Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lemon Cake Recipe and First Holy Communion

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

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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 occasion....so 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 thrilled....it 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 envisioning.....so 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


Directions:

  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:


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    Ingredients

    • 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

    Directions

    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???



2 comments:

  1. Sophia is adorable and so pretty in her Communion outfit. My grand-daughter made her First Communion last year. It certainly is a very special day for them. The cake and the cookies are all beautiful.

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