I let my friend choose the dessert since it was her birthday. She chose birthday cake and left the rest up to me. I was excited because I am really into making cakes at the moment. Whenever I am looking for a baking recipe I turn to Martha. I’m calling this Lemon Meringue Cake because it tastes just like it. The frosting tastes exactly like meringue. The cake on its own is amazing and I think it might turn into my go-to white cake recipe. It was really hard to work with though. The lemon curd was spilling out the sides and the top layer was sliding all over the place. I had to secure it with chopsticks. But it was a really good cake!
Lemon Meringue Birthday Cake
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butter at room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Butter two 9 x 2-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Butter parchment, and dust with flour, tapping out excess.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with milk and beginning and ending with flour; beat until just combined.
In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat.
Gently fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining whites.
Divide batter evenly between pans, smoothing with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; peel off parchment. Reinvert cakes, and let them cool completely, top sides up.
Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cake layers to make level. Place one layer on a serving plate, cut side up. Using a pastry bag fitted with a coupler, or a ziplock bag with a corner cut off, pipe frosting (see recipe below) around the perimeter. This dam will prevent the lemon curd filling from seeping out. Fill cake with lemon curd (see recipe below). Place other cake layer on top, cut side down.
Spread entire cake with frosting, swirling to cover. Drizzle with lemon curd if desired.
Seven Minute Frosting
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 cup water, and egg whites. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes.
Attach bowl to a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat mixture on high speed until glossy and voluminous, about 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Use immediately.
Makes 1 1/2 cups
6 large egg yolks
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
12 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold, cut into pieces
Whisk together yolks, zest, juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove pan from heat. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, stirring until incorporated. Pass through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Stirring frequently, let stand until cool.
Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on surface of curd to prevent skin from forming; wrap tightly. Refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 1 hour. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.