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Does not look exactly like I wanted, but I guess it is OK. I made a few cupcakes on the side to have a taste and I think it is a winner taste wise.

  • 226 g cream cheese
  • ¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400 g) sugar
  • 4 large room temp eggs
  • 3 cups (342 g) cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • For lemon curd:
  • ¾ cup (150 g) sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 large egg yolks, beaten lightly
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • For whipped cream:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled overnight in fridge
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the lemon buttercream:
  • 340 g unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract, adjust amount to your liking
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 7 ½ cups (860 g) icing sugar
  • ¼ cup milk, adjust to achieve preferred consistency
  • yellow gel food colouring, optional

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and flour 3 x 20 cm cake pans. Line bottom of each pan with baking paper.
In a medium bowl whisk cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and set aside.
In another bowl mix milk, oil, lemon juice, lemon extract and lemon zest together and set aside.
Beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add sugar gradually and mix for 3 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time to the sugar mixture and beating until incorporated.
With the mixer on low, add the flour mix and milk mix alternating between the two (starting with the flour mix and ending with the flour mix) Mix until combined but don’t overmix.
Divide batter between the prepared pans and bake for 28 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean with just a few crumbs. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely.

For the lemon curd:
Combine sugar, cornflour and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Still constantly until mixture thickens and comes to a boil (about 3 minutes) Boil while stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove pan from heat.
Add half of this hot mix to the eggs while stirring quickly until combined. Pour this combine mix back into the rest of the sugar mix while stirring constantly. Return to the heat and cook, stirring until the curd is thickened and lemon coloured (1 to 2 minutes)
Remove from the heat and stir in butter, lemon juice and lemon zest. Let the curd cool the press plastic wrap onto the surface (this will prevent a skin from forming on the top) and refrigerate.

For the whipped cream:
Beat whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla together until soft peak stage. Don’t overmix.
For the Lemon buttercream:
Beat butter until smooth. Blend in the lemon extract and zest. Add half the milk and icing sugar and mix on medium until combined.
Add remaining sugar and milk. Add colouring if using. Mix at medium speed for a good 5 minute scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl occasionally. Towards end of mixing, turn mixer to low speed for 1 to 2 minutes. (this will help get rid of air pockets in the buttercream) If too thick add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency.

Place first layer on cake board /plate.
Pipe a dam of buttercream around the edge of the cake layer. Fill with a third of the lemon curd, followed by a layer of cream. Top with next layer and repeat step.
Top with the third cake layer. Fill any remaining gaps between cake with buttercream.
Crumb coat with a thin layer of buttercream and chill for 15 min to firm up a little.
Frost cake with a final layer of butter cream, top with any remaining curd and decorate as desired.
Chill cake until a few hours before serving. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe and photo: Dalila De Barros Viljoen


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