Refreshing Lemon Layer Cake

This is as refreshing as can be for a summer treat or anytime!
While visiting family last weekend we got busy baking some desserts.  My twin grandsons helped with a batch of sugar cookies and my son Chris wowed us with this beautiful and delicious Lemon Layer Cake from "BEST EVER DESSERTS" offered by Cook's Illustrated.  All 3 of my sons and my husband cook.  In fact my husband made one of my Mother's birthday cakes and really WOWED her early on in our marriage.

The twins like to help make cookies with Grandma too!
Ingredients for Lemon Layer Cake:


1 t. unflavored gelatin
1 C. lemon juice (6 lemons)
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/8 t. salt
4 large eggs + 6 yolks room temperature (Save whites for the cake.)
8 T. unsalted butter cut into 1/2" dice size cubes and frozen


1 C. whole milk at room temperature
6 large egg whites at room temperature
2 t. vanilla extract
2 1/4 C. cake flour
1 3/4 C. sugar
4 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
12 T. room temperature unsalted butter cut into 12 pieces


1 C. sugar
2 large egg whites
1/4 C, water
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. corn syrup

Be sure to use two 9" x 2" deep cake pans. 

Picture perfect slices!  
Make the filling.  Sprinkle gelatin over 1 T. lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.  Heat sugar, salt, and remaining lemon juice in a medium pan over med-high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot but NOT boiling.  Whisk eggs and yolks together in a large bowl.  Whisking constantly slowly pour the hot mixture into the eggs, then return the mixture to the saucepan.  Cook over medium low heat stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 170 degrees F. , 4 to 6 minutes.  Mixture should be thick enough to leave a trail when stirred.  Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin.  Stir until dissolved and add the butter and stir until it is melted and the mixture is cooled.  Pour into a container through a mesh sieve.  Press plastic wrap against the surface and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Make the cake.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and adjust the rack to the center of the oven.  Butter the cake pans and fit parchment paper into the bottom of the pans.  Butter the paper and dust well with flour.   Using a 4 C. measuring cup whisk together the milk, egg whites, and vanilla.  Using a stand mixer with the paddle, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until well combined.  Add the butter one piece at a time mixing until pea sized pieces form, about 1 minute.  Add all but 1/2 cup of the milk mixture, then increase speed to med-high.  Beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.  Reduce speed to med-low and add the remaining milk mixture and beat about 30seconds longer.  Give the batter a final stir by hand. 

Divide the batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans.  Bake about 24-25 minutes until testing with a toothpick it comes out clean.  Cook the cakes 10 minutes then remove cakes from the pans and finish cooling on the cooling racks for about 2 hours.  Slice each cake layer evenly in half. 

Place a layer on a serving plate lined with paper around the edges.   Spread 1 C. lemon filling evenly across the layer to the edge. Repeat with the next two layers and top with the remaining last one.  Cover and refrigerate while preparing the frosting.

Make the icing.  Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and place the bowl over a medium pan with 1" of barely simmering water.  Make sure the bottom of the bowl does NOT touch the water.  Whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F.  (5-10 minutes) Remove the bowl from the heat and place back on the stand mixer.  Mix at medium speed until soft peaks form.  Increase the speed to medium high and whip to stiff peaks form and the mixture is cool.  Spread the entire portion of the frosting onto the top of the cake and spread down over the sides of the cake.

Yield 10-12 servings and may be refrigerated up to 24 hours before serving.  It may be helpful to dip a long serrated knife into hot water before slicing.


Myrna said...

That sure looks good. I wonder if I can cut the recipe down. The cake sounds good enough to try.
Hope you are having lovely weather there.

Diane Cosby said...

Thanks Myrna. I sure don't see a problem in cutting it down. Hope you like it as much as we do. Thanks again. Weather here humid and warm but enjoying after so many dreary days! Thanks again. I always enjoy reading your blog too. d