What is your favorite cake? You know the cake you chose or will choose for your wedding. The cake you go back to again and again. For me, it’s coconut cake. I have made these stunning coconut cupcakes over and again. And, when Retro Rose asked me to bake a cake for her church group and to make it special, I chose a coconut cake with a lemon curd filling. And, I made this again last night for a friend’s birthday, just changing it slightly adding lime into the curd.
This cake is a bit of a splurge, but I made it for a birthday party, and you know I believe birthday parties should be special. There should be cake. You may eat a rather disciplined diet all year long, but when it comes to your birthday, why not have a little splurge of special cake to celebrate your special life.
The cake is a bit unique in that by the time you pile it high and add the curd, you will use 10 eggs. I made this a triple layer, but you can make it in 4 layers, as the original recipe stated.
I found the recipe at the Joy of Baking, and only slightly modified it. I did not use the 7 minute frosting, but I relied on a cream cheese frosting, because I knew there would be left over cake that I would freeze.
You can use all lemon or all lime or make a combination of citrus. The next time I make this, I’m going to use pink grapefruit.
The cake alone is an incredible yellow sponge cake that you could make with other flavors. Instead of lemon, you could use this same recipe for other cakes that you want to triple layer.
This is a perfect lemon curd that is very easy to make. I chose to pass the end product through a sieve to remove the zest, but that is optional. I doubled the curd recipe as I didn’t have enough the first time. You will have left over with this recipe, but it’s so good, you’ll find a way to use it. You can decide to half the recipe and go with less filling.You can opt to use a vanilla cream cheese frosting by substituting 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 tablespoons cream and omitting the lemon.
6 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 juice of fresh lemon
2 tablespoons of lemon zest
1 1/2 cups sugar
8 tablespoons butter
Start with room temperature eggs. This helps prevent curdling. I had no curdling at all as my eggs were at room temperature for a few hours.
Place a stainless steel mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water, without the bottom touching.
Whisk together eggs, lemon juice, zest, sugar over simmering water. Continue to whisk for about 10 minutes or until a wooden spoon is coated, or until you reach 160 degrees. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Add butter, a little at a time, whisking to throughly incorporate.
Place plastic wrap touching curd and chill. Cool completely before using.
A few tips in making this cake:
• Separate your eggs, while still cold. Bring to room temperature.
• You can prepare the lemon curd and frosting a day in advance. Just bring the frosting to room temperature before applying.
• Freeze the cake for 30 minutes before assembly.
• Make sure the curd is completely cool before applying.
• Place parchment paper underneath each cake layer prior to baking, with a small strip on each side to remove easily.
• Weigh flour and sugar instead of measure.
• If you don’t have a scale, do not do big dense scoops. Add a tablespoon at a time, or you will end up with too much flour.
- Cake Recipe - See Notes for lemon curd and lemon cream cheese frosting
- 170 grams butter (3/4 cups or 6 tablespoons)
- 350 grams of sugar (1¾ cups, divided 1½ cups and ¼ cup)
- 6 large eggs, separated white and yolks and at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 325 grams all purpose flour (2½ cups not packed tightly)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 420 ml buttermilk (1¾ cups)
- 1 cup coconut (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Preheat to 350 degrees.
- Prepare pans by buttering and flouring. Additionally, you might want to use parchment paper to line pans.
- Cream butter for two minutes
- Add sugar, and cream for two more minutes.
- Add egg yolks, one at a time, incorporating each yolk fully
- Add vanilla.
- Mix together and sift, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add flour mixture and buttermilk to sugar/butter mixture in stages, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add in coconut (optional).
- Prepare egg whites, by beating with electric whisker until foamy. Add in cream of tarter and beat until soft peaks are formed.
- Incorporate egg whites into cake batter, gently, so as not to deflate. Immediately place into prepared pans.
- You can use 2 pans or three pans for either a 4 layer or 3 layer cake. If making a four-layer cake, use serrated knife to cut each cake in two.
- Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, depending on how many layers you use. Three layers will take less time.