It’s been two birthdays in a week in our family and, hey, any excuse to make a celebration cake, right?
This uber-delicious Lemon Curd Layer Cake was made in honour of the sister’s other half – a likeable fellow (hehe) who appreciates the finer things in life. And, as a lover of citrus from way back, I knew he’d relish this all-out zesty number in all its top-to-toe lemony deliciousness.
Starting with its buttery, lemon flavoured sponge cake, to the mounds of richly sweet, lemon buttercream, and its mouth-puckering lemon curd which oozes seductively out the sides, this is one seriously tangy cake.
Thanks to Donal Skehan for the cake recipe. I paired with it with a lemon buttercream rather than the plain one he used. I reckon if you’re gonna do lemon, you might as well go the whole hog. Enough said. Enjoy!
- 225g (7.9 oz) butter, room temperature
- 225g (7.9 oz) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 210g (7.4 oz) self raising flour (or use standard flour with 1.5 tsp baking powder)
- Additional 1 tsp baking powder
- Zest & juice of 1 lemon
- About 3 tbsp of milk to loosen batter, if needed
- 200g (7 oz) butter, room temperature
- 400g (14.1 oz) icing sugar (confectioner's sugar), sifted
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- Up to 1 cup store-bought (or make your own)
- Extra lemon peel and edible flowers
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease and line two 21cm (8 inch) tins.
- In a mixer, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest together until pale and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs one by one, beating well after each one, before adding the vanilla extract and lemon juice.*
- Using a spatula, fold in the flour and baking powder until you have a smooth mixture. Use a little bit of the milk if you need to loosen the mixture. You want the mixture to be loose enough so that when you hold up the spatula, the mixture very slowly drops from it in a 'v' shape.
- Divide the mixture into the two tins (I weigh the full amount of batter and divide it by 2), and level the tops.
- Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden and the surface springs back when lightly pressed. Place on wire rack to cool. After 10 minutes, remove from tins and allow to cool completely.
- Beat the butter on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the sifted icing sugar in increments, beating at slow speed to combine (you'll need to scrape down the bowl from time to time). Add the lemon zest and juice and beat on high speed until well combined, light and fluffy.**
- Place one cooled sponge on a serving plate (I placed mine bottom up). Using a large offset spatula, slather with half the buttercream, creating a slight dip in the middle for the curd to be added.
- Dollop curd over top (don't take it right to the edges as the curd will very likely flow over in places anyway).
- Gently place the second sponge over top (I placed mine bottom down) and add the remaining buttercream on top, swirling it to create nice patterns.
- Using a lemon zester, grate some lemon peel over top. Add edible flowers is you like.
**If the buttercream looks curdled, it's likely that the butter was too cold when you added it. You can warm up the bowl using a hair dryer aimed at the base of the bowl while continuing to beat, and it should come back perfectly well.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting (top image) and Continuous fluorescent lighting softbox (bottom image)