Birthday cake time! Not for me but for a very good friend. As I know she loves lemon cake, I decided to stick with a safe and well-trusted recipe that I have done before – Primrose Bakery’s Lemon Layer Cake. I won’t type out the recipe again, as it is the one I wrote a blog on in November for my Halloween Lemon Layer Cake. We were going out for dinner on Friday so the cake had to be made on Thursday after work. Thankfully, it’s a fairly simple cake to make and bake – as long as you get the timings right.
This time, rather than buttering the sandwich tins and lining the bases, I used my trusty Dr Oetker Cake Release spray – it is so easy to use and does the job really well. I think I mentioned it last time, but do make sure you keep an eye on these cakes – you do not want them to over-bake. This time, the cakes still looked slightly anaemic, but were bouncy when touched – this is what you are looking for.
As I was baking this after work, it was quite late by the time the cakes had baked and cooled, therefore, I decided to just do a crumb layer of buttercream icing on the Thursday night. A crumb layer is basically just a simple thin covering of icing all over the cake. This seals the cake and creates a good base for then icing the roses. Leaving it overnight meant that this layer of buttercream had firmed really well and made it much easier to pipe the roses.
The buttercream is best left in the fridge overnight but needs to be taken out of the fridge for at least an hour before using, and then given a really good beat! People are always amazed by rose swirls on cakes and cupcakes but they are really not that difficult to do. This is a good photo tutorial and there are lots of film clips on YouTube. To be honest, the main things are getting the consistency of the buttercream right, a Wilton 2D piping nozzle, steady pressure on the icing bag and lots of practice! I do them quite a bit and I still have days when they just don’t seem to go right!
I’ve attempted this design of icing before and found the sides to be very tricky. This time, I used my tilting turntable (placed on top of a cake tin to bring it up to a good height) and this made piping the swirls onto the cake much easier!
For full cake recipe, visit this blog post.
Filling and decorating the cake
- 6 tblsp lemon curd
- 220g butter, at room temperature
- 1kg icing sugar
- Juice of 2-3 lemons
To make the buttercream icing:
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, juice of 2 lemons and half of the icing sugar until smooth.
- Add the rest of the icing sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Add extra juice, if required to get the correct consistency. Beat until smooth.
- Place the first cake onto your plate / stand.
- Spread 3 tablespoons of lemon curd on top of the first cake and another 3 on a second cake.
- Carefully place the second cake on top of the first cake.
- Place the third cake on top of the others.
- Use a palette knife to spread a thin layer of buttercream icing evenly all over the cake. Leave to firm.
- Fill a piping bag (topped with a suitable nozzle) with the remaining buttercream.
- Start by piping a rose swirl in the centre of the cake, then work outwards and down the sides of the cake.
- Fill any gaps with swirls of icing.