There is a trifecta of celebration cakes that are my go-to’s for occasions with family: black forest cake, glazed lemon loaf, and this lemon cream cake. They are all cakes that we used to buy from bakeries, but if I’m around, I’ll now usually make it. The lemon cake, filled with lemon curd and covered with whipped cream is what we used to get for my sister’s birthday. I’ve made it many times and it’s finally now on the blog!
It is, as the recipe title suggests, a very straightforwards cake – and just as with the other two. When it comes to family celebrations, it’s better not to be too stressed with a pretentious bake. And somehow my family seems to not want for novelty despite having these cakes year on and year out (…maybe because my more creative bakes always need some trial and error!).
This cake is all about bright tartness with plenty of minimally sweetened lemon curd between the layers and light fluffy textures with a lemon chiffon cake and piles of whipped cream. The thing I love about chiffon cake with whipped cream is that chiffon cake stays soft and moist even when cold from the fridge, so it better handles the refrigeration required by whipped cream than a butter-based cake.
(utterly straightforwards) lemon cream cake
lemon chiffon cake
Adapted from Make Fabulous Cakes. It was a fabulous cake, which fit very well in two 7″ round springform pans.
- 140g flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (6g)
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 90g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar, divided
- 90g milk
- 75g (90mL) neutral oil
- 4 eggs, divided
Preheat the oven to 325F. Butter two 7-inch springform cake tins. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper and flour the sides of the tins.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a small dish, rub together 50g of the sugar with the lemon zest until fragrant. Measure out the milk and oil in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, then add the yolks and whisk to combine.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and begin to beat with the whisk attachment until the egg whites are foamy. Slowly add in the remaining sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
Make a well in the dry ingredients, add in the egg yolk mixture, and whisk until fully combined. Whisk one scoop of egg whites until fully incorporated to lighten the batter. Follow this with the rest of the egg whites, folding with a rubber spatula until just fully incorporated.
Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and spread into an even layer. Tap the pans on the counter in order to pop any large air bubbles. Bake for around 25-30 minutes or until an inserted skewer into the centre of each cake is removed clean. Let cool on a wire rack.
Adapted from All Recipes. This makes a very tart lemon curd so I note in the recipe a good time to taste it and add additional sugar as per your liking. You’ll have some extra lemon curd leftover, but that’s not exactly a bad thing!
- 180g (3/4 cup) lemon juice
- 90g granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- 3 large eggs
- 113g (1 stick) butter
In a small saucepan (or, if you’d like to be very careful use a bain marie by placing a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water), whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, salt and eggs. Whisking constantly, place over medium heat and add the butter a bit at a time, allowing it to melt in. Continue to whisk constantly and gently cook until thickened; you’ll know it’s thick enough when the whisk begins to leave lines in the curd. For those that like temperature, look for 165C or higher to ensure the eggs are cooked. Immediately remove from the heat and pass through a sieve (in case there are any eggy bits) into a container or bowl.
While still warm, taste the curd – if you would like it to be sweeter (this makes a rather tart curd as per my tastes), whisk in some more sugar while the curd is still warm and the sugar will easily dissolve. Cover and chill the curd completely.
- 350g whipping cream
- ~3 tbsp whole milk
- optionally to garnish: another 100g whipping cream and lemon slices
Whip the 300g of whipping cream until just stiff, and add a couple tsp or so of sugar to sweeten to taste. Transfer a dollop of cream to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip ~1.5cm in diameter; leave most of the cream in the bowl.
Slice the two cakes in half. Place one piece down on a plate or turntable and brush the cut side with milk (this helps make the cake extra extra moist). Pipe a ring of cream on the top of the cake, around the edge to create a border. Fill with centre with lemon curd. Repeat two more times with the next two cake layers. Then place the final, fourth layer of cake on top. Covering the top and sides of the cake with the remaining whipped cream.
For garnish, whip 100g of whipped cream with 1 tsp of sugar (I find this helps keep the cream smoother for piping purposes) and transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large french star tip and pipe swirls of cream around the edge of the cake. Garnish with lemon slices.
Chill the cake completely, at least a few hours, so the lemon curd has time to firm up to make for tidier slicing. I think this cake is even better the next day once the moisture has had time to equilibrate between the lemon curd, cream and cake – it makes for a super moist cake (and slices super cleanly too!).
Updated Sept 2022.