A week or so ago observed the shared birthday of two of my most preferred friends, Melissa and Eun Hea. I got together a group to treat them to dinner at the canalside destination Simply Crepes and created a birthday cake for them. I had tremendous hope for the cake. It was a simple "1-2-3-4" cake recipe of the variety you can find pretty much anywhere online (mine is actually from marthastewart.com, sorry Mom!) I also took epicurious' suggestion to add a lemon curd cream. Now, in epicurious' picture, said cream was all fluffy and suitable to frost the cake. I must have underbeat the cream, because mine was all glorpy, entirely unsuitable for frosting a cake. But I was stubborn, and glorped it all over the bottom layer anyway, and then glorped it all over the top layer and tried to cover the sides. Having had ambition for a frosted layer cake, I was very embarrassed by what I had created, and bought a dark-chocolate pistachio cake at Wegmans instead.
But then my roommates and I actually began to eat the cake. It was so delicious that I'm still thinking about it a week later. The extra cream was delicious on everything too. I thought maybe I'd retry the recipe and beat the cream longer before posting it, but the more I think about that option, the more I realize I really liked the cake as is. The glorpy lemon cream kept the cake most moist. So here I will put it on anyway-- but I will change its name to lemon cake with lemon cream. Further, I think that it would be quite an attractive affair had I been planning for it to look like that, like a Boston cream pie, for example. I'm into garnishes these days, and I think next time I make it I will garnish it with some candied citrus peel (orange, lemon, and lime would look fantastic).
Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream
For the cake:
1 c butter, room temperature
3 c sifted AP flour
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 c sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 c buttermilk
1 1/2 t vanilla
grated zest of 2 lemons
1. Heat oven to 350. Butter two 8 inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Dust with flour.
2. Sift together dries. With an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter on medium until softened, 1-2 min. Gradually add sugar, beating till lightened, 3-4 min. Drizzle in eggs, a little at a time, beating after each addition until batter is no longer slick, about 5 min total.
3. On low, alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, a little of each a ta time, beginning and ending with flour. Beat in vanilla and zest.
4. Bake 25 min, then rotate pans. Continue baking till cake tester comes out clean, 10 to 20 minutes more. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then turn out. Cool tops-up.
For the lemon cream:
1 c heavy cream
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 1/3 c lemon curd
1. Beat cream and powdered sugar until it just holds stiff peaks (I guess mine weren't stiff?) Fold one third of whipped cream into lemon curd to lighten, then fold in remaining whipped cream.
I glorped a lot of the cream in between the layers, then poured more on top until it was generously but attractively spilled down the sides. Serve with the extra cream. I think it only gets better as time wears on, and looks pretty under a cake dome. Attractive cake domes can be found for 10 bucks at Bed, Bath, and Beyond! Having a cake dome has revolutionized my life.