Lemon Velvet Cake
I've made this cake a lot lately....turns out lots of people really like lemon, so it keeps getting requested! I think I have perfected the recipe and as such it's time to record recipe for future bakes!
Cake recipe adapted from Rock Recipes, with addition of lemon syrup soak, lemon curd filling and lemon buttercream. A fluffy yet moist cake bursting with lemony lemonness. You will need 4-6 lemons for all the components, depending on how big and/or juicy your lemons are.
· 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
· 1 1/2 cups cake flour
· 1/2 tsp baking soda
· 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
· 1 tsp sea salt
· 1 1/2 cups sugar
· 2/3 cup vegetable oil
· 1/3 cup vegetable shortening (room temp)
· 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
· 4 large eggs
· 1 1/2 cups buttermilk OR almond milk if you want to make it dairy-free
· 2 Tbsp lemon juice
· zest of one large lemon
A few hours before (or the day before), put sugar in a bowl, zest lemon and rub zest into sugar. Cover.
Grease and flour 3 nine inch round cake pans.
In a large bowl, sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl or measuring cup, measure out the milk and mix in lemon juice. Let sit for 15-30 minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the vegetable oil, shortening, sugar, and vanilla. Beat well at high speed with whisk attachment until light and fluffy.
Beat the eggs in one at a time.
Fold in the lemon zest.
Fold in the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk: Add dry ingredients in three divisions and liquid ingredients in 2 divisions. It is very important to begin and end the additions with the dry ingredients. Do not over mix the batter. As soon as it has no lumps in the batter, pour into the three prepared 9 inch cake pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 22 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. While cakes are baking, prepare lemon syrup:
· ½ cup lemon juice
· 2 Tbsp lemon zest
· ½ cup sugar
· 1 tsp vanilla
Bring to a boil in small pot. Cool slightly.
When cakes are done, cool for 5 minutes then use toothpick to poke holes. Pour half of the warm syrup over warm cakes while still in pans. Cool for additional 20 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks and pour remaining syrup over other side of cakes. Cool completely.
Paleo Lemon Curdfrom What the Fork
· 4 large eggs, room temperature
· 6 Tbsp coconut oil
· 2 Tbsp butter (or earth balance for DF version)
· zest of 2 lemons
· 1/4 C honey
· 2 Tbsp raw sugar
· 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
· 1/2 C lemon juice, freshly squeezed ( 2-3 lemons)
Add all ingredients to a pot. Whisk together until all ingredients are combined, while gently heating (on 5 or so). By the time it starts to boil, it should be nice and thick, this takes about 8-10 minutes. Strain through fine mesh sieve and cool in fridge with plastic wrap on surface to avoid skin.
Lemon-Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
· 3/4 cup salted butter OR earth balance for DF version, cool but soft (out of fridge for 30 min or so)
· ¼ cup shortening
· 1 tsp vanilla
· 2 Tbsp whipping cream OR coconut cream
· 4-6 cups icing sugar
· Pinch salt
Beat all ingredients together until light and fluffy. Fold in ¼ of the lemon curd.
AssemblyIf cake layers are not flat, trim them. On bottom cake, spread 1/3 of the remaining lemon curd. Dollop and spread some buttercream overtop. If you have done DF version, skip the buttercream as it will deflate with curd and get soupy, and then cause you no end of troubles. Repeat with next layer and top with last cake layer. Cover with a crumb coat of buttercream and chill for at least an hour. Store buttercream in fridge but take out 20 min before next step. Coat cake with a good layer of buttercream and decorate. Chill to set.
You can also make this as cupcakes, in fact the DF version is better as such, since you won't have to worry about the structural integrity of high-moisture-content buttercream (or lack thereof). Just cut the baking time to about 17 minutes (test with toothpick after 15). For decorating, fill a piping bag with the lemon curd, using a large tip. Now here's where you have to get intimate with your cupcake. Shove the tip into the centre of the cupcake, going about as deep as you figure the mid-point is, and force a squeeze of lemon curd in. The cupcake will resist a bit, but don't squeeze TOO hard, as you will suddenly feel it give and the cupcake will poof a bit. Pull out carefully and go on to the next.
I can't believe I said all that with a straight face. Ice with butter cream and decorate.