Lemon cake with Lemon Custard Filling and Swiss Lemon Buttercream
1 package yellow cake mix
1 package lemon instant pudding mix
1 tbs. fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon, add to taste)
1 3/4 cups water
3 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350 F
1. Mix yellow cake mix and lemon instant pudding mix
2. Add water, and egg whites. Beat on low for 2 minutes and increase to medium for 3 minutes.
3. Add fresh lemon juice and beat on medium for 2 more minutes, or until all the lumps are out.
4. Pour into two 8 inch circle pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.
1/4 Cup white sugar
1/8 Cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup water
1/6 (or about a fourth lemon, juiced)
2 Tbs. butter
1. Prepare a double boiler by adding water to a small saucepan and bringing it to a simmer. In a heatproof bowl, combine, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolk and water. Add to the dry mixture.
3. Cook over double boiler, stirring occasionally until it begins to thicken. When it does begin to thicken, stir constantly.
4. Remove from heat and add fresh lemon juice and butter. Cover with plastic wrap until completely cooled before using.
Lemon Swiss Buttercream Icing:
4 sticks of unsalted butter (2 cups), cubed and at room temperature
5 egg whites, at room temperature
a pinch of Cream of Tartar
1 1/4 cup regular white sugar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. butter extract
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Prepare a double boiler by adding water to a small saucepan and bringing it to a simmer. In a heatproof bowl of an electric stand mixer, heat sugar and egg whites until the sugar has melted held over the simmering water. Its ready when you rub it between your fingers and cannot feel any granules. This should only take about 4 minutes.
2. Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer fixed with the whisk attachement and whisk on high speed until mixture has cooled and stiff peaks have formed, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the butter, cubes at a time, making sure it is incorporated after each addition. If the mixture is beginning to curdle, it is okay! Just keep whipping and it will become smooth. This is, however, a sign that you are not incorporating the butter after each addition well enough. To avoid any curdling at all, make sure your butter is at room temperature and you are incorporating it well after each addition.
4. Switch to the paddle attachment, Add fresh lemon juice and butter extract and vanilla extracts. Mix to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes.
I really like to use a swiss buttercream; especially for a lemon cake because it is lighter and less sweet than a normal buttercream frosting. Since there is no powdered sugar, it is just soft, light, and fresh tasting.
If you are going to be using this buttercream to pipe letters, it is a good idea to set aside a little portion and mix in some sifted powdered sugar. This will make the buttercream a little more stiff - perfect for piping words.
The fresh lemon juice in this cake really makes the cake taste fresh and non-artificial. It is extremely moist due to the pudding mix.
For the flowers on the cake, I used gum paste - demo to come in a separate post! It is extremely easy and extremely impressive (two things I love when they are together!).
I also made macarons to decorate the side of the cake using the same macaron recipe as always but adding some pink food coloring. Tip: keep those old store bought macaron boxes - they are great for storing your own home made (and more impressive) macaron shells!