April 9, 2012

A happy happy Easter!

by Shelly

We’re taking a quick trip out of town to go to Legoland, but I wanted to share our casual Easter soiree with you.  Very casual, nothing fancy…  just my family (the inlaws stayed in Central California this time)…a yummy ham, and a FABULOUS lemon cake that I’ll share the recipe for. Yummo!

Mason jars filled with pink tulips and gerbera daisies, gingham napkins, silver bunny napkin holders, Easter candy in silver dishes, and my collection of Easter bunnies were the theme for our table this year.

Our kiddo ate SOOO much freaking candy that I thought her head was going to spin off!  By 3pm though…she had crashed into a pool of blankets on the sofa….and so did the hubby and I to be honest!

But the highlight of the day….well in my book that is…was this delicious lemon cake from Martha Stewart that was just perfect for Springtime!

It wasn’t too hard to make and everyone just devoured it!  Here is the recipe should you want to make it for your next event!  Oh, and to make it EXTRA yummy you must add the lemon curd between the two cake layers as described under the “Variations” section.

Lemon Cake

  • Prep Time 15 minutes
  • Total Time 45 minutes, plus cooling
  • Yield Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
  3. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack.
  4. While cakes are baking, bring remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add lemon slices and simmer 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lemon slices to a waxed-paper-lined plate. Stir remaining 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice into syrup.
  5. Using a toothpick, poke holes in warm cakes on rack. Brush with lemon syrup. Let cool completely. Prepare frosting, substituting 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for vanilla extract. Frost cooled cakes and top with candied lemon slices.

Cook’s Note

When making frosting, substitute 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for the vanilla extract.

Variations

To make the recipe Martha prepared with John Barricelli on “The Martha Stewart Show,” follow these instructions immediately before frosting the cake: Place one cake, bottom side up, on a cake stand. Tuck strips of parchment paper underneath. Using an offset-spatula or table knife, spread top with lemon curd. Top with remaining cake; continue frosting top and sides as directed.

Whipped Frosting

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites, sugar, salt, and water. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved (or mixture registers 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until glossy, stiff peaks form (do not overbeat), about 3 minutes; reduce speed to low, add vanilla extract, and beat just until combined. Use immediately.

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