Lemon Lust Cake

My youngest sister dropped me a bombshell - a lemon cake for her birthday. I went "what?!?!?!" It was a challenge as I've not tried a fully frosted lemon cake. Panick sank in. Challenge sprang up.

I flipped through my cakes recipe books one by one. Looking for "THE" recipe. Nope, this won't do...that wasn't good enough... Then BINGO! This looked like the ideal one. I re-read the recipe, okay... Looked like quite a fair bit of work to be done, though it seemed manageable. Good.

Presenting to you, Lemon Lust Cake, adapted from "The Cake Book".
I must say I'm very happy with the overall taste and texture. However, there were mixed comments from my family members. Half of my family members, including my birthday sister, love the zesty sour taste. The other half found the taste too sour, and would prefer it to be sweeter. For me, I love the tangy prominent lemon taste. However, all of us agreed that the cake would definitely appeal more if it is lighter and fluffier (aka chiffon style).

Introducing the "characters" from this cake.
Recipe for Lemon Lust Cake, slight modificiation from "The Cake Book" by Tish Boyle.

Ingredients:

Lemon Cake
342g Top flour (original is Cake flour)
2 1/2tsp Baking powder
1/2tsp Salt
227g Unsalted butter, softened
240g Fine sugar
5 Medium eggs (original is 4 large eggs)
2 tsp Lemon zest, finely grated
60ml Fresh lemon juice, strained (approx. 1 large lemon)
160ml Whole milk

Method:
  1. Grease the bottom and sides of two 9" round cake pans.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 30 secs.
  3. Gradually add the sugar and beat at high speed until well blended and light, about 3 mins.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  5. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and mixing until blended.
  6. Beat in the lemon zest and lemon juice until blended. (My batter curdles when this was added. However, the final batter turned out to be thick and creamy. So it was still alright.)
  7. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating it with milk in two additions and mixing until just blended.
  8. Scape the batter into the prepared pans, dividing it evenly, and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
  9. Bake the cakes at 180C for 22 mins, until they are golden brown around the edges and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  10. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 15 mins. Then invert the cakes onto the wire racks and let it cool completely.
Lemon Curd
(Makes 480ml)

10 Medium eggs yolks (original 8 large eggs. My eggs weigh approx 50g without shells)
180g Fine sugar (original is 250g)
2tsps Lemon zest, finely grated
180ml Fresh lemon juice (approx. 3 large lemons)
Pinch of salt
113g Unsalted butter, cubed

Method:
  1. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, whish together the egg yolks and sugar until blended.
  3. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, salt and butter and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, 7 to 10 mins (do not let the custard boil, or it will curdle).
  4. The mixture should leave a path on the back of a wooden spoon when you draw your finger across it.
  5. Immediately strain the mixture through the sieve, pressing it through.
  6. Set the bowl containing the lemon mixture in a large bowl filled about one-third of the way with ice water (be care that the water doesn't splash into the lemon mixture).
  7. Stir the mixture frequently until it is slightly chilled, about 15 mins.
  8. Cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Lemon Soaking Syrup
(Left about 1/3 after I generously brush on four cake layers. Therefore, you can safely make 3/4 of this recipe.)
80ml Water
60ml Fresh lemon juice, strained (approx. 1 large lemon)
60g Fine sugar (original is 100g)

Method:
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the water, lemon juice, and sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool until room temperature.
Lemon Cream Cheese Filling
180ml Whipping cream
113g Cream cheese, softened (I dumped in my remaining 135g)
1/2tsp Vanilla extract
240ml Lemon Curd

Method:
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the whipping cream at high speed until firm peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a smaller bowl, cover and refrigerate.
  2. 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 mins.
  3. On low speed, beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the lemon curd and beat at medium speed until well blended and smooth, about 1 min.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand, using a spatula, gently fold in the whipped cream until almost completely blended.
  6. Cover the bowl and refridgerate until ready to use.
Lemon Buttercream
(Left about 1/3 of the buttercream after I coat the cake thinly, and piped big rosettes. Will use the remaining buttercream to spread on breads. :))
340g Unsalted butter, softened
240ml Lemon curd
Pinch of salt

100g Almonds slices, toasted (optional)
2 Lemon slices, quartered (optional)

Method:
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy and light, about 2 mins.
  2. At medium speed, gradually add the lemon curd, a large spoonful at a time, then add the salt and beat at medium speed until creamy and light, about 1.5 mins.
  3. Set aside at room temperature while you assemble the cake.
Assembling the cake
  1. 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).
  2. Cut each cake horizontally into 2 layers.
  3. Reserve one of the flat bottom layers for the top of the cake.
  4. Place a cake layer on a cake board.
  5. Generously brush with some of the lemon syrup.
  6. Spoon the fillings onto the cake, using a small offset metal spatula, spread it into an even layer, leaving a 1/2" border around the edge of the cake.
  7. Top with another cake layer and repeat #5 & #6, and for the rest of the cake layers.
  8. Frost the sides and top of the cake with buttercream.
  9. Coat the sides with almond slices.
  10. Pipe rosettes onto the top, and decorate with lemon slices. Refrigerate.
  11. To serve, let it stand at room temperature for about 30mins before serving.
Warning: This lemon cake is dense, thick, rich and tangy. You have have been warned. Create at your own risk!

Looking at the recipe that I made, you can understand why it's tangy and zesty because I cut down on all the sugars used. If you like it to be sweeter, go ahead to add in more sugars. Now, I understand why some bloggers like Ju and Shirley love their lemon curds! When I tried the lemon curd, I was totally blown away! I wondered why I hadn't try this much earlier!
I'm also submitting this to the Aspiring Bakers #5 Fruity March.

