This is a cake I have made several times (and also it is my go to lemon cupcake recipe) and I can't believe I have yet to post it. I actually made it and brought it to class for everyone to shoot. I originally made it about one year ago for my dad on his first day back to work after his hip replacement and it was a big hit with the family. My mom really loved it and she even made it herself, and if I remember correctly, it may have been her first attempt at a cake from scratch. For that, I am proud to have inspired her to do so. So, since she liked it so much, I figured why not post the cake for a Mother's Day treat.
Yes, I am an awful daughter and still have her Mother's Day card sitting on my coffee table. I had every intention of sending it on Thursday, but I was preparing for my three wisdom teeth to be pulled on Friday and totally forgot. Since I can't eat food, I'll write about it and since I didn't send her a gift, I'll post the recipe in an easy to find place for her as her gift.
This is a 3-layer lemon cake, filled with a fluffly lemon mousse and homemade raspberry curd, and topped off with a freshly whipped cream icing. I didn't use a standard buttercream because I think it makes the cake too sweet. I was even thinking about skipping the icing all together and just putting a large dollop of the lemon mousse on top. The lemon mousse is so good, I could swan dive into it (seriously)!
Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Mousse Raspberry curd and Whipped Cream Icing:
3 cups flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temp
3 TBSP lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
2 TBSP lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1 cup buttermilk (you can make your own w/ 1 cup milk and 1 tsp of either white vinegar or lemon juice)
1/2 cup (1 stick butter)
12 oz raspberries (frozen or fresh)
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2-3 tsp fresh lemon juice
Lemon Mousse Filling:
4 oz. cream cheese or marscapone cheese (I used cream cheese)
2 1/2 TBSP unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tsp lemon extract (I didn't have this, so I used lemon juice)
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 cup heavy cream
Whipped cream Icing:
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
For the cake:
1) In bowl of mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
2) Add in eggs one at a time, scrape sides of bowl, mix, then add lemon zest and lemon juice, mix until combined.
3) In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In three additions, add dry ingredients, alternating with two additions for the buttermilk. When finished adding final addition of dry ingredients, stop mixer, scrape sides of bowl, and give it one final mix.
4) Line the bottoms of 3 cake pans with parchment paper and grease and flour the sides. I used 9 inch cake pans because that's all I have. You can use 8 inch pans, but you might need to increase the bake time to accomodate for the slightly thicker cake.
5) Bake for 25-35 minutes. Rotate halfway through. Cakes are done when a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool on a rack for ten minutes, then invert pan, remove cakes and let them cool completely before frosting.
For the raspberry curd:
1) Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Add the raspberries, sugar, salt, and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, mashing the berries. Stir frequently, until mixture has thickened, about ten minutes.
2) Remove mixture from heat, pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve, set over a bowl. Press the berries to make sure to get as much liquid out as possible. Cool to room temp, it will thicken as it cools. Stir in lemon juice to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This can be made a few days ahead of time.
For the lemon mousse filling:
1) In bowl of mixer, fitted with paddle, beat butter and cream cheese on medium until smooth. Add in confectioner's sugar, mix at low until combined. Add in the lemon juice and zest until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl, mix once more, then set aside.
2) Put heavy cream in a medium bowl and beat with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Slowly fold the whipped cream mixture into the lemon cream cheese mixture until well combined.
For the Whipped Cream Icing:
1) Beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Mix in the confectioner's sugar and vanilla until smooth.
Place one cake layer on a 10" cake board. Spread 1/3 of the lemon mousse filling on the cake. Place 1/3 of the filling in a piping bag with a large tip. Pipe a circle of the filling around the circumference of the cake (save the rest for the next layer). Spoon raspberry curd in the center of the piped circle and spread it in atop the layer of mousse. (You can view a photo of how I learned about this technique in this post I found on Bake at 350 blog). The circle of lemon mousse will help keep the curd in place. Place the second cake layer on top of this. Refrigerate for about ten minutes to let it set. Remove from the refrigerator and repeat laying the mousse, piping the circle of mousse around the circumference, and filling in with the raspberry curd. Place the third cake layer on top. Refrigerate for about ten more minutes.
Spread a very thin layer of icing around the edges of the cake and the top. This is a crumb coat. Refrigerate to let it set and then remove and continue frosting. By adding the crumb coat, you will eliminate stray crumbs from appearing in your frosting. Use the extra frosting to pipe on edging. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Lemon cake from Confections of Foodie Bride, Raspberry Curd from Beantown Baker, Lemon Mousse from Annie's Eats, Whipped Cream Icing from Pastry Queen cookbook