Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lemon Lust Cake

I made this cake for my mom's birthday (almost 2 months ago now - I'm so behind with blogging about what I've made that I look at the photos and have no idea what it is, well that's only happened with some muffins I've made). Anyway, she loves lemon and buttercream icing (and lots of it), so I thought this cake would be a good choice. It's a lemon cake brushed with lemon syrup, filled with lemon cream cheese (cream cheese, whipped cream and lemon curd mmm) and iced with lemon buttercream. You can see why this is called the lemon lust cake! And yes of course the cake was very lemony. The star of the cake was definitely the lemon cream cheese filling, and the cake itself was pretty good but the lemon buttercream on the outside was, well, very very buttery. It's the kind of buttercream that's just butter plain mixed with stuff (in this case, lemon curd). If you eat the cake straight out of the fridge the icing is quite solid (as butter is). I much prefer Swiss meringue buttercream so I'd switch it for that next time.

Now that I'm looking at the photos of the cake I'm thinking I could've fancied it up a bit with some candied lemon slices. But I'm moreso the type to not care too much about how it looks as long as it tastes good. Though candied lemon slices might be delicious - I should make them one day. Looking at the pictures of the slice of cake, it makes me think of those old cars that have long hoods and front ends that stick out on top.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Strawberry Cream Cake
Creamy Coconut Cake
Lemon Cheesecake
Coconut Lemon Bundt Cake

Lemon Lust Cake
Adapted from The Cake Book

Split the lemon curd evenly for the filling and the icing.

Lemon Cake
3 cups (342 g) cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks/8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups (350 g) granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup whole milk

Lemon Curd
8 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

Lemon Cream Cheese Filling
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces (113 g) cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 recipe lemon curd

Lemon Soaking Syrup
1/3 cup (80 mL) water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Lemon Buttercream
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 recipe Lemon Curd
Pinch of salt

Make the lemon curd:
1. Set a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl and set aside. In a medium heavy nonreactive saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, and sugar until blended. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, salt, and butter and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, 7 to 10 minutes (do not let the custard boil, or it will curdle). The mixture should leave a path on the back of a wooden spoon when you draw your finger across it. Immediately strain the mixture through the sieve, pressing it through with a rubber spatula.

2. Set the bowl containing the lemon mixture in a large bowl filled about one-third of the way with ice water (be careful that the water doesn't splash into the lemon mixture). Stir the mixture frequently until it is slightly chilled, about 15 minutes. Put the curd into an airtight container with a lid and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the cake:
3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Grease the bottom and sides of two 9 inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.

4. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk to combine, and set aside.

5. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar and beat at high speed until well blended and light, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and mixing until blended. Beat in the lemon zest and lemon juice until blended. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating it with the milk in two additions and mixing just until blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it evenly, and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

6. Bake the cakes for 22 to 25 minutes, until they are golden brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 15 minutes.

7. Invert the cakes onto the wire racks and let cool completely.

Make the filling:
8. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream at high speed until firm peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a smaller bowl, cover and refrigerate.

9. In the same mixer bowl (no need to wash it), using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until very creamy, about 2 minutes. On low speed, beat in the vanilla extract. Add the lemon curd and beat at medium speed until well blended and smooth, about 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the whipped cream until almost completely blended. Cover the bowl and refrigerate while you make the syrup and buttercream.

Make the syrup:
10. In a small pot, combine the water, lemon juice, and sugar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside at room temperature.

Make the buttercream:
11. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy and light, about 2 minutes. At medium speed, gradually add the lemon curd, a large spoonful at a time, then add the salt and beat at medium-high speed until creamy and light, about 1 1/2 minutes. Set aside at room temperature while you assemble the cake.

Assemble the cake:
12. Using a long serrated knife, trim off the domed tops of the cakes so that they are even (save any cake pieces and crumbs for snacking). Cut each cake horizontally into 2 layers. Reserve one of the flat bottom layers for the top of the cake. Place another layer cut side up on a cardboard cake round or flat serving plate. Generously brush with some of the lemon syrup. Spoon a scant cup of the filling onto the cake and, suing a small offset metal spatula, spread it into an even layer, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge of the cake. Top with another cake layer and brush it with more syrup. Top with another scant cup of filling. Repeat with another layer, more syrup, and the remaining filling. Brush the cut side of the reserved cake layer with the remaining syrup. Place the layer cut side down on top of the cake.

13. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the buttercream. Serve the cake or refrigerate it. If it has been refrigerated, let stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes before serving.


Vaala said...

Wow, that cake looks awesome! I love how angelic it looks ('cause it's so white!). Just discovered your blog the other day and I love it!

Dana said...

My brother, who is not really a dessert person, absolutely loves lemon. He would go nuts over this cake!

Rose&Thorn said...

It's my birthday next week and lemon is my favourite thing in the whole world - I think I'll bake this for myself!

Johanna said...

your cakes always look spectacular - no fancy work needed! I know the feeling of getting out backlog photos and scratching your head about it. I try to write how something tasted in each blog post just for that reason

Colleen said...

Great name for this! I have been making a lot of lemon things lately too!

Lisa said...

Looks perfect and I just love the cream cheese filling! I've no doubt your mom enjoyed this!

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

Amazing Looking!! WOW love this one!!

Steph said...

I love making cakes with so many components to it!

Anonymous said...

Even though I am not a big fan of lemon desserts, I am impressed at all the work you put into that cake. That's a really long cake recipe!

Grace said...

yeah, candied lemon would've been nice, but it's not necessary. awesome cake, awesome name.

Anonymous said...

oh no, it looks simple and beautiful as it is! Bet it was delicous!

The Duo Dishes said...

Delicious. We are lovers of all things citrus.

Patricia Scarpin said...

That cake would make me such a happy person - lemon paradise!

Cakespy said...

Lemon lust is RIGHT! I laughed at the bit at the end about it lasting 3 days though. More like 3 hours, in this house! :-)

kimberleyblue said...

Citrus desserts are my absolute favourite! I have to try this cake, it sounds utterly heavenly.

Chef Fresco said...

Looks so moist! Yum!

Sondi B. said...

Holy crap! This looks absolutely delicious.

Liz said...

Wow! That cake is lovely, I love the taste of lemon in sweets... and in this cake, being so nice and everything... I have to try a slice!

Teanna said...

Who needs the candied lemon when the cake looks THAT good! The layers are perfect! Gorgeous, gorgeous cake!

Cait (Cait's Plate) said...

Oh my gosh - I'm not normally a lemon fan but I am DEFINITELY lusting after that cake!! :)

Hannah said...

Oh, does that frosting ever look luscious! No cake for me please, I'll just take a big bowl of that with berries. ;)

Ricki said...

Oh, my goodness, I am certain my honey would lust after that, too! Gorgeous. Lucky Mom! (And I've had the same experience with food photos!).

Helene said...

What a great cake you made for your mom. Looks delicious. We have cooler weather on the Island and I'm glad we do :)

Katrina said...

I'm lusting right now over the lemon lust cake! ;)

Patricia said...

WOW that looks and sounds like lemon heaven...I could just go for a slice right now...

Vegetation said...

Holy Lemony Deliciousness!! I want this cake!!!

Deanna said...

Wow, this looks divine! I love the way the frosting looks on your first photo. Makes me want to stick my fingers in it and lick.

Hilary said...

This looks like a PERFECT birthday or party cake! I don't think it needs any fancying up.

Deborah said...

I'm with you - how it tastes is better than how it looks, although this looks pretty delicious!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

The cake looks awesome!!

simplegearle said...

Made this for my son's 15th birthday yesterday -- he's a lemon fanatic. He absolutely loved it, as did a few others -- most of us found it waaaaay too lemony -- like there wasn't a proper balance. Think I'd do it again, but skip the lemon/sugar mix on the layers to see if that lightens it a bit. One less step too! Thanks for sharing!

eatme_delicious said...

simplegearle: Yea it is definitely a very lemony cake! Glad your son liked it. =)

P. said...

This cake looks so yummy and the fact that it's lemon makes it sound even better. I think I might try to make this very soon. Thanks for the recipe!