If you follow us over on Twitter then you may have noticed we were had a very special celebration here at HQ yesterday. It happened to be none other than our CEO and LJC founder's birthday and of course we were all on hand to surprise her with one of her favourite treats; lemon layer cake.
Although we're heading into Autumn it doesn't mean we have to say goodbye to summer flavours. Lemons are pretty much great all year round which means you can enjoy this type of cake whenever the fancy takes you. This particular cake we've chosen to share with you today is taken from Martha Stewart's treasure trove of recipes.
Serves 12 | To prepare 15 mins | To cook 32-35mins
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and levelled), plus more for pans
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time.
- Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
- Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes.
- Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack.
- While cakes are baking, bring remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan.
- Add lemon slices and simmer 25 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer lemon slices to a waxed-paper-lined plate.
- Stir remaining 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice into syrup.
- Using a toothpick, poke holes in warm cakes on rack. Brush with lemon syrup. Let cool completely.
- Prepare frosting, substituting 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for vanilla extract. Frost cooled cakes and top with candied lemon slices.
- In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites, sugar, salt, and water.
- Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved (or mixture registers 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), 2 to 3 minutes.
- Transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until glossy, stiff peaks form (do not overbeat), about 3 minutes; reduce speed to low, add vanilla extract, and beat just until combined.
- Use immediately.