Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream


 
Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream. Fruity olive oil cake is filled with a zesty meyer lemon curd, and finished in a semi naked style with a rosemary german buttercream and spring flowers. #nakedcake #oliveoilcake #meyerlemon
Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream. Fruity olive oil cake is filled with a zesty meyer lemon curd, and finished in a semi naked style with a rosemary german buttercream and spring flowers. #nakedcake #oliveoilcake #meyerlemon
Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream. Fruity olive oil cake is filled with a zesty meyer lemon curd, and finished in a semi naked style with a rosemary german buttercream and spring flowers. #nakedcake #oliveoilcake #meyerlemon
Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream. Fruity olive oil cake is filled with a zesty meyer lemon curd, and finished in a semi naked style with a rosemary german buttercream and spring flowers. #nakedcake #oliveoilcake #meyerlemon
Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream. Fruity olive oil cake is filled with a zesty meyer lemon curd, and finished in a semi naked style with a rosemary german buttercream and spring flowers. #nakedcake #oliveoilcake #meyerlemon
Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream. Fruity olive oil cake is filled with a zesty meyer lemon curd, and finished in a semi naked style with a rosemary german buttercream and spring flowers. #nakedcake #oliveoilcake #meyerlemon
Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream. Fruity olive oil cake is filled with a zesty meyer lemon curd, and finished in a semi naked style with a rosemary german buttercream and spring flowers. #nakedcake #oliveoilcake #meyerlemon

Hi! I am super excited to be sharing this recipe today for this super springy Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream! I have a wee list at the front of my diary (planner for anyone in the US), full of all the things that I want to make for the blog. It can be recipe ideas, concepts, or fully written out ideas, depending on how far along in the thought process I am before I write things down. I’ve had “Semi naked cake with flowers” written on it for the longest time, so I am excited to be sharing this with you, and crossing it off the list! Naked cakes came onto the scene a good few years ago now - I love them for how easy they are to decorate, how versatile they are, and how beautiful they look when they are decorated with flowers!

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at an olive oil cake for a while now - I love the flavour and texture that the oil lends to baked goods. After many tries, and a few weirdly domed cakes that looked like Harry from Home Alone’s burnt bald head, I found a combo of ingredients that made a cake that is the perfect texture. It is fruity from the olive oil and a little lemon zest, and then has a beautiful texture thanks to a little bit of cornmeal I snuck into the batter! It comes together super quickly with no mixer needed - even if you weren’t going to layer this cake up, you could bake it off just as one 9” cake, finish it with some icing sugar, and you would have the perfect quick dessert!

I couldn’t help myself though (as per usual), and went all out, turning this into an amazing layer cake situation. I paired the soft cake layers with a meyer lemon curd, which is a little more mellow than curd made with regular lemons, and then finished the whole thing off with a German buttercream, which I infused with some fresh rosemary. I was initially a little hesitant about the rosemary buttercream because it’s a delicate line of a nice infusion and something tasting like hand cream, but it is super subtle, and goes perfectly with the zesty curd and olive oil cake.

The taste of an Olive Oil cake really does come down to the quality of the oil that you use, as it is the main flavour that is carried through, so you want to use a great quality oil that you love the taste of - one that you would have by itself. I used Filippo Berio’s California Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the cake - It is fruity, with a little peppery aftertaste, which makes it the perfect addition to a cake. It is great in baking, but we also use it for eating with bread and oil, and for finishing salads. Fun fact - my childhood best friend’s family owns an organic olive grove back in NZ, so I spent time as a kid sitting in on olive oil tastings, learning all the different flavour profiles in oil!

A few wee tips:

  • I find it easiest to bake layer cakes in three individual layers. I have three of these pans - they are amazing!

  • I put flowers on this cake - ensure that your flowers are either food safe, or you need to wrap the ends of the stems in floral tape so that they can go on the cake safely.

  • I used bake even strips to help stop my cake from doming. You can either use them, or you can make your own like this! They can be a pain to put on, but it made a huge difference in how much cake needed to be trimmed, giving slightly thicker layers.

  • As I mentioned before, make sure that you use a high quality oil in this cake that you love the taste of, or its going to come out tasting weird. Filippo Berio oil is great for this - I love both the California and the Italian for baking where you want the flavour to shine!

