Lemon Layer Cake
A luscious four layer cake filled with lemon curd and topped with a Swiss meringue.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 10-12 servings 1x
- Category: Dessert, Cake
- Method: Mixing, Baking
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (I used Knox brand)
- 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
- 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 6 egg yolks, (reserve egg whites for cake)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter cubes and frozen
- 2 1⁄4 cups cake flour
- 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 6 egg whites, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, but still cool
Swiss Meringue Frosting
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- Filling: Measure 1 tablespoon lemon juice into a small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over the top.
- Heat remaining lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot, but not boiling.
- Whisk eggs and yolks in a large non-reactive bowl.
- Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot lemon-sugar mixture into eggs, then return mixture to saucepan.
- Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until mixture reaches 170°, about 4-6 minutes.
- Immediately remove from heat and stir in gelatin mixture until dissolved. Stir in frozen butter until incorporated.
- Pour filling through a fine-meshed strainer into a bowl.
- Cover surface with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm enough to spread, about 4 hours.
- Cake: Preheat oven to 350°.
- Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together whites and vanilla.
- In a mixer bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; mix at slow speed.
- Add butter one piece at a time, continue to beat until mixture resembles moist crumbs and no visible butter chunks.
- Add all but 1 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes.
- With mixer running, add remaining 1/2 cup milk mixture, beat 1 minute more.
- Divide batter evenly between cake pans.
- Bake 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean.
- Cool cakes in pan 10 minutes then remove from pan onto greased wire rack, remove parchment paper, invert again and cool completely.
- Icing: Combine all ingredients in a mixer bowl or heatproof bowl.
- Set over medium saucepan filled with 1-inch of simmering water.
- Cook stirring constantly until mixture reaches 160°, 5-10 minutes.
- Transfer mixture to mixer bowl (if needed) and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes.
- Increase speed to medium-high and continue to beat until mixture has cooled to room temperature and stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes longer.
- Assembly: Cut each layer in half horizontally.
- Spread 1 cup of lemon filling evenly on each cake, leaving a 1/2-inch border around cake.
- Place top layer on cakes, smooth out any filling that may have leaked from the layers.
- Refrigerate while you make the icing.
- Spread icing on cake.
Adapted from Southern Living