Oh, have you been looking for the recipes I promised back in Part 1? Well, here they are! This cake, for a surprise party with fifteen guests, was absolutely delicious and a complete thrill to pull off. I actually surprised myself so much I considered becoming a professional baker during a two-minute moment of weakness when all the guests were fawning over how professional it looked. But now that all the gushing is out of the way, it’s back to reality. Leaving my job to open a cute little bakery certainly won't be happening, but there will always be room among all of life's responsibilities to create special treats for birthdays, anniversaries, or just because.
The main difference I noticed with this cake versus the test cake was that most of the lemon curd had soaked into the layers by the time we cut it. This didn't impact the flavor, you just couldn't see it, so it looked like raspberries completely dominated the filling. (Something I noticed, but no one else cared about.) Fondant also takes a little finesse to cut through. The first slice (above), was a bit mangled when it hit the plate, but again, a minor detail. Tip: Dip your knife into hot water before each slice to ensure a more even cut.
So, here are the recipes:
Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Lemon Curd and Fresh Raspberries, Iced with Swiss Buttercream
Recipe via Smitten Kitchen, via Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes
Makes one three-layer 9-inch round cake
*I made a three-layer 8-inch cake
3 3/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 1/3 cup buttermilk
5 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Recipe via Smitten Kitchen
For a 9-inch cake (plus filling, or some to spare)
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
26 tablespoons butter, softened (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons or 1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons, if you buy butter in the large Costco quantities)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
From: Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes
3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
½ cup + 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
Grated zest of 3 lemons
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 to 2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed and drained
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
2. Combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and 1 1/4 cup of the buttermilk. Mix on low speed briefly to blend; then raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and the remaining 1/3 cup buttermilk until well blended. Pour one-third of the egg mixture into the cake batter at a time, folding it in completely after each addition. There will be 9 cups of batter; our 3 cups batter into each pan.
4. Bake for 26 to 28 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Note: In my oven, the cakes took 30-33 minutes, so be sure to check them)
5. Turn the layers out onto wire racks by placing a rack on top of a pan, inverting it, and lifting off the pan. Peel off the paper liners and let cool completely. When the layers have cooled, place a cardboard cake board on top of a layer, invert again, and lift off the rack. To make the layers easier to handle, wrap them on their boards completely in plastic, so they don’t dry out, and refrigerate them.
1. Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a big metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until you can’t feel the sugar granules when you rub the mixture between your fingers.
2. Transfer mixture into the mixer and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. (Here’s a tip: when you transfer to the mixer, make sure you wipe the condensation off the bottom of the bowl so that no water gets into the egg whites. This can keep them from whipping up properly.)
3. Add the vanilla.
4. Finally, add the butter a stick at a time and whip, whip, whip. (This can take 10-15 minutes.)
1. Whisk together whole eggs, yolks, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a medium bowl.
2. Transfer mixture to a small saucepan. Gently heat the mixture, whisking until it thickens enough to coat a spoon; do not boil.
3. Pour the mixture through a wire mesh strainer into a heatproof dish. Stir in the butter and cover the curd with plastic wrap, pressing it to the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until needed.
Since I made the cake a day ahead, I flash-froze the layers (see notes on Part 2), then brushed on a simple syrup before adding the filling to ensure the cake would still be moist the next day. To assemble, place one cake layer on a cake board or stand. (Don't forget the parchment paper!) For my test cake, I didn’t use a buttercream buffer. In fact, I hadn’t even read about this tip yet. But when it came to the big event, I piped a small layer of buttercream along the edge of the cake layer to keep curd from spilling out of the sides. Pour 1/2 of the lemon curd onto the first layer and gently spread it out. Squeeze extra juice from berries and dot them on the lemon curd. Place second layer on top, gently pressing down, and repeat until the third layer is placed. Next, apply a crumb layer and let the cake chill for another 30 minutes in the fridge. Finally, frost, decorate, and enjoy!