My mother-in-law, Lori, is super sweet and thoughtful. She adores her kids and considers their spouses to be her children, too. When I asked her what she wanted for Mother’s Day, she requested “something lemon”. I knew just what I wanted to make for her.
I made this recipe a few years ago for my mom, who’s also a lemon lover. It was really good, but the lemon was so subtle it was easy to miss. I’d been itching to re-vamp it to my own taste preferences, which is lots of flavor. Luckily, Lori loved it and it was devoured shortly after I showed up with it!
It starts with a tender lemon cake, which I baked in three 6-inch cake pans (you could use two 9-inch cake pans instead), then I used a vanilla bean frosting to fill each layer. I topped the whole thing with a mixture of lemon curd and freshly whipped cream, then some candied lemon slices (which were really yummy to eat with the cake). I don’t get to make cakes very often, which is a shame because they’re so delicious and cute!
2/3 c. milk
Juice from one lemon
1 T. lemon extract
2 t. vanilla extract
1 ½ c. flour
3 T. cornstarch
½ T. baking powder
8 T. butter, room temperature
Zest of 1 lemon
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour edges of 3 6-inch round cake pans and shake out excess. Line bottoms of pans with parchment or wax paper.
Mix lemon juice, milk, and extracts in a small bowl and set aside. Sift flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a small bowl. Set aside. In bowl of stand mixer beat butter and lemon zest on medium-high for 3 minutes. Scrape down bowl and beat for 1 minute. Add sugar ¼ cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in eggs. With mixer on low, add flour mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour and mixing just until blended. Scrape down bowl and mix for 15 seconds.
Divide batter between baking pans. Bake until golden and toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes, rotating halfway through baking.
Filling Ingredients & Directions:
13 T. butter, room temperature
1 ½ c. powdered sugar, sifted
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. heavy cream
In stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip butter on medium-high until smooth, ~1 minute. Add powdered sugar and mix on medium-low just until blended. Scrape vanilla bean seeds into bowl and continue to beat on medium-high until smooth, ~1 minute. Mix in vanilla and cream on low just until blended. Increase speed to high and whip until light and fluffy, ~3 minutes.
Frosting Ingredients & Directions:
3/4 c. lemon curd
2 c. whipping cream
This is so easy! Just whip the cream until stiff peaks form, and fold in the lemon curd until blended. Use to frost cake.
Candied Lemon Slices Directions:
½ c. sugar
½ c. water
Wash and dry the lemon thoroughly. Use sharp serrated knife to make very thin slices of lemon. Poke out any seeds carefully. Combine sugar and water in skillet over medium-high heat. Heat mixture until sugar dissolves. Add lemon slices in a single layer and reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer about 20 minutes, turning at least once. Remove from heat. Store in container with leftover syrup until ready to use.
Adapted from: Annie’s Eats