My husband wanted a lemon layer cake for his birthday. Enter this super duper Triple Lemon Layer Cake.
A light lemon cake gets filled with tangy lemon curd and capped with a sweet, lemony buttercream. It’s a lot of lemon in every delicious bite.
Triple Lemon Layer Cake
9-1/4 oz (2-1/3 cups) cake flour
2-3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 Tbs lightly packed finely grated lemon zest
6 oz (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Lemon Curd Filling (recipe follows)
Lemon Buttercream Icing (recipe follows)
2 lemons, zested with a channel zester, and silver dragées to garnish
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 8 x 2-inch round cake pans.
2. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. Pulse 1/4 cup of the sugar with the zest in a food processor until well combined.
3. In a large bowl, beat the butter and lemon sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1-1/2 minutes.
4. Add the remaining 1-1/2 cups sugar and beat until smooth, about 1-1/2 minutes longer.
5. Beat in one fourth of the milk just until blended. On low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the milk in three batches, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula just until blended.
6. In another clean, large bowl, beat the egg whites with clean beaters in an electric mixer on medium speed just until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium high, and beat until the whites form stiff peaks.
7. Add a quarter of the whites to the batter and gently fold in with a whisk or a rubber spatula. Continue to gently fold in the remaining whites, a quarter at a time, being careful not to deflate the mixture.
8. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Smooth the tops with the spatula.
9. Bake until a tester inserted in the cake centers comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
10. Let cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a butter knife around the inside of the pans and carefully turn each cake out onto the rack. Flip right side up and leave to cool completely.
11. Slice each cake in half horizontally, using a long serrated knife. (I like using a wire cake splitter)
12, Put one of the four cake layers on a serving plate, cut side up. Spread 1/3 cup chilled lemon curd on top of the cake layer. Lay another cake layer on top, spread it with another 1/3 cup lemon curd, and repeat with the third cake layer, using the last 1/3 cup lemon curd. Top with the fourth cake layer.
13. Up to a few hours before serving, spread a thin layer of icing on the cake. Chill until the frosting firms a bit, about 1/2 hour. (By doing this you can help keep crumbs from catching on your spatula.)
14. Spread the remaining icing over the top and sides of the cake. Scatter with bits of lemon zest and drags.
Note: To create curls of lemon zest for the garnish, strip the zest from two lemons with a channel zester. Cover the strands loosely with a damp paper towel. The strands will curl as they begin to dry.
Lemon Curd Filling
4 oz (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs finely grated lemon zest
6 large egg yolks
1. Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar, lemon juice, zest, and salt.
3. Whisk in the yolks until smooth.
4. Return the pan to medium-low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 6 minutes. (A spoon should leave a path if you draw it across the surface of the curd). Don’t let the mixture boil.
5. Let cool at room temperature, whisking occasionally. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.
Lemon Buttercream Icing
8 oz (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbs finely grated lemon zest
3-1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1. In a bowl, beat the butter and lemon zest with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
2. Add the confectioners’ sugar in batches and beat until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and beat for 1 minute longer.
Recipes from Fine Cooking
When faced with a big slice of cake, you cannot help but Nom, Nom, Nom.
The song “Nom, Nom, Nom” is from the debut EP from Kinky Rhino, a project of the members of Blue Man Group. I’m thinking the singer could use something sweet to cheer him up because this song is more about numb than nom.
“You don’t get to quit until I’m done
Better make it quick ’cause I’m so dumb
Check out Kinky Rhino on the band’s Website where you can buy their music.