It’s been awhile since I’ve made a lemon cake. Which is a cryin’ shame. Lemon is such a fantastic cake flavor. It makes me think of pillows and frolicking. Which it probably doesn’t do for anyone else, but I’m okay with that.
I mean in the summer, I love me an ice cream cone. It really helps yah cool down. But when it’s beautiful summer weather, like what we’ve been having, where the humidity is pretty low, and the temps are warm in the afternoon but cooler in the evening, lemon cake is where it’s at.
Annnd now that I’ve said what a nice summer we’ve been having it’s going to be elebenity billion degrees starting…..now.
But seriously. Lemon cake is just downright refreshing. It’s probably the only cake flavor that I ever truly crave. It may be the only thing on a dessert menu that might sway me from a creme brulee or other custard dish. Fact.
This is the second cake I made for my parent’s surprise party. I only barely tweaked the original recipe. If I made this again I think I would tweak it more. My blueberry layer didn’t swirl/marble as much as I wanted. If you think of it, thin out your blueberry jam (or sauce) a bit more with some water or lemon juice before adding it to the lemon batter and then plop alternating dollops of each batter in the pan before swirling quickly with a knife. I think it will have a much better effect.
Also, let’s totally ignore the fact that I did a miserable job leveling the cake. I was 1000% convinced it was going to slide off into a million pieces by the time The BF got it to the top secret party location. Whatevs, leaning cake is still better than no cake.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1½ tsp lemon extract
- 7 egg whites
- 3 cups cake flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1¼ cups milk
- 1 12oz jar blueberry jam, or blueberry sauce (recipe follows)
- 1 package frozen blueberries
- juice from 1 lemon
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup water
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup meringue powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 2 lbs powdered sugar
- 2 tsp lemon extract
- ½ cup blueberry sauce
- Add blueberries, water, sugar, and lemon juice to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling and reduced by ½. Approximately 20 minutes.
- Taste and add more lemon if desired.
- The mixture should be relatively thick, but a bit runnier than a jam. If it's too runny you can add a slurry of 2 tbsp cornstarch to ½ cup cold water and add to the sauce. Cook for another 2-3 minutes til sauce thickens.
- Set aside to cool to room temperature. Sauce will keep in fridge for up to two weeks in an airtight container.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour three 8-inch cake pans. Set aside
- In a mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, lemon zest and lemon extract until light and fluffy, approximately 2 minutes.
- Add egg whites two at a time, beating between each addition, until thoroughly incorporated.
- Meanwhile, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.
- Working in three batches alternate adding the flour and milk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat on medium-high for a minute after the last addition to smooth out the mixture.
- Scoop 1 cup of the batter into a small bowl and add ¼ cup of blueberry sauce.
- Alternate dollops of lemon batter and blueberry batter into each of the three pans, filling all evenly. Take a clean knife and swirl it around taking care not to mix the batters too much.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Let the layers cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack, to cool completely.
- Bring water to a boil and add the sugar stirring until dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temp.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment add the meringue powder and simple syrup. Whisk on high until stiff, glossy peaks form. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer running on medium add 1 stick of butter a chunk at a time until frosting is smooth and glossy.
- Turn mixer to low and add 1 lb of powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until smooth and glossy.
- Add lemon extract and remaining butter, beat until smooth and incorporated.
- Add remaining powdered sugar until the desired consistency is reached. You can thin with milk or lemon juice if necessary.
- Scoop 1½ cups lemon frosting into a separate bowl and mix with ½ cup blueberry sauce. Add powdered sugar until frosting is stiff enough to support layers.
- Level the cakes. Place one layer on serving plate and smooth ½ cup blueberry lemon frosting over. If it looks to thin add more and smooth out.
- Add second layer and smooth another ½ cup over the top, adding more if too thin.
- Add final layer. Use plain lemon frosting to create a crumb coat and chill in fridge for 10 minutes to set.
- Smooth plain lemon frosting over cake and decorate as desired.