Sunday, March 01, 2015

Lucious lemon layer cake

I made this for my daughter-in-law this weekend. It's the old 4 egg cake with a few changes. I made it as 2 layers and  topped it with lemon cream cheese icing. Yum!

Preheat oven to 350.

Take everything out of the fridge, so that it can come to room temperature.

Prepare 3-9" cake pans:  *Cut 3-9" rounds of parchment paper to fit the bottoms of your pans. If you don't have parchment paper, use Release Aluminum Foil or wax paper. Don't skip this step! Spray your pans with Baker's Joy or butter & flour them.  Then place the parchment paper in the bottom of the pan.  Then spray it with Baker's Joy. *To cut the rounds--tear off a piece of paper large enough to cover your pan. Fold in 1/2, then 1/4, then 1/8, then 1/16.  Set the point in the middle of the pan and eyeball where you need to cut. Crease to mark it and then cut. Unfold, and --this always seems like a miracle to me--you have a perfect circle.  If it's too big, refold and cut it a little smaller.

Sift before measuring:
2 2/3 cups cake flour
Resift with:
2 1/4 tsp double-acting baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

2 cups sugar

Beat until soft:
1 cup butter (preferably unsalted)
Add the sugar gradually.  Beat until very light and creamy. Beat in, one at a time:
4 egg yolks

1 1/2 tsp vanilla 
Grated rind of 1 lemon

With mixer on slowest speed, add the flour to the butter mixture in 3 parts, alternating with thirds of:
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

Stir the batter until smooth after each addition.  Whip until stiff, but not dry:
4 egg whites
Fold them lightly into the cake batter.

Pour into prepared cake pans and bake about 30-35 minutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Remove the cake pans to a rack and let cool before turning the cakes out on to racks to finish cooling.  Don't try to ice them until they are thoroughly cool, otherwise your icing will melt and slide off.

Lemon Cream Cheese icing

1 1/2 sticks butter
2 8 oz pkg cream cheese 
4 cups confectioners sugar 
Juice of 1 lemon (add more if it's not lemony enough) 

Optional: 1 small jar of the best lemon curd you can buy (I use Dickenson's) or homemade lemon curd.
In a large bowl, beat the butter with the mixer until creamy, about 30
seconds. Add the cream cheese and lemon juice and beat until the mixture is fluffy, white, and
very smooth, about 1 minute. Add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time,
beating for 30 seconds after each addition, until the mixture is creamy, fluffy,
and smooth. 
Place 1 layer top down and spread with a little lemon curd and then icing. Put the next layer top down and repeat lemon curd and icing. Place last layer top up and ice sides and top of cake.

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