  • I used meyer lemons in the curd. You can absolutely just use regular lemons if you can’t get hold of meyer lemons!

  • It will seem like quite a bit of fresh rosemary needed to infuse the milk for the pastry cream. Don’t worry if it seems super strong - remember that it is going to be mellowed out by the pastry cream ingredients, and again by the butter when you whip up the buttercream.

  • If you can, make the cakes, pastry cream for the buttercream, and the lemon curd ahead of time. I like to wrap the cakes tightly in plastic wrap and freeze overnight to make them easy to frost, but if you are making them the same day, just make sure that they are totally cooled. The pastry cream and curd need time to thicken and cool - either overnight, or if you are in a pinch, pop them into a shallow dish, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge or freezer. A larger surface area helps to cool them quicker.

 

 

Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream

- Makes one 6” layer cake -

Olive Oil Layer Cake
300g sugar
300g all-purpose flour
80g fine cornmeal (fine polenta)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
300g Filippo Berio California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
320g whole milk, at room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature
Zest of 2 lemons
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Meyer Lemon Curd
Zest of 3 lemons
180g Meyer lemon juice
135g sugar
8 egg yolks
90g unsalted butter (can be straight from the fridge), cut into small cubes

Rosemary German Buttercream
190g whole milk
20g fresh rosemary leaves
110g sugar
12g corn starch
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
340g unsalted butter, at room temperature

 

- PROCESS -

OLIVE OIL LAYER CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Grease three 6” cake pans, and line with parchment paper rounds.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the Filippo Berio California Extra Virgin Olive Oil, whole milk, eggs, and lemon zest.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and whisk together until combined. Finish with a rubber spatula to ensure that there are no dry parts at the bottom of the bowl.

Divide the batter evenly between the three pans. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans, peel parchment from the bottom, and allow to cool completely. These can be made ahead - store tightly wrapped in plastic until ready to use if making ahead.

MEYER LEMON CURD

Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Combine all of the ingredients, whisking often. Watch the edges of the mixture carefully to ensure that it does not catch and go lumpy, switching to a flexible rubber spatula as needed to help clear the sides of the bowl.

Heat, stirring often, until the mixture is thick enough that when you coat the back of a spoon or spatula with curd, you can drag a finger through it, and leave a clear track. Once it is at this point, continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. It will thicken more when it cools. Transfer to a bowl or container, straining through a sieve if you can see any small pieces of egg, then press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the curd. Place in the fridge to cool completely.

ROSEMARY GERMAN BUTTERCREAM

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk to just shy of a simmer.  Remove from the heat, add the rosemary, stir well, and steep for 30 minutes. Strain through a very fine mesh sieve, and re-weigh the infused milk and top up to 375g. Wipe out the saucepan, and return to the milk mixture to the heat. Bring to just shy of a simmer. Meanwhile, In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and corn starch to remove any lumps, then add the egg, egg yolk, salt, and vanilla bean paste.

Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan.

Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow container or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold - at least four hours, preferably overnight. If you need to speed this process up, you can place the pastry cream in a bowl, then place the bowl in an ice bath, or use a shallow container. Stir frequently.

Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment, and place the pastry cream in the bowl. Whip the mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. It may look curdled at some point but just keep whipping - it will come together! Whip for a further 2 minutes.

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

If the cakes domed in the oven, level them a little with a sharp bread knife. Transfer some of the rosemary buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip - this will be used to make a buttercream dam to hold in the lemon curd between the layers.

Secure one of the layers of cake to a cake turntable or cake stand using a little buttercream. Add about half a cup of rosemary buttercream onto the first layer of cake, and smooth using an offset spatula. Create a buttercream dam using the buttercream in the piping bag by piping a ring around the outside edge of the first layer. Fill in the ring with approximately 6 Tbsp of the lemon curd. Place the second layer of cake onto the first, pressing very lightly to secure, and sealing the joins with a thin layer of buttercream. Repeat the layering process - add half a cup of buttercream, make a dam, fill with 6 Tbsp lemon curd, then top with the third layer of cake - I like to put this one upside down to ensure that the top of the cake is flat.

Coat the sides of the cake by applying a thin layer of buttercream over the surface of the cake, and smoothing with a bench scraper or icing smoother. I gave this cake a semi naked look - so added buttercream to the sides, then scraped off to get my desired look. Smooth the top edge of the cake using an offset spatula.