27 comments:

busygran said...
March 27, 2011 at 9:09 PM

What a luscious lemony cake! The look of it is making me drool! Lucky sister of yours to have you bake any cake she wants!

Bakertan said...
March 27, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Jane,

I want a big slice of this cake. Your sister is so lucky!! Yummy yummy... It just spells lemon with a capital L.

Bet this takes a whole lot of time to complete, since it involves making lemon syrup, lemon curd, lemon filling and the lemon curd buttercream. Not to mention levelling, filling and frosting. Its so good it can put bakeshop cakes to shame =]

DG said...
March 27, 2011 at 10:06 PM

The cake is gorgeous. Your sister must be very happy to receive this delicious cake.

quizzine said...
March 27, 2011 at 10:27 PM

I just did a similar lemon cake for my birthday! But yours look so much better and delicious than mine!!

j3ss kitch3n said...
March 27, 2011 at 10:49 PM

beautiful cake and i love lemons!

Wen said...
March 27, 2011 at 11:23 PM

This cake looks so delicious and refreshing! I love to have a slice too!

Jean said...
March 27, 2011 at 11:36 PM

wow that looks like a lot of components to the lemon cake! a lot of hard work put into this lovely gorgeous lemony cake! looks really delicious :D

thecoffeesnob said...
March 27, 2011 at 11:58 PM

I would have never, in a million years, guessed that this was your first time frosting a lemon cake!

It looks incredibly delicious and professionally decorated!

edith said...
March 28, 2011 at 7:40 AM

This cake looks nice and lots of lemony goodness.

Joyce @ Chunky Cooky said...
March 28, 2011 at 12:37 PM

This must be a great cake with so much hard work involved. And the frosting definitely looks fantastic ! Really unbelievable that it's for a first time though !

lena said...
March 28, 2011 at 5:43 PM

this is such a beautiful cake i must say. i'm also planning to make a lemon cake just getting ready sosme of the ingredients..

The Sweetylicious said...
March 28, 2011 at 7:55 PM

OMG!!! i love lemon! as i was reading this post and the component of the recipe, i just kept going "WOW!"
thank you jane (: for sharing this GORGEOUS and mouth watering recipe. GREAT JOB!! (: love it!

Jo said...
March 28, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Jane, you needn't have panicked cause this is one gorgeous looking cake. Well done!

Elin said...
March 29, 2011 at 7:51 PM

So lemony...I love it! wow...it sure is good from the photos. Have KIV this :) My list is getting longer and longer :p

DG said...
March 30, 2011 at 2:21 AM

Jane,
I have an award for you, please collect it from my blog.

http://testedandtasted.blogspot.com/2011/03/one-lovely-blog-award-ii.html

Passionate About Baking said...
March 30, 2011 at 7:51 PM

Hi everyone,
Thanks very much for dropping by and your compliments.

Bakertan,
I'm not so good yet. So I definitely cannot put the bakeshop cakes to shame...yet! ;p

quizzine,
Your lemon cake looked good too! I guess we just learn from our experience about taste, don't we?

Lena,
I can't wait to see your lemon cake too! I'm sure it'll taste delicious!

Sweetylicious,
Yah, I went "wow" when I read the recipe too! So much work right? :P You've got to try this. It really taste wonderful! I was completely sold by the lemon curd!

DG,
Thanks very much for the award! I'm honoured!

Swee San said...
March 31, 2011 at 9:28 PM

lusciously lemony!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...
April 1, 2011 at 8:36 AM

I saw this when I was searching for a recipe for the Meyer Lemons and I almost made this :)! I think this is a great choice for her birthday. The weather's so hot - this presents a refreshing option.

Shaz (feedingmykidsbetter) said...
April 7, 2011 at 9:42 PM

Thats one very lemony cake! I'm sure it was good!

Shaz (feedingmykidsbetter) said...
May 19, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Thats one very lemony cake! I'm sure it was good!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...
May 19, 2011 at 5:56 PM

I saw this when I was searching for a recipe for the Meyer Lemons and I almost made this :)! I think this is a great choice for her birthday. The weather's so hot - this presents a refreshing option.

Passionate About Baking said...
May 19, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Hi everyone,
Thanks very much for dropping by and your compliments.

Bakertan,
I'm not so good yet. So I definitely cannot put the bakeshop cakes to shame...yet! ;p

quizzine,
Your lemon cake looked good too! I guess we just learn from our experience about taste, don't we?

Lena,
I can't wait to see your lemon cake too! I'm sure it'll taste delicious!

Sweetylicious,
Yah, I went "wow" when I read the recipe too! So much work right? :P You've got to try this. It really taste wonderful! I was completely sold by the lemon curd!

DG,
Thanks very much for the award! I'm honoured!

Elin said...
May 19, 2011 at 5:56 PM

So lemony...I love it! wow...it sure is good from the photos. Have KIV this :) My list is getting longer and longer :p

edith said...
May 19, 2011 at 5:56 PM

This cake looks nice and lots of lemony goodness.

L S Chua said...
July 7, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Hi, reviewed your recipe for the lemon lust cake. I think you have missed the sugar content. Thanks. Chua

passionbaker said...
July 7, 2011 at 7:23 PM

Hi Chua,
Thanks for informing me. It should be 240g fine sugar. This quantity is already reduced from the original 350g. I'll amend it by tomorrow. Hope you like this recipe.

Rene_judy said...
January 25, 2012 at 6:42 PM

this recipe is all in g's and ml's. american women don't use these measurements. we use cups and ounces and teaspoons and tablespoons. want to make this lemon lust cake but can't because of measurements.

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