Best-ever Lemon Cake
By Torrey Moseley Torrey
A 13-year old friend of mine baked a version of this and I thought it was FABULOUS. I tweaked her recipe a little, but I must say...it is hands-down the BEST lemon cake I've ever had.
Preheat oven to 350º (325 if high altitude). In large bowl, mix first 5 ingredients (marked with*) with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl—whisk together well. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, a little at a time. Beat well after each addition. Begin and end with flour mixture. Pour batter into 2 (9-inch) round cake pans that are coated with cooking spray. Sharply tap pans on counter a couple of times to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes. NOTE: Cakes will NOT brown. They will remain pale with slightly golden edges-sort of like a Twinkie. Cool in pans for 10 minutes on wire rack, then turn them out directly onto racks to continue cooling. Cool completely.
In bowl, mix everything EXCEPT powdered sugar in bowl and beat with mixer until light and fluffy. Make sure you use COLD cream cheese, as room-temp cream cheese makes frosting too runny. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat JUST until blended. Chill 1 hour.
Beat sugar and butter together in bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add lemon juice. Mixture will look curdled at first—but will smooth out during cooking. In heavy pan (don’t use copper, it will react with the acid), cook over low heat until smooth, then increase to medium heat. Stir constantly—especially in corners on bottom of pan. (OR you can cook in steel bowl over simmering water). DO NOT BOIL. It’s done at 170º~ when your finger leaves clear path on back of spoon. Remove from heat. Add zest. Cover with plastic wrap (pressed onto surface of curd to prevent skin from forming) and thoroughly chill in refrigerator. It will last 1 week in fridge…2 months in freezer.
Slice both layers of COOLED cake in half, horizontally--to create 4 separate layers (I use dental floss). Place one layer section on large plate. Slather with thick layer of curd. Place remaining layers on top, one at a time, slathering with curd in between each layer--or just use frosting in between layers if you didn't make curd. Frost entire cake with frosting. May garnish with thin slices of lemon, lemon zest, mint leaves or with Lemon gel candies.
deb baldwin messinthekitchen - Jul 17, 2011
Sounds really good..I am saving this. Thanks for posting.
Carol Junkins CarolAJ - Jul 17, 2011
Victoria Costa Cookinismypassion - Jul 31, 2011
I am a pastry chef and this cake sounded amazing to say the least. However, the cake didnt rise and was approx 3/4 inch tall. so I made another batch of cake so that I would have the 4 layers. The curd was AMAZING and the frosting was FANTASTIC!! I will find another cake recipe to make but will use the curd and frosting again for sure. Thank you for sharing this...
Torrey Moseley Torrey - Aug 1, 2011
Thank you for your comment, Victoria. I've never had problems with this recipe...so I looked it over again and realized I accidentally left out the baking soda when I entered the recipe here. Try it again with the baking soda (my bad). Note...it doesn't rise a whole lot...it's a sponge cake, but my layers usually turn out about 2 inches tall. So if you want a TALL cake...double the cake recipe and make 4 layers instead of 2.
Victoria Costa Cookinismypassion - Aug 6, 2011
Hahahah THANK YOU!!! That would do it. I will retry, for sure. I made one following your recipe and then the 2nd recipe instead of buttermilk I used sour cream, in both they were moist and looked lovely and spongy, but flat..But the chemical reaction with baking soda and buttermilk would cause it to rise. What I did for the Cafe' was made a lemon cupcake and filled it with your lemon curd and frosted with your frosting recipe and we sold out! :)thanks again...:)
*****How much Baking soda???