Add flowers as desired (see notes about making flowers safe to use on cakes), and refrigerate until ready to serve. Remove from the fridge about an hour before serving to allow it to come to temperature.

Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Olive Oil Layer Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd and Rosemary German Buttercream. Fruity olive oil cake is filled with a zesty meyer lemon curd, and finished in a semi naked style with a rosemary german buttercream and spring flowers. #nakedcake #oliveoilcake #meyerlemon

Thank you so much to Filippo Berio for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Lemon meringue pie ice cream pops


 
Lemon Meringue pie ice cream pops - if pie and ice cream had a baby, this would be it. The perfect combination of punchy lemon curd ice cream, pie crumb, and toasty meringue.
Lemon Meringue pie ice cream pops - if pie and ice cream had a baby, this would be it. The perfect combination of punchy lemon curd ice cream, pie crumb, and toasty meringue.
Lemon Meringue pie ice cream pops - if pie and ice cream had a baby, this would be it. The perfect combination of punchy lemon curd ice cream, pie crumb, and toasty meringue.
Lemon Meringue pie ice cream pops - if pie and ice cream had a baby, this would be it. The perfect combination of punchy lemon curd ice cream, pie crumb, and toasty meringue.
Lemon Meringue pie ice cream pops - if pie and ice cream had a baby, this would be it. The perfect combination of punchy lemon curd ice cream, pie crumb, and toasty meringue.
Lemon Meringue pie ice cream pops - if pie and ice cream had a baby, this would be it. The perfect combination of punchy lemon curd ice cream, pie crumb, and toasty meringue.
Lemon Meringue pie ice cream pops - if pie and ice cream had a baby, this would be it. The perfect combination of punchy lemon curd ice cream, pie crumb, and toasty meringue.
Lemon Meringue pie ice cream pops - if pie and ice cream had a baby, this would be it. The perfect combination of punchy lemon curd ice cream, pie crumb, and toasty meringue.
Lemon Meringue pie ice cream pops - if pie and ice cream had a baby, this would be it. The perfect combination of punchy lemon curd ice cream, pie crumb, and toasty meringue.
Lemon Meringue pie ice cream pops - if pie and ice cream had a baby, this would be it. The perfect combination of punchy lemon curd ice cream, pie crumb, and toasty meringue.

Happy happy Popsicle Week! This time last year I had just started my blog and had no clue whatsoever what popsicle week was, or why so many people were posting them all at once. Eventually I worked it out, and spent the week with mild FOMO and low key stalking all the posts. This time around, I was more than ready! This year there are a zillion of us posting popsicles this week! You can check out all of the posts here (there's some amazing ones there already!), or check out the hashtag on Instagram. Big ups to Billy of Wit and Vinegar for doing an amazing job rounding everyone up! 

I've been wanting to make a lemon meringue pie for a while now. However it is currently a million degrees in our apartment, which is the least ideal temperature for working with pastry, so I abandoned that idea, and turned the pie into a popsicle. And it was probably one of the best decisions I could have made. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that these are some of the best things that I have made. It's a big call, but I'm going for it. Kick-you-in-the-face punchy lemon curd is churned with a vanilla bean ice cream base. The mixture is then transferred to popsicle moulds, where it is layered with a pie-crumb streusel situation. Once the pops are set, they are swirled with swiss meringue and torched to toasty perfection. The result tastes like the love child of pie and ice cream. The creamy vanilla ice cream mellows the curd, the pie crumb adds crunch and a tiny bit of salt, and the meringue is just way too fun because who doesn't like burning things. I sent these to the studio with Rich once I had made them, and one of our staff described them as "if an ice cream truck was serving these, I would run down the street after it". I'll definitely take that. 

On the grand scheme of popsicles, these are fairly involved. You have to make the ice cream base, curd, pie crumb and meringue all separately, but trust me on this when I tell you that it is SO worth it. Surprisingly, the meringue lasts in the freezer for a couple of days, so you can store any leftovers on a baking tray. However if you were only wanting to add meringue to the ones you are serving, the ice cream with the pie crumbs makes a pretty epic popsicle on its own. The recipe I have given does make more ice cream than you will need for the popsicles, but I am including the full recipe anyway, because, for no extra work, you also get a tub of lovely lemon ice cream, and some pie crumbs to sprinkle on top!

