Right… Another day, another post, another recipe I made to satisfy my lemon cravings! And, just like the homemade lemon curd I posted about last Friday, this beautiful lemon cake also happens to be extremely Easter appropriate!
Just look at those cute little eggs in the picture! They’re there for a reason!
Aaaanyway, the fact that this lemony cake is Easter appropriate is good, right? Since Easter is next Sunday and all? And I’m sorry for being excited about something like this, but… I can’t believe I actually know that! I’m usually the girl who misses basically every holiday because I never have the slightest clue when the world is celebrating and what date it is. Seriously, if Christmas wasn’t celebrated on the same day every year, I’m sure I’d miss that too!
So, yay me! I remembered Easter!
By the way, this cake isn’t Easter appropriate because it has lots of eggs in it. I only used four eggs to whip this beauty up, and they weren’t really optional or anything, because without eggs, you don’t have cake… So, no the eggs are not what makes this cake Eastery… No no, it’s Easter-appropriate because it’s a lemon cake! Tadaa! And lemons are yellow, right? And when I think yellow, I think Easter! So lemons – and, consequently, this cake – are very, very, very Easter appropriate!
We already went over this, right?
Moving on from the brilliant observation that lemons are yellow… This cake is incredibly, and I mean incredibly easy to make. The cake layers are basically pound cake, except you don’t use a pound of everything… I guess it’s more of a half-a-pound cake, because you’ll need approximately half a pound of butter, sugar, eggs and flour. I’ve zinged the cake up with the zest of two lemons and a little vanilla extract. I know, vanilla is not usually zingy, but it gives this fruity, zingy cake a little warmth.
Anyway, mix, mix, mix, bake, bake, bake and the cakes are done! They only need 25 minutes in the oven, after which you’ll need to allow them to cool to room temperature. In the meantime, you can cook up some lemony syrup to imbide the cake with. I love simple syrups for imbibing. They not only make the cake a little moister, they also add sooo much flavor! Seriously, I can’t make a cake without making a syrup these days…
Once the cakes have cooled, you brush them with a little syrup, plop some softly whipped cream on top of them and spoon a few dollops of lemon curd on top of the whipped cream. You can use any kind of lemon curd (or even orange curd!) you happen to have on hand, but I prefer my homemade lemon curd. It’s silky, smooth and not too sticky, which makes it easier to spread it out in an even layer. Plus, it’s runny enough to cascade down the sides of the cake in dramatic but delicious drips!
Perfect, perfect, perfect…
Finally, I added some fresh raspberries and the zest of a lemon, because I just can’t resist fresh raspberries. They’re so beautiful and fruity and delicious! And the vibrant lemon zest on top was the perfect finishing touch…
So, make this to celebrate Easter! Or spring! Or international lemon day… I don’t know if that’s a thing, but if it is, this is definitely the perfect cake to celebrate with…
As for me, I’m making this for Easter!
- 200g (or ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 200g (or 1 cup) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- the zest of 2 lemons (about 1 packed tablespoon)
- 200g (or 1½ cup + 5 teaspoons) all-purpose flour
- 2½ teaspoons of baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 50g (or ¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 60ml (or ¼ cup) water
- 4 tablespoons of lemon juice (from the zested lemons)
- 300ml (or 1¼ cup) whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 150g (or ½ cup + 2 tablespoons) homemade or store bought lemon curd
- 500g (or a little over a pound) fresh raspberries
- zest of 1 lemon
- Preheat your oven to 175°C/350°F (standard oven setting) and line two 18-cm or 7-inch round cake pans with baking parchment. Use a little butter to stick the parchment against the sides of the pans.
- In a medium-sized bowl, cream the butter with a mixer until fluffy. Add the sugar and mix until creamed, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs on at a time, mixing well (about 1 minute) after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula when needed. After all of the eggs have been mixed in, add the vanilla and the lemon zest. Mix briefly to combine.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt and, using a rubber spatula, stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once the dry ingredients have somewhat absorbed the wet ingredients, mix briefly with the mixer until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix for another 10 seconds.
- Divide the batter between the prepared pans, place the pans in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the centers of the cakes comes out clean.
- Take the cakes out of the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before turning them out of the pans. Leave to cool to room temperature.
- Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring with a metal spoon until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear. Take the syrup off the heat, pour it in a mug and stir in the lemon juice. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Whip up the cream and sugar until the mixture holds soft peaks.
- … place one of the cakes on a rotating cake stand. With a fork, prick the top of the cake all over. Using a pastry brush, brush an ample amount of syrup over the top of the cake. Because of the little fork pricks, the syrup will seep into the cake a little.
- Plop half the whipped cream on top of the cake and, using a rubber spatula, spread the cream in an even layer, pushing it to the edges of the cake.
- Carefully drop spoonfuls of the lemon curd on top of the whipped cream, making sure to only use half the lemon curd and dropping it close to the edges of the whipped cream layer. Using a clean rubber spatula, spread the lemon curd in an even layer, ‘pushing’ it towards (and in some places over) the edge of the whipped cream layer. Try not to mix the whipped cream and lemon curd as you do this.
- Scatter one third of the raspberries on top of the lemon curd and place the second cake on top. Press it down lightly.
- Prick the top of the second cake all over with a fork too, brush with the syrup, then spread the remaining cream on top in an even layer. Again, use a rubber spatula to ‘push’ it towards the edge of the cake.
- Spoon the remaining lemon curd on top and spread it in an even layer, again making sure to push it over the edge of the whipped cream in some places (to create those dramatic, delicious lemon curd drips). Pile the remaining raspberries on top. Finally, sprinkle the zest of a lemon over the cake to make it look even prettier.
- This cake is best served a few hours after assembly. Enjoy!