A lemon lovers dream. Layer cake that really tastes like outrageous lemon, looks like a vision from heaven and makes everyone’s taste buds very happy. Find out what the secret is!
Loving everything lemon is a career my mom ventured into before I was alive. She takes it very seriously. Lemon pie, lemon bars, lemon drops, lemonade, lemon slices, lemon wedges, lemon cake, lemon cookies, lemon icing, you name it, she loves it.
Loving that citrus is her business.
So when I told her I could make a cake layered with lemon curd and frosted with the most lemony, buttery frosting she could imagine, she was intrigued.
My secret? A lemon juice reduction. Made in a matter of minutes, this fresh juice reduction is a super concentrated lemon bonanza that is added to my frosting. The genius here is that because it’s concentrated and reduced, it doesn’t add a lot of liquid to my frosting. I still end up with fluffy frosting instead of a runny glaze, or a frosting that loses its flavor because you had to add too much confectioners’ sugar.
I used cake mix, but you can make whatever cake you like. I opted for a simple white cake mix. I really like to bake layer cakes in 7-inch pans (get them here or check out my post about baking in saucepans–yes, saucepans. Here’s why I like 7-inch pans: the inch difference from your standard 8-inch pan gives the cakes more height. So each layer is about 1 big inch tall. That’s plenty of cake to slice into four layers. And a four layer cake is just so impressive. A tall cake is even more impressive!
The frosting is my standby Fluffy Vanilla Frosting. I take about a 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice, simmer it in a saucepan until it has evaporated, and reduced to about 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons. Let that cool and add it to the butter as you start to make the frosting. I added a bit of extra confectioners’ sugar because of the extra citrusy liquid.
Color the frosting with a little yellow food coloring if desired. I piped a simple design on mine, inspired by Sweetapolita’s lemon blueberry cake. Easy easy. Oh you’re going to love it!
- 1 recipe Fluffy Vanilla Frosting
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¾ cup confectioners sugar
- Yellow food coloring
- 1 white 2-layer cake
- ¾ cup lemon curd
For the frosting: Reduce the ½ cup lemon juice to 3 tablespoons by simmering it and letting it evaporate. This will concentrate the flavor. Cool the reduction to room temperature.
Make Fluffy Vanilla frosting but mix the lemon reduction into the butter before adding the confectioners sugar. Add the extra ¾ cup confectioners sugar at the end. Tint to desired color with yellow food coloring. Use immediately or store airtight at room temperature for one day, chilled for a week.
For the cake: Slice each cake layer in half to make 4 cake layers. Place 1 layer on your cake plate or platter and top with ¼ cup lemon curd, spread evenly. Top with a spoonful of Lemon Frosting and spread over the curd; top with second cake layer. Spread that layer with lemon curd and frosting and repeat one more time with the third layer. Top with the last layer.
Frost the entire cake with Lemon Frosting. Tint the remaining frosting with more food coloring for a darker hue if desired, and place in a piping bag. With desired piping tip, decorate the top and bottom edges of the cake to finish it.
My secret? A lemon juice reduction. Made in a matter of minutes, this fresh juice reduction is a super concentrated lemon bonanza, that is added to my frosting. The genius here is that because it's concentrated and reduced, it doesn't add a lot of liquid to my frosting. I still end up with fluffy frosting instead of a runny glaze, or frosting that loses it's flavor because you had to add too much confectioners' sugar.
Recipe by Tara Bench
Image from Sweetapolita