Ps: The nominations for the Saveur blog awards have just opened up and I would love if you snuck over there and flicked me a cheeky nomination! I'm still young enough for the "best new voice" category but feel free to go for whatever you think is best ;) x

A few wee notes: 

  • The recipe will make more than enough for 12 popsicles, however I only made 6 because I only have a 6-pack popsicle mould. Either way you will end up with extra ice cream - pop into a freezer safe container to go back to once the popsicles are done! It takes no extra work, and you get extra dessert. What more could you want.
  • Because you aren't cooking the meringue it is important to use a method that 'cooks' the egg whites before you whip them - I went with Swiss. Make sure you take it to at least 70˚c / 160˚f.
  • Make sure you freeze your ice cream maker the night before you plan to make these! 
  • I use this popsicle mould! It was kind of spendy but totally worth it after wasting money on a series of terrible ones.
  • The curd and the ice cream do use up a lot of egg yolks - some of this is used in the meringue, but if you wanted you could make extra meringue and pipe it out or spoon onto a lined baking tray and bake off to make meringues! The ratio of whites to sugar is 1 part whites to 1.5 parts sugar, and the method is the same.
 

 

Lemon meringue Ice cream pops
- Makes 12 pops -

Pie crumb recipe from Milk Bar

Ice cream base
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup (135g) sugar
1 1/2 cups (360ml) whole milk
1 Tbsp vanilla paste, or the seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1 1/2 cups (360ml) heavy whipping cream

Lemon Curd
2/3 cup (160ml) lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
2/3 cup (135g) sugar
8 egg yolks
6 Tbsp (90g) butter

Pie Crumb
440g (3 cups) flour
36g (4 Tbsp) sugar
6g (1 1/2 tsp) salt
230g (2 sticks) butter, browned
40g (3 Tbsp) water

Swiss meringue
150g egg whites
225g granulated sugar
 

- PROCESS -

ICE CREAM BASE

In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk well until pale. Set aside. 

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the whole milk and vanilla paste. Warm until bubbles begin to form around the outer edge of the pot. Bring to a light simmer. Remove from the heat.

Pour half of the milk into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Whisk briskly until combined. This will temper the egg yolks and stop them from scrambling. 

Pour the milk yolk mixture back into the pot, and return to a low heat. Whisk constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon, and registers at 170˚f / 75˚c on a thermometer. 

Strain though a fine mesh strainer. Stir in the cream. Transfer to an airtight container and chill for at least two hours, or overnight.

 

LEMON CURD

Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Combine all of the ingredients, whisking often. Watch the edges of the mixture carefully to ensure that it does not catch and go lumpy. 

Heat until the mixture is thick enough that when you coat the back of a spoon with curd, you can drag a finger through it, and leave a clear track. Transfer to a bowl or container, then transfer to the fridge to cool completely.

 

PIE CRUMB

Preheat the oven to 350f/180c. Line a baking tray with silpat or parchment paper. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar and salt until well mixed. Add the butter and water and mix on low until clustered. 

Spread the mixture on the tray, and bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Break up into smaller clumps during the baking process. Remove from the oven and allow to cool (it will firm up a lot during cooling). Store in an airtight container until ready to use

 

ASSEMBLY

Add the ice cream base to the bowl of your ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. After 5 minutes of churning, add in the cooled lemon curd. 

Once the ice cream is churned, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round tip, or with the end cut off. Fill your popsicle molds 1/3 of the way, then add a tablespoon of the pie crumb to each mold. Use the back of a spoon to lightly mix the crumb and ice cream. Repeat this process with the next 1/3 of the mold, then top off with ice cream. Place sticks into the pops and place in the freezer to harden, at least 2-3 hours. 

Once you are ready to serve the pops, run each mold under hot water for a few seconds to help release. Transfer the pops to a lined baking tray and place back into the freezer for a further 20-30 minutes while you make the meringue.

To serve, spread meringue on the top 2/3 of the pop using an offset spatula. Torch lightly using a blowtorch. Serve immediately. Torched pops are best eaten straight away, but will last for a few days in the freezer on a lined baking tray.

