A simple lemon cake, with a lemon syrup and lemon curd buttercream
I know, I know …. there isn’t a shortage of lemon recipes on my blog. There are so many of them – my lemon cheesecake, lemon and poppyseed madeleines, lemon cupcakes, lemon meringue pie ….. and here’s another to add to the list!
Baking has been on halt for the past few weeks, as has blog updates – I am sorry! I have been dealing with a lot personally and at work, and trying to diet as well, which is proving quite difficult when there are always sweet treats at home.
I took a bit of a break from the madness of life a week or so ago, however, to have some fun in the kitchen again. Not wanting to spend hours recipe testing, I decided that I would consult one of my many recipe books to choose something to bake.
I have always had my eye on a Lemon Limoncello Cake from Boutique Baking, by Peggy Porschen, and thus decided to give it a go. The recipe is incredibly simple and yields a wonderfully light sponge and tangy lemon curd buttercream. It is perfect for the summery weather we are now experiencing in Cape Town.
Peggy also has instructions for the recipe on how to decorate the cake. Not wanting to use fondant flowers, I opted for fresh edible flowers instead – I swear by them. Edible flowers add such a touch of sophistication to the cake, without being expensive or a time consuming decoration.
I then had the enviable task of finishing this cake, but thankfully had the help of friends.
This recipe is adapted from Boutique Baking, by Peggy Porschen.
TIPS FOR MAKING THIS LEMON CURD CAKE
- In order for the butter, sugar and eggs to incorporate well together, they need to be at room temperature.
- Creaming the butter and sugar well is essential for a light and fluffy cake crumb, so do not skip this step.
- Do not be alarmed if the mixture starts to curdle when adding the eggs, add a tablespoon or two of flour, and the mixture will come together.
- For the buttercream – when adding the lemon curd to the buttercream, make sure to not over whip it, or the buttercream may curdle.
- Important: I understand that not everyone may have 16cm cake tins in their baking cupboard, a more standard size is 20cm. You can bake the cake in two 20cm cake tins at the same temperature for the same baking and the cake should still turn out fine. It will not be as tall as this version and not have as many layers, however. If you adjust the baking tins beyond this (eg. bake it in a single deep 20cm cake tin) the baking temperature and times may have to differ. I have not tested it out in order to give more direct guidance, but do let me know if you do.
HOW TO STORE THE LEMON CURD CAKE
Once the individual cake layers have cooled completely, they may be wrapped in cling wrap and placed in the refrigerator overnight, to be frosted the next day. This cake is not very robust in terms of being frozen, as it will eventually dry out, so I do not recommend freezing.
The lemon curd buttercream can be made up to two weeks in advance and stored in the fridge. Make sure it comes up to room temperature before frosting.
Once the cake is frosted, I recommend eating it on the same day. However, the cake will keep for up to two days, at room temperature, in an airtight container.
OTHER LEMON RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Lemon and Poppyseed Madeleines
- Raspberry and Lemon Mini Cakes
- Lemon and Blueberry Loaf
- Creamy Lemon Cheesecake
- Sweet and Tart Lemon Squares
FOR THE CAKE:
- 300g salted butter, softened
- 300g caster sugar
- finely grated zest of 3 lemons
- 6 large eggs
- 300g self-raising flour
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Grease and line, with baking paper, three 16cm cake tins (See the important note in “Tips for making this lemon curd cake” for details on different tin sizes).
- Cream the butter, caster sugar and lemon zest until very pale and fluffy. This would take at least 5 – 8 minutes.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate before adding the next one. (If the mixtures starts to curdle, add a tablespoon or two of self-raising flour to it).
- Sift the self-raising flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into the egg, butter and sugar mixture and fold to combine.
- Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
FOR THE LEMON SYRUP:
- 180ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 180g caster sugar
- 60g water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- When the cake is about half way through baking, prepare the syrup.
- Place all the ingredients in a pot and place on medium heat. Allow the sugar to dissolve completely, then heat until the syrup begins to boil and thicken.
- You do not want to make the syrup too thick, and it will thicken as it cools, so do not let it boil for too long.
- When the cakes come out of the oven, let them rest for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and brush with the lemon syrup.
- Set aside to cool completely, before frosting.
FOR THE LEMON CURD BUTTERCREAM:
- 120g salted butter
- 120g icing sugar
- 90g good-quality lemon curd
- Cream the butter until pale and fluffy – about a good five minutes.
- Add in the icing sugar and continue to beat, until a buttercream forms.
- Lastly, add in the lemon curd and continue to whip until you have a smooth and light buttercream.
- The lemon curd can overwhip and become grainy, so be careful with this step.
- Use the buttercream to sandwich the layers and frost the outside. The buttercream is fairly sweet, so the recipe only produces enough for a naked look, to ensure that the overall cake is not
- Decorate with fresh (edible) flowers or as desired.
Recipe by adventureswithsugar.com