Last month I was able to spend a week visiting my mom in Colorado. The drive out there was a series of unfortunate events that included a malfunctioning car, heavy snowstorms, and massive construction delays, but it was definitely worth the trip. My mom had to travel one night while I was there, so with the kitchen to myself, I decided it was time to bake a cake. I love baking cakes that have different types of filling and frosting. While they do take a bit of time, the end result is so delicious and I just enjoy the process of being in the kitchen.
When I was assembling the layers for this Six Layer Lemon Cake I was pretty sure it was going to taste incredible, and it managed to surpass my expectations! The cake itself is soft, moist, and lightly flavored with lemon, the layers of the cake alternate between a light lemon cream cheese frosting and a tart lemon curd and the same fluffy frosting from the middle of the cake goes around the outside of the cake to finish it off. The cake is decidedly lemon flavored without being overwhelming. As an added bonus, the lemon curd keeps the cake soft so the leftovers will be good for several days (assuming it lasts that long!)
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1 tbl. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- zest from ½ a lemon
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 tbl. lemon extract
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream, cold
- 8 oz. cream cheese, cold
- 5 tbl. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2½ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 4 tsp. lemon extract
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1 batch of homemade lemon curd
- To Make the Cake: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 3 8-inch cake pans, line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine, then set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and lemon zest until light and pale in color, about 4 minutes, scraping the bowl halfway through. Gradually add the sugar, ¼ cup at a time beating for 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs one at a time until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Combine the buttermilk, vanilla and lemon extracts in a separate bowl. Alternate between adding the dry and wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing until just combined.
- Divide the batter between the pans and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes. Let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once the cakes have cooled, cut each layer in half so you have a total of 6 layers of cake.
- To Make the Frosting: Add the heavy cream to the bowl of an electric mixer and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, being careful not to overbeat. Transfer the whipped cream to a separate bowl. Using the same electric mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter. Beat on medium-high speed until completely smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar and stir on low speed until combined. Add the lemon extract and lemon zest, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Use a rubber spatula or spoon to gently fold about a third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream until the mixture is evenly blended and no streaks of whipped cream remain.
- To Assemble the Cake: Place a layer of cake on your cake stand. Spoon a small amount of frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a small tip (the style of tip doesn't matter) pipe a line of frosting in a circle around the edge of the cake to serve as a dam for the lemon curd. Spoon some lemon curd onto the cake and smooth to the edges. Top with a layer of cake and frosting. Repeat the layers until all the cake has been used, ending with a layer of frosting on top. Frost the outside of the cake and use a pastry bag to decorate the outside of the cake if desired. Serve and enjoy! Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator.
Adapted from Annie’s Eats