Whee another cake! This one wasn’t as tasty as the red velvet was, it was a really really dense cake and I omitted the lemon sugar syrup, which I regret because I think the cake could have used the extra kick. If you’re going to make this cake, I recommend using a lemon syrup. I also preferred the cream cheese icing from the red velvet too, zOMG that was delicious. However, this buttercream recipe is still pretty delicious. Overall, a great success! I had so much fun piping all the different designs =)
So I used the following piping techniques on this cake:
- Borders: Shells with Wilton #199 tip.
- Roses with Wilton #104 tip and a size 6 Rose nail.
- Leaves with #66 wilton tip (I may try the #352 tip next time)
- Lettering and drop lines (the droopy lines on the side) with a Wilton #2
Obviously all these different types of piping make the cake too crowded. I originally was just going to do three roses with “Happy Birthday” written on it, but I had a ton of icing leftover and it wasn’t like I was making this for a paying customer anyway, so I decided to practise a bit more with piping =D
The roses were actually really difficult to transfer, I wasn’t sure how to do it without squishing it (since I didn’t have any flower scissors), so I just quickly shoved a fork underneath and used the stick of the nail to gently push it off. But I had never really done any successful roses before, I was practicing with a batch back in Ottawa, but these were my first ones that were actually successful! I think it was the 104 tip I was using, which is slightly bigger than the 103 one I had back in Ottawa.
The drop lines were really fun. I didn’t map them out or anything and I didn’t think they were too bad. I got a little squished with them at one point but overall they were alright =) If you ever decide to do drop lines, I recommend using colder icing cause the warmer the icing, the easier it breaks as you’re dropping the lines.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, that’s a-okay. Last year I wouldn’t have any idea what a rose nail or a drop line was. But if you want me to do a blog post just on piping techniques, let me know in the comments and I’ll do one.
More on the cake: Like I said, this was a really dense cake, which had a lot of components. The cake itself had the batter normally, but then I had to whisk the egg whites by hand to stiff peak, which was not fun. Then I had to carefully fold it in. Then, there was english lemon curd to fill in between the layers as well as to flavour the buttercream. There should have been lemon syrup too but I was lazy, but I think this cake really needed that extra moisture. But considering this recipe is from a wedding cake bakery, the denseness of the cake is -really- good for structure.
A complicated cake. But pretty tasty, I must say.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- Zest from 2 lemons
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 4 eggs (separated)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
(English Lemon Curd)
- 3 eggs
- juice of one lemon
- zest from one lemon
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- (normally you’d add milk until its the right consistency, but add half the lemon curd instead)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- juice and zest from one lemon
Preheat oven to 350F
- Mix dry ingredients in a bowl (flour, lemon zest, baking powder, salt), in a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
- One by one mix in 4 egg yolks. Mix until incorporated. Add vanilla extract.
- Alternate flour mixture and milk and mix until just combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk eggs until you reach the stiff peak form, but before the egg whites are dry
- Stir in half of the meringue into the batter, then gently fold in the second half until just incorporated. Overmixing will make the cake really tough and not delicious. Don’t do that.
- Spread evenly into two prepared cake pans (9×9, greased, an lined with parchmet paper).
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when you poke it in the middle.
- Remove from oven and let rest for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the english lemon curd and sugar syrup.
- Lemon curd: in a bowl over a pot of simmering water, whisk egg, sugar, and lemon juice until combined. With a wooden spoon, constantly stir until the mixture thickens to the consistency of hollandaise sauce. It’ll coat the back of the spoon =)
- Remove from heat, add butter and lemon zest and mix until the butter is melted. Let stand. The curd will thicken.
- Next prepare the buttercream: cream the butter and shortening until smooth and creamy. Cup by cup, add the icing sugar until combined
- Add the vanilla extract, and half the lemon curd.
- Store in fridge while you make the lemon sugar syrup.
- For the lemon sugar syrup, combine sugar, lemon juice and zest in a small pot and heat over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside and let cool.
- Once the sponge is cooled, cut off the tops so that the layers are level.
- Spread some of the buttercream in a thin layer on one of the layers on the cut side, to adhere to the cardboard cake circle. Place on the cake circle.
- Using a pastry brush, spread the lemon syrup on the bottom layer and sides, then spread the other half of the lemon curd on top of the bottom layer.
- Add the second layer, cut side down. Spread the remaining lemon syrup on the top layer.
- Carefully cover the cake in icing. Try not to pull on the icing too much since the cake is moist, it may break.
- Decorate as desired, then OMNOMNOM.
Yummy and beautiful lemon cake =)