Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Triple Layer Lemon Cake


It was snowing heavily outside today and I was desperately in need of something to brighten my day.  For whatever reason, a lemon cake came to mind. Might be the pretty lemon zest in the batter and icing of this cake that reminds me of a bright, sunny day. Maybe it's the bright notes of citrus flavor in this cake that take me to a sunny island in the confines of my mind. All I know is that this cake did the trick. It's moist and delicious and as I'm enjoying it, my winter blues seem to all just dissapear. Here's how it's made...


Serving Size: Feeds 12 sufficiently.


Equipment:

-3 9-inch round cake pans, lightly greased and floured (you can lay parchment paper rounds at the bottom of each pan to help easily release your cakes).

-Electric hand mixer OR stand mixer.

-Rubber or silicone spatula.

-Latge mixing bowl.

-Medium mixing bowl.

-Zester or fine grater.

-Sifter.


Ingredients:

-1 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature (16 tablespoons).

-4 large eggs at room temperature.

-2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour.

-2 cups granulated sugar.

-1 cup buttermilk OR sour milk.

-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder.

-1/2 teaspoon baking soda.

-1/4 teaspoon salt (leave this out if you're using salted butter).

-2 teaspoons lemon zest (the yellow part of the lemon skin).

-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

-1 cup lemon curd (find this in the baking aisle at the grocery store. If you can't find lemon curd in your area, click on this link for a homemade lemon curd recipe: http://stellasmeza.blogspot.com/2014/02/homemade-lemon-curd.html )



Ingredients For The Frosting:

-1 8Oz. Package of room temperature cream cheese.

-1 teaspoon lemon zest.

-3 teaspoon fresh lemon juice OR 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract.

-1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (8 tablespoons).

-2-2 3/4 cups sifted confectioner's/powdered sugar.



Instructions For Making The Cake Batter:

-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celcius).

-In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda).

-In a large mixing bowl using an electric beater on medium speed, beat the butter until light and fluffy.

-Add sugar, 2 teaspoons lemon zest and fresh lemon juice. Beat until well combined.


-Add the eggs, one at a time. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl in order to mix in everything well .

-Add the four, alternating it with the buttermilk. Do not over mix, or your cake will be tough (I add mine in this order:flour-milk-flour-milk-flour. Always start and end with the flour). Be sure to scrape the sides of the bow as you mix the batter. The batter will be thick and creamy.


-Pour the batter into the prepared pans. 


-Bake in the center rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes OR until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

-Allow the cake layers in their pans, set on cooling racks, for 10minutes. After 10 minutes, use a knife or spatula to loosen the edges of the cakes from the pan. Then, invert the cakes from the pans and onto the cooling racks. Allow the cake layers to completely cool before you ice it.

-As you wait for your cake layers to cool, prepare the frosting.


Instruction For Making The Frosting:

-In a medium mixing bowl, combine the room temperature cream cheese and butter, lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat on medium speed with an electric mixture until light and fluffy.


-Gradually add in the sifted powdered sugar and mix well. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate and powdered sugar. Keep beating until the icing reaches spreading consistancy. Set aside.


Assembling Your Cake:

-To assemble, smudge about a tablespoon of the frosting in the center of your cake stand/platter. This will help keep your cake from sliding around as you ice it.

-Place the first cake layer on the plater, over the smudge of icing. Place 1/2 cup of the lemon curd on the first cake layer. Top this with the second cake layer; spread the second layer with the remaining 1/2 cup of lemon curd. Place the third cake layer on next.


-Frost the top and sides of the cake with the cream cheese frosting. Garnish the top of the cake with the extra lemon peel curls (optional).


-Cover with a cake dome or loosely tent with Aluminium foil and store the cake in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Let the cake stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.