Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lemon Cake Recipe and First Holy Communion

It was a big weekend around our house this past weekend...


My oldest celebrated her First Holy Communion....  Isn't she a doll?

Of course with any special occasion....there must be COOKIES....and I made these just for her!

I like themes with any when I planned her special day...can you guess what color I had in mind?? Yep....even her flowers on her veil and my sweater were YELLOW....

So when my picky little eater asked for a lemon flavored cake.... I was was perfect with my color scheme!  BUT....

I didn't have a favorite lemon cake recipe.... I searched and searched...but didn't find what I was I went to work combining a few recipes I had found to come up with this...

We'll call it an almond/vanilla white cake with lemon curd filling and a lemonish cream cheesy frosting.  In my search for the "perfect" lemony cake I came across many recipes that used lemon extract.  I wanted something more fresh....soooo I opted to make my usual almond/vanilla cake recipe and just make a home-made lemon curd and add some fresh lemon zest and juice to my normal cream cheese frosting recipe.  I was a bit worried that I didn't put lemon flavoring in the actual cake...but I think in the end it was  a wise decision, because with the curd and the fresh lemon in the frosting... it may have been too overwhelming.

It even looked pretty once we cut into it....

Here's how I did it...

For the cake:

Classic White Layer Cake (Adapted from The Best Recipe Cookbook)

Classic White Cake


  1. 1
    For the Cake: Set oven rack in middle position. (If oven is too small to cook both layers on a single rack, set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. ( I greased the pans with shortening instead and dusted with flour and then covered with wax paper rounds.)
  2. 2
    Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.
  3. 3
    Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
  4. 4
    Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
  5. 5
    Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation.) Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.
  6. 6
    Let cakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks. Reinvert onto additional wire racks. Let cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. ( I made the cake two times because I wanted four layers).

    For the Lemon Curd...

    I doubled Martha Stewart's Recipe.  See Below:



    • 3 large egg yolks, strained
    • Zest of 1/2 lemon
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 6 tablespoons sugar
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces


    1. Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine. Set over medium heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, making sure to stir sides and bottom of pan. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat back of wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes.
    2. Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter, one piece at a time, stirring with the wooden spoon until consistency is smooth.
    3. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to avoid a skin from forming; wrap tightly. Let cool; refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 1 hour.

For my version of Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (For a four layer cake)

-2 sticks salted butter
-2 -8 ounce blocks of cream cheese
-about 2 tsp lemon zest
-about 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1-2lb bag powdered sugar

Allow butter and cream cheese to get to room temperature.  In an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until well blended.  Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla and mix.  Slowly beat in powdered sugar till it is all incorporated.

To assemble the cake I placed the first layer on the cake plate....spread a thin layer of frosting followed by a thin layer of lemon curd.  I repeated this for the next two layers and then just place a layer of frosting on the sides and top of the cake.

Just a day after I made this cake Bridget from Bake at 350 posted this.... I can't wait to try it!  Do any of you have a favorite lemon cake recipe???

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sweet little lambs

Who would have thought these sweet little lambs would have almost been the death of me?

I already owned a lamb cutter before beginning these cookies....BUT.....

once I saw these.... I immediately began my search for a lamb cutter that was curvy and cute like this one.  

I found my cutter...and loved making these little guys...UNTIL... it came to the puffy little tufts of wool on their coats.  I was pretty much sweating the entire time I was making these little individual dots...fearing those unsightly "craters" might form.

But I'm happy to report....most of these sweet little lambs escaped those dreaded craters.

I have learned that every cookie decorating attempt is different.  Variants in weather (mostly humidity here in Kansas), baking time, and of course frosting consistency all have a HUGE impact on how my cookies turn out.  I LOVE a soft cookie...but I have also learned that even a slightly under-baked cookie can wreak havoc on my royal icing attempts.  I now roll out my dough using only my Joseph Joseph rolling pin....( I may happen to love it even more because it has the same name as my favorite middle man J). I roll the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness....which works for me and my trusty old rolling pin....keeps everything uniform.

I addition to using my fan to dry the fragile "puffy" parts (thank you, Callye)... I also used a toothpick to poke each little "puff," just to keep those evil craters away...  See what I mean...these cookies really almost were the death of me...but I LOVE them just the same!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter

The littles and I just finished the last Resurrection Egg tonight....Our last egg was empty...symbolizing the empty tomb and Jesus' Resurrection.  Easter always brings such promise...such rebirth....such beauty.  Wishing each of you a beautiful and FULL Easter Season.  

A big thank you to Marian for sharing the idea behind these bunnies...perfect and sweet for an Easter dessert table.

And for our dessert tomorrow.... we will be diving into this... (sorry for the poor pictures.....taken late at night...and not the best light!)

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mr. EB

Mr. EB will arrive at our house in just a few short days... so I figured it was time for some "Eastery" cookies to make their appearance around here.

These little guys went with my little middle man earlier this week for his preschool Easter party.

Thank you Callye... for the idea behind these!!  They were really fun to make!

And these little ones just hatched....and are still looking for homes.

Hopefully I will be back to post a few more before Easter!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Always learning.... seems more and more time seems to go by between each post these days....that is not because I am not making cookies, however.... I still have lots to share...just haven't made the time to take pictures and share them on here.

These little "buggy" cookies were from some weeks back....and I want to share them because I got the design idea from a dear "cookie blogging" friend.  

  Lizy and I just "met" about a month or so ago....and when I found her... I was immediately stunned by her beautiful creations.  We started talking RI techniques and discussing our recipes.  I always love trying other recipes and seeing how everyone else makes their frostings.  Lizy was more than willing to share her recipe for Royal Icing and even took the time to write out each detailed step!!! SOOOO sweet of take the time to do this!  

Not only does Lizy cookie decorate...but she is a mama of two little boys....which I know.... that in and of itself is a job all on its own!!

When I saw her darling baseball cookies... I began to picture my two little guys a few years down the road playing baseball ....and already I can't wait to make those cookies for them!  

You MUST check out her blog and her amazing talents!

That is what makes this whole cookie thing so fun....that so many of my "cookie friends" are so willing to share ideas and discuss what works and doesn't work.   I am amazed every day by the creativity all of these women have.  To make something so beautiful with their hands.....truly an art.

Thanks again, Lizy for sharing your talents with me!