egg whites
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 pound unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tbs finely grated lemon zest
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice

1. In a large stainless-steel bowl placed over a pot filled with 1 inch of simmering water, place the egg whites and sugar. Use a whisk to beat the mixture until it is very hot to the touch (about 160 degrees F).

2. Remove from heat and, using a mixer set on high speed, immediately begin whipping the mixture until it is cool, thick, and glossy and has tripled in volume -- about 5 minutes.

3. Reduce mixer speed to medium and add the butter -- about a quarter cup at a time -- allowing 5 to 10 seconds in between each addition.

4. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice and continue to beat until smooth and fluffy.

(5. Since my mother wanted yellow frosting I added a few drops of yellow gel icing color to the frosting.)


  1. This is a seriously gorgeous cake - and I love lemon curd anything

  2. sounds absolutely divine, I'm going to give it a try and will comment again once I have made and tasted, tks for the recipe, Mary

  3. I have loved swiss meringue buttercream ever since I discovered it and I'm so glad u like it too! The normal buttercream just seems too toothachingly sweet now! Love the lemon cake, will definately be giving it a go soon.

  4. This cake looks wonderful. My soon to be 7 yr old daughter requested a lemon curd on lemon cake for her birthday. This looks like the winner to me! It looks like you have a layer of cake, frosting, curd then cake, curd, and finally frosting, is that correct?
    Thank you.

  5. Thanks for commenting vmonty. The cake is layered-- cake, curd (with a rim of frosting to keep the curd from oozing out of the sides of the cake), cake, curd, cake, crumb coat frosting,and outside frosting. I hope your daughter enjoys her Birthday cake!