Tag Archives: lemon curd

Summer can’t be over because I’m still coming up roses. This time in yellow.

I don’t think I’ll ever tire of the rose cake.  My first attempt was a raspberry rose chocolate confection for a friend’s birthday.  I made this one for my husband’s birthday, using the same technique in lemon. The wow-to-effort ratio on these cakes is really great. I’d even venture to say that piping twists of roses with a star tip onto a cake is easier than the traditional crumb-coat, then smooth method, so long as you’re not afraid of a piping bag! To try it yourself, please pop over to I am Baker’s site for a great tutorial.

The trickiest part of this particular rose cake is getting a bit of the lemon curd to pipe through with the buttercream. I just wanted a hint of lemon in the roses.

That was achieved by putting a dollop of lemon curd on a sheet of plastic wrap, twisting it into a cylinder and knotting one end. I did the same with the buttercream, just with a larger dollop of frosting. Then I put the wrapped toppings together and pulled the open ends through a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M tip.

Each time I refilled the piping bag (with new plastic wrap each time), I massaged things a bit to ensure that some lemon was coming out when I squeezed the bag. It took some fiddling, but I finally got that “ribbon” of lemon I was aiming for….

The result is a moist, lemon white cake topped with luscious lemon buttercream roses, whose edges reveal a hint of the lemon curd filling inside.  Divine.

Below are my recipes, all Martha Stewart adaptations.  It’s hard to deviate from a good thing….

8 Egg Whites! Lemon-White Cake

3 cups cake flour (not self rising)
2 tsps. baking powder
1 t. salt
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter; room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar (divided)
4 tsps. lemon zest (grated with a microplane)
2 tsps. LorAnn Oils Lemon Bakery Emulsion
1 cup milk
8 large egg whites

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

2.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in the lemon zest and lemon bakery emulsion.

3.  With the mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until just combined.  Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.

4.  In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy.  With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes.  Do not overbeat.  Gently fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined.  Gently fold in the remaining whites.

5.  Pour the batter into greased pans (for this cake, I used a 10 inch round for the party and a 6 inch round for our “at home” party – 2 cakes for the price of one!).  I use a baking spray to grease pans, but butter with a dusting of flour works well too.

6.  Bake until the cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.  Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes.  Invert cakes onto the rack, then reinvert cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up.

Lively Lemon Curd Recipe

8 large egg yolks
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

1.  Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a saucepan; whisk to combine.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (be sure to scrape the sides of the pan), until the mixture is this thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 8 to 10 minutes, and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

2.  Remove saucepan from heat.  Add salt and butter, one piece at a time, stilling until smooth.  Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.  Refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Lemony Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting  

(double the recipe for this cake….)

4 large egg whites
1 1/4 c. sugar (divide 1 cup and 1/4 cup)
3 sticks (1 1/2 c.) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 cup lemon curd

1.  In the heat proof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water on medium heat, combine the egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer).

2.  Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg white/sugar mixture on high-speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks, about 5 minutes.

3.  Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

4.  If the frosting appears to separate after the butter and vanilla are added (it usually does), beat on medium speed for another 3 minutes until combined.

5.  Add 3/4 cup lemon curd.  Mix on medium speed until combined.

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Vanilla Citrus Candy Cake

Apparently by age 12, kids move to the more sophisticated side of childhood.  For years, I have made the birthday cakes for my cousins’ kids.  And somewhere along the way, we went from working volcanoes and penguin and french fry cakes, to a simple white layer cake sporting the birthday boy’s (“B”)  favorite team logo.  In this case, it’s the Oregon Ducks, the football team of my cousin’s husband’s alma mater, the University of Oregon.

B wanted a vanilla cake with citrus filling.  He was even willing to go with mango.  I wasn’t ready to take on mango, especially because I believe mango season at Costco has already passed us for the year.  So I settled on lemon, a tried and true winner, and made my favorite lemon curd recipe.  From there, it was Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting, with 3/4 cup of lemon curd mixed in (instead of the berries noted in the link), and a lovely vanilla cake that I tried for the first time.

For the cake, I looked to Sweetapolita, a beautiful blogger with a beautiful blog that makes and beautifully displays what always appear to be – you guessed it – beautiful (and tasty) desserts.  I made her Fluffy Vanilla Cake.

I loved it because it required much less work than my typical white cake recipe, with a lovely tight crumb texture.  While mine fell a bit (user error, most definitely), the texture, taste and moisture factors were divine.  Also, the dips in my cake were nothing that a little citrus-spiked buttercream couldn’t fix.

mid-crumb coat

crumb coat complete

My favorite part of this cake – surprise, surprise – were the decorations.  While strolling through World Market while planning for the cake (and otherwise living my life), I stumbled upon lemon flavored Jordan almonds with a fantastic, slightly orange tinted candy shell.  This made me think of the University of Oregon’s colors (bright yellow and green).  Then I landed on Lemon Heads and lime green sour apple twists (I went to Walmart for those).

I decided to make a simple mosaic of the Ducks’ “O” from crushed Lemon Heads and green twists cut into bead-like pieces, arranged around a huge “O” template in the Times Roman font.  I placed the green “beads” first, then removed and discarded the paper “O” template.  Then I added the crushed lemon heads in a tile-like manner.

While it took a little longer than expected (as these things always do), B and I were happy with the results.  Almost enough for me to yearn for a team obsession of my own or to stop mourning those cute penguin cakes.  Almost.

Lemon Curd Recipe

8 large egg yolks
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a saucepan; whisk to combine.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (be sure to scrape the sides of the pan), until the mixture is this thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 8 to 10 minutes, and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

Remove saucepan from heat.  Add salt and butter, one piece at a time, stilling until smooth.  Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.  Refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

(slightly adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook).

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