 

SWISS MERINGUE

Measure the egg whites and granulated sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer or other heatproof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the mixture, whisking often and watching the edges carefully, until it no longer feels gritty when rubbed between your fingers, and it registers at least 70˚c / 160˚f on a thermometer. 

Carefully transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, approximately 5-6 minutes. 

Lemon Meringue pie ice cream pops - if pie and ice cream had a baby, this would be it. The perfect combination of punchy lemon curd ice cream, pie crumb, and toasty meringue.

Triple Lemon Cake


 

Are you a new years resolution person? I used to be. I would carefully make myself a secret list, and then would head into the new year with great intentions and expectations, only to of course drop the ball about mid February (about the same time the gym starts to empty out after the January 'resolutioners' rush), and end up disappointed in myself. I tend to be way way too hard on myself, and end up working myself up into a big mess. This year I'm just going to try and do more of the things that make me happy. Which involves staying in on a Saturday if I want to (who are we kidding here, thats not an uncommon occurrence), and spending all day crocheting endless piles of wool while binge watching terrible shows when the need strikes. It also involves dinner parties on a Friday (possibly my favourite activity in the world), making more things, worrying less about what people think, and concentrating more on what I want. (Maybe I am still a resolution person?) I have also set myself a little goal of making an attempt to be more on time for things. I hate rushing, and somehow always end up putting myself in a situation where I am scrambling to get somewhere on time. I've started getting up five minutes earlier than I usually do, which means that I arrive at my 7am spin class with enough time to not be rushing in stressed. And damn, it is a good feeling! 

This year also involves going a little easier on myself. I feel like the need to not have huge expectations of myself and the inevitable disappointment is even more important now that I live far away from home. It's a really weird feeling living a country so removed from home, and knowing that for at least the next few years, this is where you are going to be based. I've been here for two and a half years, and I feel like I'm still not used to parts of it. It's even more weird when you outstay lots of your friends - a lot of them come on one year visas, which then expire, and they head home. It's a very strange cycle of people entering your life, having an amazing time with them, and all of a sudden it's time for them to go home, and you are still here, still doing the same thing, just without those people in your life. It means that there are phases when there are a lot of people around and it is amazing, and then also phases when it feels as if theres nobody left here. Of course there are still friends here, it's just different.

Especially in winter. We all seem to just put our heads down and try and get through winter, myself included. And it gets quiet. It's when it's quiet that the homesickness sets in. I am a HUGE homebody. There's nothing I love more than hanging out with my family. We are all incredibly close knit, and I have a huge extended family who I am very very close with. I always find that during the winter when communication from home is filled with people enjoying the beach and the summer, things start to feel a little weird. Nothing seems exciting anymore, I get really really sick of the cold, and I have this underlying feeling of just wanting to be back in New Zealand. It also just happens to be a solid 25 hours of travel to get home, so it is times like that when the distance really becomes obvious. I usually end up trying to ignore it, and slowly just reverting into a little hole filled with all the things that I can find to make it bearable, followed by a minor meltdown, realising that I am homesick, and then making an effort to snap myself out of it. And then, I rinse and repeat. So this year is about recognising all of this early, and taking the steps to try and prevent the inevitable. We head home in two weeks for a good month at home, which is going to help a lot. 

 I am so, so lucky to have some amazing friends here though who really, really feel like family, and of course Rich, who is everything I could ever ask for. I spent the day yesterday with my amazing friend Jill. She has taken me under her wing a little and made me feel a part of the furniture at her place, and I honestly can't be more grateful. I always feel a little silly when I get upset about being far away from home (I'm 25, time to put on my big girl pants), but sometimes it just happens, and you need your Mum. Yesterday was exactly what I needed - we made pie and fluffed around in the kitchen chatting, then Rich came around for dinner with her and her family. When you are so used to a full noise family, you really miss being surrounded by people and food, and it was the most amazing feeling being back in that environment. 

Cake always gives me a sense of family - I often make it to take to events. There are few things that are more comforting than providing food for others to enjoy. It's what I grew up associating with family. 

This cake was a birthday present for a close friend of ours. The cake within is a dense lemon yoghurt cake that is a favourite of mine (it was the second tier of our wedding cake!) and the layers are sandwiched with punchy lemon curd, and fluffy swiss meringue buttercream which has more of the curd beaten into it, giving it a light and delicate lemon flavour. Curd and meringue based buttercream are the ultimate dream team - the curd uses egg yolks, while the buttercream uses up the whites, eliminating leftover whites or yolks that inevitably get thrown out despite your best intentions. 

