So I got a call from our friend Ava Rose the other day! Apparently her birthday was coming up (turning 9!!) and she was in desperate need of a lemon cake.
I’d never made a lemon cake before but BUT life is about taking risks and living on the edge amirite?? After some quick research, it seemed that most lemon cakes on the web did not have actual lemon in the batter, but instead were basic white cakes with lemon curd slathered in between– sounded good to me!! This cake seemed to be a recurrent theme in terms of basic cakes- originally called a “1-2-3-4 cake” (for its proportion of ingredients), it’s apparently a classic- so basically I had to try it.
However, the 7-minute frosting was the final factor for me: I’ve been reading about this frosting for a while now and have heard really great things (but I’ve always been too weenie to try it because it involves a candy thermometer!!) BUT life is about putting yourself in life threatening situations like this, yes?? (and what better time to try it than for a birthday cake!)
I’m glad to report back that not only did I survive, but the frosting is actually so so SO good (albeit a bit of work)!! I can’t say too much for the cake as I wasn’t there to taste it but I can assure you that if my calculations are correct it should taste like awesome.
so start out with your softened butter!!
beat it until it looks like the above
beat in sugar
~~artistic milk shot~~
add los huevos one at a time
and add the flour mixture and the milk
until you get this!!
ps dont forget vanilla!!
(ft. chipped holographic nail polish)
randomly scoop out into pans because you are the definition of precise
smooth out so it looks profesh
hmmmMMM what a motley crew i wonder what this is gonna become
mix all ingredients (except for vanilla!)
looks appealing amirite
heat at a simmer over a pot of water until the concoction reaches 140 degrees…
(except not really because i did that and it took like an hour)
(so maybe try medium heat)
then WHIP THE HECK OUT OF IT
AND YOU WILL BE LEFT WITH THIS BEAUTIFUL CULINARY MASTERPIECE
IT TASTES LIKE MARSHMALLOW FLUFF I KID YOU NOT
stack dem cakes
spread some totally homemade lemon curd over the first layer
and the second!!
ps: i lied it wasn’t homemade sorry
and stick on the third!
make sure to stick some wooden skewers in there too so that the layers dont slide around
then frost it with the marshmallow frosting!!
and then cry because the lighting is so bad
and retreat to your bed because baking is stressful
OK ok morning lighting is much better I am feeling relieved
don’t forget to sprinkle some silver dragees on top because the theme of the party is silver
if you’re feeling frisky, feel free to make some letters out of edible modeling dough!
HOW CUTE <3<3
here’s to hoping ava rose had an awesome 9th birthday!! (and thanks for letting me cater!)
This cake gets its name from its proportion of ingredients: 1 cup butter and milk, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups of flour and 4 eggs, and from cupcakes to layers cakes, as a basic, white cake, it does not fail.
Yield: 3 9-inch layers (for the purpose of this cake) or 24 cupcakes (good to know, eh?)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 cups sifted self-rising flour*
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4-inches above counter, then dropping flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (start checking at 15 minutes if you are making cupcakes).
* Self-rising flour has both salt and baking powder in it, but you can make your own at home with the following formula: 1 cup self-rising flour = 1 cup all-purpose flour, minus 2 teaspoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Lemon Curd (if you choose to make it homemade)
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking
8 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 lemons, zest grated and juiced
Place the ingredients in the double boiler over boiling water. Don’t let top pan touch the water. Cook and stir until mixture begins to gel or thicken ever-so-slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate it to thicken.
This keeps, refrigerated, for about 1 week.
Adapted from Joy of Cooking
5 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs whites at room temperature
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts or shredded sweetened dried coconut (optional)
Whisk first five ingredients together in a large, stainless-steel bowl. Set the bowl in a wide, deep skillet filled with about 1 inch of simmering water. Make sure the water level is at least as high as the depth of the egg whites in the bowl. Beat the whites on low speed until the mixture reaches 140 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Do not stop beating while the bowl is in the skillet, or the egg whites will be overcooked. If you cannot hold the thermometer stem in the egg whites while continuing to beat, remove the bowl from the skillet just to read the thermometer, then return the bowl to the skillet, or yell “[Insert your husband/wife/sig-other’s name here]!! Halp! Can you check the temperature of this for me!!!” It might or might not work.
Beat on high speed for exactly five minutes. Remove the bowl from the skillet and add vanilla, beating on high speed for two to three more minutes to cool. Stir in coconut or nuts, if you are using them.
Use this frosting the day it is made.
Assembly: Add 1 tablespoon of filling to the cake pedestal. Run hands along the side of the cake to remove excess crumbs. Place the cake layers on the pedestal, spreading filling between the layers and on top. Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining filling. Frost top and sides of cake with frosting.