Lemon Curd Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups all-purpose flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, very soft
- 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) shortening
- 2 cups Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 5 large eggs, separated with no yolk traces in egg whites
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon, no white bitter pith
- 1 cup buttermilk, must be at room temperature
- 3/4 cup lemon juice (fresh, not bottled)
- 1 1/3 cups Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 2 1/4 sticks (18 tablespoons) unsalted butter, very soft but NOT melted
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 1/2 packages cream cheese (12 oz total combined), soft at room temperature
- 6 cups Imperial Sugar Confectioners Powdered Sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- *Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three, 9-inch cake pans and fit a round sheet of parchment on bottom to make removal from pans flawless.
- Sift together flour and baking soda and set aside.
- Using a stand or handheld mixer mix soft butter, shortening, and sugar. Add one egg yolk at a time waiting for previously added yolk to be fully incorporated.
- Scrape bowl well. Add vanilla and lemon zest. Mixture needs to be very fluffy. If not, run a hair dryer on sides of bowl while mixing.
- Add one-fourth of dry ingredients and once combined add one-third of buttermilk. Add another one-fourth of dry ingredients and once combined add another one-third of buttermilk. Repeat steps until all incorporated.
- In a separate bowl whip egg whites until medium stiff. As soon as they are whipped, fold them into cake batter gently until combined.
- Scrape batter evenly into pans and spread on surface evenly.
- Place in oven and bake until center of cakes bounce back when lightly pressed with a finger and cakes retract from sides in a few areas. About 25-28 minutes.
- Turn baked cake upside down onto plastic food film, a kitchen towel, or parchment paper. Do not remove parchment paper from cakes yet.
- To prepare lemon curd, use a non-reactive saucepan and bring lemon juice and approximately half of sugar to a boil.
- In a separate bowl whisk eggs for 2 minutes until well combined and then quickly whisk in remaining sugar. Pour about half of boiled lemon juice mixture into beaten eggs and whisk rapidly.
- Pour egg mixture into saucepan and whisk vigorously to a boil. Keep whisking constantly until thick bubbles form. Remove from heat and set aside. Do not add soft butter yet.
- Once mixture feels barely lukewarm (130°F) add half of soft butter using a rubber spatula. Stir until dissolved. Add remaining butter and mix until butter is dissolved. If butter was a touch too cold, it will not properly dissolve. If so, place bowl in a microwave oven for just about 5 seconds and then stir for several minutes. Only if absolutely needed return it to a microwave oven. Do not overheat mixture as butter will melt, clarify, and lose its ability to thicken curd properly.
- Set bowl into another bowl filled with ice cubes and do not stir it any longer. Let it sit until it is completely cold.
- Meanwhile, prepare cream cheese frosting. If using a mixer, on lowest speed combine soft cream cheese and powdered sugar until well combined. By hand use a rubber spatula to combine. Add vanilla and set aside.
- Place a cake layer on a serving platter and remove parchment paper.
- Fill cream cheese frosting in a piping bag fitted with a large plain or star tip. Pipe a “border” of frosting on edge of cake layer. This will hold curd properly.
- Spread approximately one-third of lemon curd onto cake layer.
- Top with another cake layer and remove parchment paper. Repeat with cream cheese frosting and curd.
- Top with remaining cake layer. Due to soft filling, the following steps will be easiest to perform if cake is placed in refrigerator for about an hour or even overnight. If keeping overnight drape with plastic food wrap.
- Frost top and sides of cake with frosting. Using a star tip, pipe a border of frosting on surface.
- Fill center with remaining lemon curd. If desired, sprinkle cake with additional lemon zest.
- Remove cake from refrigerator at least 90 minutes before serving.
Imperial Sugar Insight
NOTE: Select flour with 3 grams/protein on nutrition facts label.