This recipe makes a large 8 inch cake, which would do you well for 12-14 servings, so perfect for a party. You could easily halve the cake recipe and bake the mixture in 6 inch tins, yielding a smaller cake. I finished this cake with a texture which came from an icing comb on the edge of one of my cake scrapers, but it would look amazing with a smooth finish, or with a rustic coat of buttercream. This cake actually did end up with a rustic coating - I rushed out the door with it before cooling it properly, meaning the buttercream was still a little soft, and the layers slid around a little on themselves while we were in the uber, making for an interesting re-structure once we arrived at our friend's. I managed to put it back together and gave it a quick rustic finish, and it looked like it had never had a fail! 

 

 

Triple lemon cake
- Makes one three layer, 8 inch cake -

Cake recipe adapted from Life, love and sugar, buttercream adapted from Brave Tart

Lemon Cake
4 cups (600g) All - purpose flour
3 cups (400g) sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Salt
6 eggs
1 1/3 cups (320ml) flavourless oil such as canola
1 1/3 cup (320ml) lemon juice
1 1/2 cups (360ml) greek yoghurt

Lemon Curd
2/3 cup (160ml) lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
2/3 cup (135g) sugar
8 egg yolks
6 Tbsp (90g) butter

Lemon Swiss Meringue buttercream
285g (10oz) egg whites
285g (10oz) sugar
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1/2 tsp salt
900g (2 pounds, eight sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 batch of Lemon Curd, recipe above

- PROCESS -

CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350f/180c. Grease and line three 8 inch cake tins. 

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until well combined. 

Add the eggs, lemon juice and oil, and whisk until smooth. Add yoghurt and mix again until smooth and homogenous. 

Divide the mixture between the three cake tins. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until lightly golden and a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. When you remove from the oven, if the cake has domed, place a clean tea towel over the surface of the cake and press down gently to help smooth the dome. Cool in the tins for 15 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack and cool completely. 

LEMON CURD

Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Combine all of the ingredients, and stir continuously. Watch the edges of the mixture carefully to ensure that it does not catch and go lumpy. 

Heat until the mixture is thick enough that when you coat the back of a spoon with curd, you can drag a finger through it, and leave a clear track. Transfer to a bowl or container to cool. 

Curd can be made up to a week in advance. 

LEMON SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

In the bowl of stand mixer, combine egg whites, vanilla and sugar. Whisk briefly until combined. Place the bowl of the mixer over a small saucepan of water, taking care that the water does not touch the bowl. Turn the heat to medium. 

Whisking occasionally to prevent the egg white cooking, bring the egg mixture to 150f/65c. Place the bowl back onto the mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip on high speed until the mixture has doubled in volume and is completely cool. Feel the outside of the bowl with your hands - there should be no trace of heat left (this is especially important for the next step to ensure that the butter does not melt when you add it). Cooling may take up to 20 minutes. 

Once the bowl is cool, with the motor running, add the butter one chunk at a time, incorporating well between each addition. If the mixture looks curdled/melted, do not worry, just continue whipping, it will come together! Add the lemon curd and beat well to incorporate. 

ASSEMBLY

Using a sharp bread knife, level the cakes so that the tops are flat. On a turntable or cake stand, place the first layer of cake. Spread a thick layer of buttercream over the surface and smooth with an offset spatula. Use the spatula to make the outer edge slightly higher than the middle, to help enclose the curd.. Alternatively, fit a piping bag with a round tip, and pipe a "dam" around the edge of the cake to help keep in the curd. Spread a generous layer of curd (approx. half of what you have remaining) over the surface of the buttercream. Stack the next layer on, and repeat the buttercream and curd steps. Stack the final layer of cake on. Crumb coat the cake (a thin smooth layer of buttercream all over) using an offset spatula and/or icing scraper, and then rest in the fridge for 30 mins to an hour to set. 

Spread a layer of buttercream all over the cake, and finish with your desired texture. (I used a frosting comb). Decorate, if desired, with more lemon zest. 

If you are transporting the cake, give it a decent amount of time in the fridge so that the buttercream can completely set.