I had been hungry for a lemon and cream filled cake. I looked online and found several recipes I liked and ended up adding several combinations, along with adding items of my own to tweak it to my liking. This is a very light and lemony cake, not overly sweet..but just right. I love the fruit with this..I added this because I love fruit with lemon pudding.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup sugar. Blend together.
Add oil, egg yolks, water, lemon extract and beat with electric mixer until smooth.
In a small bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until peaks form. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar and beat until peaks are stiff and shiny. Fold in 1/3 of egg whites to batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain. (Be sure to fold in with a rubber spatula; do not beat in). Pour batter into two 9" round cake pans that have been well greased, floured and cut a round circle piece of waxed paper in the bottom of the both cake pans. Pour batter evenly between two pans. Bake for about 35 minutes..watch carefully could be more or less depending on your oven. Test by putting toothpick into cake three quarters way down and it comes out clean. Cool in pans for about 5-10 minutes. Remove cakes onto cooling racks too cool completely before assembling. Remove waxed paper from bottom of cake layers.
While cake is cooling, (revamped version)...place softened cream cheese in a bowl and cream with electric mixer until smooth, then add pudding mix and milk, beat until well blended and smooth, now add 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar..store in fridge until chilled for about half an hour while cake is cooling.
Place one cooled cake layer on a cake platter then spread 1/2 of the filling mixture on this layer, now lay second layer on top of the filling. Take remaining pudding mixture and spread over the top of the cake only..do not do sides.
In a medium bowl that has been chilled, beat the remaining pint of whipping cream with 1-3 T. sugar until it forms stiff peaks. Frost top and sides of cake with whipped cream.
Once cake has been completely frosted set aside and then mix together all the crumb topping ingredients in a small bowl...making sure to cut in the butter so that it resembles pea size balls...blending with the flour, powdered sugar, powdered sugar and vanilla. Once blended together, place in fridge for about 15 minutes. Now take and sprinkle the crumb topping on top of cake and the sides..the sides are tricky to do, do your best. I had more on the counter than I did on the cake at first, so I recommend placing waxed paper under the cake platter to catch any of the crumb topping that falls, this way it will be easy to retrieve by picking up waxed paper pouring crumb mixture back in the bowl to finish putting on top and sides of cake.
Take as much fruit as you like..(slice strawberries, if necessary, and place in the center of the cake top...mounding as much as you like. I bought a small container of mixed fresh fruit that I was able to find in the produce department of my grocery store. I then warmed a couple Tablespoons of strawberry jam without seeds in the microwave for about 15 seconds, enough to liquify it and used a pastry brush to brush fruit to give it a nice shine.
Refrigerate cake for about 4 hours before serving. Keep leftovers refrigerated.
I loved the fruit with this cake..next time I make it I will buy more and serve along with each piece of the cake. Lemon and fruit just goes so wonderful together. I also sprinkled Powdered sugar on each cake slice when served on a dessert plate along with the fruit.
If you don't want fruit..just serve with a couple slices of lemon on top of cake.
REVAMPING RECIPE....after contemplating on trying to tweak the filling, I came up with the revamped version on my own. This is a huge hit..I made this cake again for Easter (4/24/2011)...and it went over better this time with new filling. Either way is delicious, if you have copied this recipe before the date above please see new directions for filling...