A lemon layer cake
with a sour disposition

I am not a fan of lemon bars, loaves or cakes primarily because I have had too many bad experiences eating lemonish flavored food. The texture and flavor a weird gelatinous material with a slightly sour taste layered on a dry yellow cake is one of my least favorite desert experiences.

In order to shake off my negative association lemons and desserts, I wanted to find a good recipe for lemon layer cake.

I knew I was on the right track when I stumbled on a recipe from Saveur with a description of a lemon infused masterpiece with lemon zest, lemon tart syrup and lemon curd frosting. Yum.

I was unsure how many lemons I needed to make a cup of lemon juice and a little more than ¼ cup of lemon zest. In my eagerness to avoid returning to the store to purchase a few additional lemons, I purchased 24 lemons and only used a dozen for the cake. As a result, I will be drinking lemonade for the next week.

eggsMaking the curd was probably the most interesting part of preparing the cake. Cooking ten egg yolks and 1 ½ cups of butter into a smooth creamy textured created a decadently delicious frosting and potentially a heart stopping dessert.

The cake was light and fluffy, but the rich lemon flavor of the curd made the cake a big success.

My advice to anyone interested in making the lemon layer cake is to make at least 50% more frosting than the recipe recommended.

Here are the ingredients for anyone considering making this tart treat.

For the cake and syrup:
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
2 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for pans, sifted
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp. lemon zest
4 eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

For the frosting:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup lemon zest
1 tsp. kosher salt
10 egg yolks
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract