Okay, so clearly I’m rubbish at cutting cake layers evenly, but let’s ignore that for the time being. I made this cake for my step-mother’s birthday. It’s a very light lemon cake with a strawberry jam filling. The whole thing is elegant, fabulous and full of summer. And pretty, if you can cut straight. The recipe is from Baking: From my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, which is also the source for the lovely Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

ingredients
Cake
2 1/4 C cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 C buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp pure lemon extract
Buttercream
1 C sugar
4 large egg whites
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
Assembly
strawberry or raspberry jam
shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

 

prepped tin

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prep two round cake tins (butter and parchment paper).

 

sifting

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

 

wet

In a second bowl whisk together the egg whites and buttermilk.

 

sugar and peel

 

Take out your stand mixer and combine the sugar and lemon zest in the bowl. Rub the sugar and lemon together with your fingers until the sugar turns damp.

 

batter

Add the butter and beat until the butter/sugar mix is really light (a few minutes). Add the lemon extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mix and the milk mix in 3 batches, starting and finishing with the flour. Go ahead and beat it for another few minutes. Make sure to scrape the bowl at least once to make sure everything is really combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and put in the oven to bake for approximately 30 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through cooking so they cook evenly.

Once the baking is finished, let the cake sit in the tins for a few minutes and then run a knife around the edges before turning out. I use a plastic knife to avoid scratching the pan. Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cakes and let them completely cool right side up.

heating frosting 2

While the cake is cooling, you can whip up the buttercream. I found that I ran out of the butter cream when I made it so you might want to increase the amount you make.

Make sure you have a clean bowl for your stand mixer and combine the egg whites and the sugar in the bowl. Set a pot of water to simmer on the stove. When it is hot, put the bowl over the simmering pot and beat the egg whites with a whisk for about 3 minutes. It should be an opaque white when you finish.

 

whipped

 

Immediately transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and whip the eggs/sugar with the whisk attachment until it has cooled (about 5 minutes). You can stuff bags of frozen vegetables under the bowl to help it along, if you like.

 

frosting

 

Switch to the paddle attachment and add in the butter, one stick at a time, beating between each addition until smooth. Beat it for about another 10 minutes. At the end, add in the lemon juice and the vanilla. Cover the frosting with some saran wrap and stick in a cool place for a few minutes. Beware the fridge. It can be great for getting it to set up a bit, but if you leave the frosting in too long it will get too solid and you won’t be able to do anything with it.

first layer

Now for the tricky part…make sure your cakes are on a flat, level surface and trim off the top of the cake so it is level. Then cut through the center of each cake, creating 4 layers. I’m really bad at this, but practice makes perfect so there may be more cakes in your future!

jam

Gently heat your jam of choice so it is easily spreadable.

Place a layer, cut side up, on a platter or whatever, and slide some strips of wax or parchment paper under the edges so it will be easy to clean up once you’ve finished assembling the cake.

layers

Spread 1/4 C of jam over the layer and then some of the frosting over the jam. It might be easier if you stick the jammy layer in the fridge for a few minutes before spreading the frosting. Repeat with the next two layers, making sure that the cut side is up so the jam clings to it. (I didn’t do that and there was layer slippage.) Place the top layer cut side down and cover the whole shebang with the remaining frosting.

cake

If you’re feeling so inclined, you can pat coconut all over the cake. I hadn’t planned on doing that, but I ran out of frosting, so it was a bit thin on the sides. Thus, shredded coconut. I had originally planned on putting some pretty strawberries on the top, so go mad with beautiful fresh fruit!

 


Lemon Strawberry Cake
 
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • Cake
  • 2¼ C cake flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1¼ C buttermilk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1½ sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ tsp pure lemon extract
  • Buttercream
  • 1 C sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ C fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Assembly
  • strawberry or raspberry jam
  • shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prep two round cake tins (butter and parchment paper).
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a second bowl whisk together the egg whites and buttermilk.
  4. Take out your stand mixer and combine the sugar and lemon zest in the bowl. Rub the sugar and lemon together with your fingers until the sugar turns damp.
  5. Add the butter and beat until the butter/sugar mix is really light (a few minutes). Add the lemon extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mix and the milk mix in 3 batches, starting and finishing with the flour. Go ahead and beat it for another few minutes. Make sure to scrape the bowl at least once to make sure everything is really combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and put in the oven to bake for approximately 30 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through cooking so they cook evenly.
  7. Once the baking is finished, let the cake sit in the tins for a few minutes and then run a knife around the edges before turning out. I use a plastic knife to avoid scratching the pan. Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cakes and let them completely cool right side up.
  8. While the cake is cooling, you can whip up the buttercream. I found that I ran out of the butter cream when I made it so you might want to increase the amount you make.
  9. Make sure you have a clean bowl for your stand mixer and combine the egg whites and the sugar in the bowl. Set a pot of water to simmer on the stove. When it is hot, put the bowl over the simmering pot and beat the egg whites with a whisk for about 3 minutes. It should be an opaque white when you finish.
  10. Immediately transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and whip the eggs/sugar with the whisk attachment until it has cooled (about 5 minutes). You can stuff bags of frozen vegetables under the bowl to help it along, if you like.
  11. Switch to the paddle attachment and add in the butter, one stick at a time, beating between each addition until smooth. Beat it for about another 10 minutes. At the end, add in the lemon juice and the vanilla. Cover the frosting with some saran wrap and stick in a cool place for a few minutes. Beware the fridge. It can be great for getting it to set up a bit, but if you leave the frosting in too long it will get too solid and you won't be able to do anything with it.
  12. Now for the tricky part...make sure your cakes are on a flat, level surface and trim off the top of the cake so it is level. Then cut through the center of each cake, creating 4 layers. I'm really bad at this, but practice makes perfect so there may be more cakes in your future!
  13. Gently heat your jam of choice so it is easily spreadable.
  14. Place a layer, cut side up, on a platter or whatever, and slide some strips of wax or parchment paper under the edges so it will be easy to clean up once you've finished assembling the cake.
  15. Spread ¼ C of jam over the layer and then some of the frosting over the jam. It might be easier if you stick the jammy layer in the fridge for a few minutes before spreading the frosting. Repeat with the next two layers, making sure that the cut side is up so the jam clings to it. (I didn't do that and there was layer slippage.) Place the top layer cut side down and cover the whole shebang with the remaining frosting.
  16. If you're feeling so inclined, you can pat coconut all over the cake. I hadn't planned on doing that, but I ran out of frosting, so it was a bit thin on the sides. Thus, shredded coconut. I had originally planned on putting some pretty strawberries on the top, so go mad with beautiful fresh fruit!
 

 

slice 1