and so has the delicious cake I said I was going to make! It was a beautiful Easter weekend, filled with ham, cheesy potatoes, rumy, and cake–as expected. It was nice. I promised I would post about that cake I made, so here it is.
- 21 oz White Sugar
- 20 oz Cake Flour*
- .75 oz Baking Powder
- 9 fl oz Half and Half
- 5.5 oz Eggs
- 6.5 oz Egg Whites
- .75 oz Vanilla Extract
- 12 oz Butter
* Although this recipe calls for Cake flour, I didn’t have any on-hand and I used AP flour and it worked just fine. Using cake flour, however would result in a slightly lighter cake texture.
This cake is very simple, with few ingredients and has a very uncomplicated vanilla flavor. I recommend using a good quality vanilla extract. I used Nielson-Massey Vanilla Extract.
Bring eggs and butter to room temperature (about 2 hours out of the cooler).
Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy–this step is crucial. Not creaming your butter and sugar long enough will result in a grainy cake texture due to the sugar not being broken down in the butter. Let your butter and sugar cream at 5-8 minutes, until you can no longer feel the sugar granules in the butter.
Once the butter and sugar become one, add eggs and egg whites slowly, scraping the bowl between approximately 4 additions. Next, combine the baking powder into the flour, and mix with a fork so the baking powder is evenly distributed throughout the flour. Add the flour mixture and the half and half alternately, two additions each. Scrape the bowl as needed.
Your batter should be thick and well blended, but not over mixed. I used one 10″ springform pan for my cake, and had a little bit of extra batter so I made 6 cupcakes as well. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown on top, and a toothpick comes out clean.
Make sure your cake is cooled completely before you trim and tort, or it may fall apart on you. *sad face*
White Vanilla Buttercream
- 2# Powdered Sugar
- 1# Butter
- 1/2# Hi-Ratio Shortening*
- 2 T Vanilla Extract
- 2 T White Food Coloring**
*Hi-Ratio Shortening is a special shortening specifically engineered for making buttercream frosting. This shortening creates a better mouth feel that does not coat your mouth and tongue like “regular” shortening does. You can purchase high ratio shortening from some specialty food and cake stores, or on the internet.
Make sure your butter is room temperature here as well, so you do not end up with lumps of butter in your frosting-yuck! For this cake I add white food coloring to make a snow white frosting. Butter is yellow-ish and vanilla extract is generally brown–making buttercreams slightly yellow or tan colored. Adding white food coloring is taste-less and turns your frosting a beautiful white color. Cream all ingredients until light and fluffy. Here, you want to beat the buttercream for approximately 10 minutes. Yes, 10 minutes.
- Zest of 5 Lemons
- Juice of 5 Lemons*
- 5 Eggs
- 1 1/2 C White Sugar
- 1 1/2 C (3 sticks) Butter
*You need 1 cup of lemon juice, if your lemons are short on juice-just add some water to reach 1 cup.
Don’t let making a curd or custard scare you. They are easy to make as long as you have patience, and follow a few key rules. 1. Keep your temperature on medium. DO NOT turn up the burner to try to “speed up” the process. 2. Use a bowl big enough for all of your ingredients AND stirring. 3. BE PATIENT. This lemon curd will take approximately 15-20 minutes of non-stop stirring, but I promise-it is well worth it!
I want to take the time to talk about zesting lemons. The best tool to use for zesting citrus fruits is a microplane. Microplanes are finer and sharper than a standard vegetable grater, creating a feather-light zest and they make it easier to remove just the lovely scented zest and not the bitter white pith underneath.
THIS is what you want:
A pile of feather-light amazingly fragrant lemon zest!
Combine all ingredients minus the butter in a large metal bowl, and put over a pot with approximately 3″ of water. The heat and steam from the water will slowly cook your curd. When you begin, your curd will look something like orange juice-yellow/orange in color and quite liquidy (is that a word?) Stir the curd until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. A good indication that your curd is done is to dip your spoon or spatula into the curd and carefully (the curd will be hot) wipe your finger down the utensil. If the curd runs back into itself–keep on stirring (it’s not done), if the curd holds tight–it is done.
Cut your butter into tablespoon-sized pieces, and add them a few at a time to the hot curd. The slow melting of the butter will help make your curd smooth and velvety. I cooled my curd quickly (approximately 1 hour) by lining a rectangular cake pan with plastic wrap and pouring the curd into it, cover it completely and refrigerating it. Let the curd cool completely before assembling your cake.
I cut my cake into two equal layers, and then using a large star tip (the same one I used for creating my shell border) I piped an outline on the bottom tier to fill with my lemon curd, a “well”– if you will. Fill your “well” with your velvety lemon curd. Yum!
I iced the cake with my Vanilla Buttercream, piped a simple shell border, added some piped rosettes with lemon curd centers, and adorned the top with pastel Easter quins.
And there you have it!
This cake is perfect for Spring, its light vanilla flavor with a punch of lemon will brighten up your day for sure!
Obviously this lemon curd has many other uses. Try folding some into whipped cream for a light filling for cupcakes, or topping for fresh fruit.
Thanks for checking out my first baking post! Comments and questions are encouraged as always!
The Girl With the Cupcake Tattoo