Growing up one of my favorite cakes was a simple yellow cake with lemon filling and whipped cream frosting. The tender cake filled with a bright, tangy lemon filling and topped with whipped cream is delicious and makes me think of Spring. This Easter I decided to make this cake and it brings back such wonderful memories of my Mother and childhood. My Mom used lemon pie filling, you know the kind that came in a box like pudding and had that yellow hard candy type thing, I guess it was lemon flavoring. I amped this cake up a bit by using the genius recipe on Food52 from Tartine bakery’s cookbook for lemon cream. This lemon cream or curd is wonderful, and is made in your blender. I love it, it’s so creamy, easy and delicious. The whipped cream frosting is from James McNair’s Cakes, what I love about it is that the whipped cream is stabilized using a cornstarch pudding. If you have ever made whipped cream frosting you know it can break down after a short time, this will not. This recipe was a revelation and I use it all the time. The cake recipe is from my Mom, it is the best yellow cake recipe IMHO, it took her quite some time and a lot of testing to finally come up with this recipe and it’s a keeper. The cake is like a cross between a regular yellow cake and chiffon, there is no butter used in the cake only vegetable oil and to make the cake light and airy you fold in the whipped egg whites, it’s so light and the crumb is just perfect. Thanks Mom for a great recipe. Happy Easter to all of you, I hope you have a wonderful day!
Recipe for Tartine Bakery’s Lemon Cream
Makes about 2 1/2 cups (625 ml)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (5 oz/155 ml) lemon juice (Meyer or regular)
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup (6 oz/170 g) sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup (8 oz/225 g) unsalted butter
Pour water to a depth of about 2 inches into a saucepan, place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer.
Combine the lemon juice, whole eggs, yolk, sugar, and salt in a stainless steel bowl that will rest securely in the rim of a saucepan over, not touching, the water. (Never let the egg yolks and sugar sit together for more than a moment without stirring; the sugar will cook the yolks and turn them granular.) Place the bowl over the saucepan and continue to whisk until the mixture becomes very thick and registers 180° F on a thermometer. This will take 10 to 12 minutes. If you don’t have or trust your thermometer, don’t worry. It should thicken to the point that your whisk leaves a trail through the curd. NOTE: I don’t use a thermometer, the lemon mixture will thicken and coat the back of the spoon, draw a line on the back of the spoon with your finger, the line will stay intact. It took about 11 minutes for mine to thicken properly.
Remove the bowl from over the water and let cool to 140° F, stirring from time to time to release the heat.
Meanwhile, cut butter into 1-tablespoon (15-ml) pieces. When the cream is ready, leave it in the bowl if using an immersion blender, or pour it into a countertop blender. With the blender running, add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, blending after each addition until incorporated before adding the next piece. The cream will be pale yellow and opaque and quite thick.
You can use the cream immediately, or pour it into a storage container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 5 days. To use after refrigeration, if necessary, gently heat in a stainless steel bowl set over simmering water until it has softened, whisking constantly.
Tender Yellow Cake
- 3 large eggs separated and at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup sugar divided
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbs vegetable oil (I use canola)
- 1 cup whole milk (1 or 2% work also)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Line your pans with a parchment round, butter the bottom of the pan, lay the parchment then butter again on bottom and sides and then flour the pans.
Beat egg whites until frothy then add 1/2 cup of the sugar (reserving the rest) a tablespoon at a time until egg whites are stiff and glossy
Sift flour, remaining 1 cup sugar, baking powder and salt into large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. If using a stand mixer use the paddle attachment.I actually prefer to use my hand held mixer for this recipe. Add the oil, 1/2 cup of the milk and the vanilla. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed, mixture will be quite thick.
Add the egg yolks and remaining milk and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Fold in the egg whites.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans dividing evenly, bake for 30-35 minutes. Cake will be golden brown. Be careful not to overbake start checking the cake at 25 minutes. Cake tester will come out clean.
Let cool in pans for 10 minutes then turn out onto cooling rack remove parchment and cool completely before frosting.
Whipped Cream Frosting:
From James Mcnair’s Cakes
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 cups Heavy whipping cream Divided
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- Place metal bowl and wire whisk beater or beaters in freezer to chill.
- In a small saucepan combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch whisk until mixed. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup heavy cream whisk until smooth. Place on medium heat and stir constantly to prevent scorching at the bottom stir constantly until mixture thickens and almost comes to a boil. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and set aside stirring occasionally until it reaches room temperature.
- In the chilled bowl combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream and the vanilla beat with the chilled whisk of your stand mixer or your hand held mixer until the cream begins to hold shape. While still beating add the powdered sugar mixture a little at a time. Beat just until the mixture forms stiff peaks when the beater is raised and is spreadable, be careful not to over beat. Use immediately.