Sweet and creamy dessert cakes always taste fantastic when lemon is used as a main flavouring ingredient. The sharp, fresh and acidic citrus aroma of lemon contrasts wonderfully with the rich and sugary taste of cream cake. A perfect balance between creamy, sweet and sour.
The frosting of this cake consists of cream and lemon curd, a beautiful combination. Lemon curd is an extremely versatile ingredient to have in the fridge, and is amazing when eaten on toast, scones, or as an ingredient in pastries and desserts such as this one.
However, as lemon curd contains eggs, please ensure that you follow the recipe correctly, and do not overheat the lemon curd when making it. Because all it takes, is too much heat, for a smooth lemon curd to turn into sour scrambled eggs.
This recipe is inspired by the various lemon and cream based desserts found in the south of Italy, particularly in the region of Campania where lemons are cultivated in large amounts. The trinity of lemon, sugar and cream is commonly found in desserts of that region. And they taste absolutely fantastic.
4 large eggs (60 g each) – yolks and white separated
20 g caster sugar
20 g honey
20 g milk
30 g flavorless oil (I’m using grapeseed)
2 tsp vanilla extract
120 g cake flour
2 tsp lemon juice
Zest from 1 lemon
70 g caster sugar (for egg whites)
1 tsp cake emulsifier (optional)
1 cup (240 ml) whipping cream
½ cup () icing sugar
3 tbsp lemon curd (chilled) – click here for recipe
Sliced lemons – for garnish
Prepare your lemon curd. You could make it the day before.
Preheat oven to 160°C/320°F.
Sift the flour and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks, honey and sugar together until well combined.
Add in milk, oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest and continue to whisk until pale and thick.
Fold in flour until flour just disappear. Do not overmix or your cake will end up being dense.
In another large clean bowl, use an electric hand whisk and beat the egg whites until foamy.
Add in lemon juice, 1/3 of the sugar and continue to whisk for 30 seconds.
With the mixer still on, sprinkle the remaining sugar continuously until all is used up.
Continue to whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks just form.
Take a dollop of the meringue and mix into the egg batter to lighten the texture.
Use a spatula and fold the rest of the meringue into the batter until the meringue just disappear.
Tap the bowl on the counter a couple times to release big air bubbles.
Pour into an ungreased 8-inch round pan with removable base and smooth the top with the spatula.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool before removing from the pan.
Whisk the cold whipping cream and icing together until stiff peaks.
Fold in lemon curd and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
Slice the cake horizontally into half and spread a generous dollop of lemon curd evenly on one half.
Spread another layer of whipped cream on top of the lemon curd.
Set the other half of the cake on top.
Spread a thin layer of frosting all over the cake and refrigerate for 30 mins. It does not have to perfect at this point. This is called crumb coating and it helps to achieve a smooth cake finish towards the end.
Remove cake from refrigerator and repeat with the final layer of frosting.
Decorate by piping the rest of the whipped cream on the surface of the cake.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.