This month has been so full of things for us to do for the wedding, that I have not had very much time to pay attention to the blog, which is very sad for me because this is my relaxation and fun! This last week was most definitely a fun one so I was so excited to be able to top it off with a cake that I have been waiting to make! Since the wedding is only a mere three weeks away, we have all been trying to cut sugar out of our diet; so this was a nice little last hurrah. Unfortunately for me that means no blogging until after the wedding because you simply cannot have a delicious dessert without some sugar added and you simply cannot bake something and not try it.
The best activity of the week was my bridal shower that my mom and sisters threw me. One thing my family has always loved to do is go all out for any type of party. Which typically means spending three days before, preparing and making food, making our own decorations, and then setting everything up in a decorative manner. They put so much time into making this shower one that would entertain, surprise, and impress and it did just that! We made adorable cupcakes with frosting flowers on top, with bride-groom toppers that my sister had found. They also made a crudite, huge fruit platter, lettuce cups filled with italian chicken salad pasta, and homemade angel hair biscuits topped with homemade strawberry preserves. It was a perfect party!
Another exciting thing that went on this week was Kyle and I invested in our first camera! We got a Canon Rebel t2i and we absolutely love it! I usually am forced to use either my mom or my sister's camera for my blogs, so I am so excited to be able to use my own and not have to borrow! My hope is that when we move into our apartment, I'll be able to make a "foodie" corner of our house that is specific for my blog pictures, and that is able to give different backdrops. If anyone has any ideas of how to make a sturdy backdrop that let's in natural light please share, because as of right now I have none.
I was so excited about making this cake because lemon has to be one of my favorite cake/cupcake flavors. I love how light lemon cake tastes and how you could pair it with virtually any other fruit that can be tossed into a cake. Another thing that I loved about the idea of this cake was the lemon curd filling. I have always been too weary to make homemade lemon curd, due to the egg yolks that have to be tempered, but surprisingly it was simple, fun, and a 2-step process. I think that the only other thing that I would do differently next time would be to do either a vanilla buttercream, or a lemony cream cheese frosting. I say this only because the sweetness of the buttercream, lemon curd, and cake all at once is a little much for me. BUT I think I may have been the only one bugged by this, so if you love a sweet cake then the buttercream is most definitely the way to go!
My favorite thing about this cake is when you cut into it. There is nothing more exciting then cutting into a cake and expecting just a cake, but instead getting a cake that looks stunning on the inside. It just makes it taste that much better! The reason that I did not add blueberries to the center layer is because I loved the off-set look that it gave it. It's something you would not expect when cutting into a cake and that is why I chose to do it that way. You could easily add blueberries to the center layer. I was a little weary at first doing a cake from scratch, because every time I have done that, they seem dry and crumbly. But to my surprise, this cake was so moist and dense!
Triple-Lemon Blueberry Cake
yields three 8" round layers
Adapted from Sweetapolita
for the cake:
2 cups plus 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
juice of half a lemon
zest of half of lemon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare the three 8" round cake pans by lining the bottom with parchment paper; butter and flour the pans as well. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture to a larger bowl. Add the blueberries and toss to coat them. This is to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake. Set the rest of the flour mixture and blueberries aside.
Stir milk, yogurt, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale yellow and very fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, on low, until well combined. Mix in the flour alternately with the milk mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. If you are doing a cake without blueberries, pour a little over one third of the batter into the prepared pan. Gently fold in the blueberries and equally divide the rest of the batter into the two pans. If you are doing all three cakes with blueberries, then gently fold in the blueberries and divide equally among the three pans.
Bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake, about 25 minutes. Cakes will be very sticky and appear wet, but as long as the center comes out clean then they are done. Cool cakes in the pans for about ten minutes, then invert onto racks until completely cool.
**If you are not fond of blueberries you could substitute raspberries or blackberries **
for the lemon curd:
adapted from martha stewart
6 large egg yolks
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup lemon juice
12 tablespoons sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine. Set over medium heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, making sure to stir sides and bottom of pan. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter, one piece at a time, stirring with wooden spoon until consistency is smooth.
Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of curd to avoid a skin from forming; wrap tightly. Let cool, refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 2 hours.
**If you do not want lemon curd you could substitute any jam or jelly. You could also 2x the frosting and add that**
for the lemon buttercream frosting:
yields enough to frost outside of a three layer 8" round cake
1 cup unsalted butter, completely at room temperature
zest of half of lemon
6 cups confectioners sugar
juice of one medium lemon
6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons water
pinch of salt
Cream the butter and lemon zest in a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, about 4 minutes. Slowly add confectioners sugar, on low speed for about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice, heavy cream, water, and salt; beat on med-high for 3-4 minutes until very fluffy.
assembly of cake:
Spread a thin dollop of frosting on your cake stand to prevent the cake from slipping. Transfer one cake layer, face up, to the board. Create a dam around the perimeter of the cake layer using frosting in a pastry bag. Spread half of the lemon curd inside the dam; this prevents anything from slipping out. Top with another layer of cake, face up; repeat steps above. Place the last layer, face down. Spread a thin layer (crumb coat) of the Lemon Buttercream over tops and sides of cake. Smooth with a palette knife or bench scraper to make a smooth finish. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the frosting set. Once chilled, using the same method, frost the cake with a generous layer of frosting, continuing to smooth as you go. For the ruffled border, add frosting to a pastry bag with tip (I used Wilton #125), and with the skinny end facing out, use back and forth/up and down motion to create ruffles.