Lemon Layer Cake With Lemon Curd and Buttercream Recipe
Lemon Layer Cake
This is one of my favourite cakes to make.
- It can be made as a simple cake or, alternatively, it can be used to create a layer cake for a special occasion by decorating it with fondant icing and wafer embellishments.
- I have included instructions for making the lemon curd and buttercream but have saved time by using a good, store-bought, ready-to-roll fondant and wafer decorations.
- If you want to make the recipe even simpler, you could buy ready-made lemon curd and buttercream.
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- Pinch salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Lemon curd (see recipe below)
- Lemon buttercream (see recipe below)
- Fondant icing
- Decorations of your choice
- Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F and grease a 6-inch square cake pan.
- Melt the butter and set it aside to cool. Separate the eggs. Set the yolks aside and put the whites into a bowl. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form and set aside.
- Put the egg yolks and the sugar into a bowl and whisk until they're well incorporated and you have a creamy texture.
- Add in the butter and mix well.
- Add the lemon juice and don't panic if it looks curdled. Just mix until everything is well-incorporated.
- Sift in the flour and a pinch of salt. Mix until combined but don't over-mix at this stage.
- Fold in your egg whites. A metal spoon works well. Try to do this gently, as you don't want to knock all of the air out of the whites.
- Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan. Pop it onto the centre shelf of the oven for 25 minutes, or until it's golden brown. A skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the cake pan for 15 minutes before removing it to cool completely on a cake rack.
- When cool, slice the cake horizontally through the middle to create two large, thin squares. Now slice vertically downward to create four equal-sized rectangles.
- Place your bottom layer onto a plate; then spread it with lemon curd and then buttercream. Place another layer of cake on top of this and repeat this process. Place the final layer on top of the cake and refrigerate for 1 hour. This will make it easier to decorate.
- After 1 hour, remove the cake from the refrigerator. If the edges are uneven, trim so you have a good rectangle-shaped cake. Now cover the top and sides with buttercream. Don't worry about being uneven—you'll be putting fondant over this.
- When the cake is completely covered with buttercream, roll out your fondant so it is the right size to completely cover the cake. You want the fondant to be nice and thin—about 1/4 inch is good.
- Using your rolling pin, carefully life the fondant and cover the cake with it, smoothing out the edges as well as you can. Trim any excess fondant from the bottom of the cake.
- Now add your decorations, covering any little imperfections. I use wafers as decorations and ensure these stick by dabbing a little water onto the back of each before placing it on the cake.
- Have fun decorating the cake. Once you're happy with how it looks, pop it back into the refrigerator and remove it about 20 minutes before serving.
How to Make Lemon Curd
Store-bought lemon curd is perfectly acceptable for this recipe, but I like to make my own. I usually make more than is needed for the cake and store some in a glass jar for later.
- Zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
- Put the lemon juice, zest, butter and sugar into a heatproof bowl over a pan of summering water (double boiler). Take care to ensure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until the butter has all melted.
- Next, beat the egg and yolk with a fork and stir into the lemon mixture. Keep stirring for a minute or so, to ensure that the egg is well incorporated and does not simply cook on contact with the warmer liquid - you don't want scrambled egg curd! Allow the curd to cook for about 10 minutes, giving it a stir every now and then. After about 10 minutes, it should be nice and thick and should coat the back of your spoon.
- Remove from the heat and give another stir before setting aside to cool. Put any of the curd that you're not going to use immediately into a glass jar and seal. The curd will be good for up to 2 weeks if kept in a sealed jar in the refrigerator.
How to Make Lemon Buttercream Frosting
This is a really simple buttercream with a hint of lemon that will give a nice creaminess to contrast with the zing of the lemon curd.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 cups of icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well on a low speed.
- When everything is well-incorporated, pop the buttercream into the refrigerator until you want to use it.