[I could not find this recipe on Martha's website to link to, although there are lots of recipes for lemon curd, sour cream cakes, and frosting so you could probably poke around there and figure something out. Here's why I don't include the recipes in my posts.]
I love just about anything baked with lemon and this cake is certainly no exception. It’s wonderful. It’s also very, very lemony. So if you don’t like tartness in general or lemon in particular, you may come to a very different conclusion.
Sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, other cake ingredients. What’s not to love.
The batter was very easy to make and lovely to work with.
And it baked up perfectly! I’m sorry I didn’t get a shot of the baked cakes.
Each of the two cakes is halved, yielding four layers.
Some of that mind-blowing lemon curd goes in between each layer. The curd is the only thing between each layer of cake.
The frosting is a lemon version of the MSBH’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream. This frosting – the Swiss Meringue Buttercream – is an absolute dream to work with. Making it gets a little involved but you end up with the fluffiest, creamiest, smoothest, most wonderful frosting. To make this lemon version, you just add some of the lemon curd and stir it all together.
A crumb layer of frosting is applied and the cake is chilled before the final frosting is applied.
The recipe does not talk about this but once all the frosting was applied, I used a clean offset spatula dipped in hot water to smooth the frosting, making it look a little more “finished.” I think I learned about this from one of Martha’s baking videos, although I don’t remember exactly. You just lightly drag the wet spatula over the frosting. Wipe it off before dipping it back in the water but leave it wet to drag across the frosting.
The recipe then instructs you to use the remaining lemon curd to decorate the cake. It says to use a parchment paper piping tool but I knew that would be far, far beyond my ability. I opted for a plastic Ziploc bag. I think the parchment paper tool would have created better looking decorations, certainly. And I will use one before this project is over. But this cake was not the cake for that, you guys. This cake was not the cake.
The use of layered pieces of parchment paper to shield your cakestand while decorating is a tip I definitely remember getting from one of Martha’s videos and she also mentions it in the MSBH. It’s so brilliant. You just slip the paper out when finished and voila, the cakestand is clean and tidy without having to transfer the cake from somewhere else.
The decor is amateurish but I still kind of like it.
Per the instructions, you make a double batch of lemon curd for this cake but I had nearly 2 cups leftover. I think you could get away with making just 50% more. Not that I minded having extra…
Okay, so like I said this cake is amazing. The cake part is moist and delicious, the curd is beyond-a-doubt incredible, and the frosting will knock your socks off. It also looks lovely and held up well for several days. It is quite lemon-y and I can see some people being overwhelmed by the tartness that comes through in every bite. But those people should just get over it and love this cake for all that it is. Another delightful summer dessert that will surely impress a cookout crowd or picnic companion.