In November, we make lemon cake.
There aren't many lemon desserts happening around here the rest of the year. I can take or leave lemon, but the kids won't touch it. So the only time my husband gets lemon cake is on his birthday.
I know, Poor Guy, soldiering through eleven months of chocolate cakes, bundts and macarons. It's a hard life.
This recipe is a bit of a mash-up. The cake is adapted from Lomelino's Cakes, by Linda Lomelino. I wanted to punch up the frosting though. And, honestly, how much swiss meringue buttercream can you eat? Am I the only one craving a little variation? So I pulled this recipe for microwave lemon curd off the King Arthur Flour website and used it to flavor a cream cheese buttercream.
The frosting recipe makes enough extra to fill three dozen macarons. If you find the acidity too intense, add more sugar and a splash of milk to maintain the consistency. Knowing that the kids weren't going to eat it, I left ours very tart.
So...a very sour cake for my very sweet guy.
Puckery Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cake
Yield: Three 7-8" layers of vanilla cake with blueberries, frosted with lemon-cream cheese buttercream.
For the Blueberry Cake Layers
2 sticks softened butter (226g)
2 cups granulated sugar (400g)
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (320g)
2 teaspoons baking powder (7g)
2 tablespoons cornstarch (19g)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup greek yogurt or sour cream (160g)
2/3 cup milk (150g)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
4 large eggs
12 oz bag of frozen blueberries (340g)
three 7-8"-round cake pans
baking spray with flour
For the Lemon Frosting
1/2 cup lemon juice (115g)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
4 tablespoons melted butter (56g)
8 oz softened cream cheese (227g)
12 tablespoons softened butter (170g)
4-5 cups powdered sugar (480-600g)
2-3 tablespoons blueberry preserves
- Preheat oven to 350˚ (325˚ convection).
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar for five minutes. While the mixer is doing its thing, whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. In yet another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk, vanilla and lemon zest.
- Scrape down the mixer bowl, and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add the dry and wet ingredients, alternating between the two, and beat until the batter is smooth. Gently fold in the blueberries.
- Spray the pans thoroughly, and divide the batter between them. Bake for about 40 minutes, rotating the pans to ensure even cooking. When the cakes are browned and cooked through, rest in pans for five minutes, then invert onto cooling racks.
- While the cakes are baking, get on with the lemon curd. Whisk the lemon juice, granulated sugar, melted butter and egg into a large, glass bowl or measuring cup. Microwave on high for one minute, then whisk. Repeat until the curd is thick, about six minutes, then refrigerate until ready to frost the cake.
- Using the mixer's whisk attachment, beat the softened butter and cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Mix in the cooled lemon curd until fully incorporated. Add the powdered sugar, half a cup at a time, until you achieve the texture and sweetness you prefer.
- Crumb coat the cake and give it a good chill to set the frosting. Apply the finish layer of frosting using your preferred method, then use your knife tip to mar the surface in several spots with holes about half an inch wide. Fill the holes with blueberry jam, then use a long knife or other frosting tool to spread the jam just a bit over the cake's surface. Keep going until you are happy with the design, then chill to set.
- Decorate with optional macarons, blueberries, or lemon rind.