This lemon curd cake is everything I'm selling it on: light and luscious! It's based on a simple sponge cake and the texture is so fluffy, light and airy while also being moist. It is then topped with a pillow of whipped cream and swirls of tangy lemon curd.
This recipe comes from my latest cookbook "Scientifically Sweet Occasions"!
It's from the Chapter "Light Summer Lunch".
It's a perfect light and fresh cake that doesn't require layering or any fuss with frosting. Just some whipped cream and prepared lemon curd makes it wonderful! You can make the curd up to 1 week in advance which saves lots of time and planning. I actually find that this cake improves with age so you can even make this cake a day or two in advance! I love recipes that I can make ahead.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Light and fluffy cake - this cake is light as air and so fluffy because I've used a method similar to sponge cake where the eggs whip up with sugar to incorporate lots of air.
- Moist lemon cake - the cake is very moist thanks to thoughtful proportions with the addition of only 3 tablespoons of butter.
- Bold lemon flavour - lots of lemon flavour comes from lemon zest that is heated through the milk to extract all the flavour, and there is also lemon juice in the batter to add some tartness!
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOR LEMON CURD CAKE
This recipe is SO EASY and you can make it all with a bowl and a whisk -- no mixer required if you don't have one!
- STEP 1). Infuse the milk. Heat milk with lemon zest in a saucepan over medium-low heat until just warm then let stand for 10 minutes to really get the most of bright lemon flavour.
- STEP 2). Beat the eggs. Whip whole eggs and extra yolks with sugar until very pale, thick and pillowy. This will take at least 4 minutes and this step is what builds all the air into the batter. Using extra yolks not only helps create a richer yellow colour, but it also creates a richer flavour and more tender texture..
- STEP 3). Combine dry ingredients. Sift the dry ingredients which includes flour and corn starch. The starch will help create a soft tender texture while still ensure that the structure is stable.
- STEP 4). Add liquid ingredients. Mix the lemon juice into the egg mixture, then slowly mix in the cooled milk mixture.
- STEP 5). Add dry ingredients. Finally fold in the sifted dry ingredients until there are no big lumps remaining.
- STEP 5). Bake until it is lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
EXPERT BAKING TIPS
This recipe is a type of sponge cake. It's what gives it a light and soft texture. The high amount of eggs also gives it a lovely yellow colour and rich flavour to carry the lemon taste.
- Measure the flour accurately and resist the urge to add more flour to the batter. The batter is rather liquidy which ensures that it will be moist.
- Bake gently and test with a skewer for doneness. Make sure you don't open the oven door while it bakes at least for the first two-thirds of the baking time to ensure that it sets and bakes evenly without deflating in the oven.
How do I store this cake?
This cake is best stored at room temperature in an airtight container as long it is us not frosted. Once you add the whipped cream or lemon curd, then it should be stored in the fridge.
How do I serve lemon curd cake?
The finished cake is a tall, perfectly even lemon sponge. You can certainly slice it in half horizontally to make two layers, but I love how fuss-free this cake is and it stands alone. A prefer to serve it with a swoosh of whipped cream and swirls of my Small Batch Creamy Lemon Curd.
You can also top it with fresh berries or segments of citrus! In the video I top it with grapefruit segments. Whichever way you choose to top it, it will be delicious. Enjoy!
Light & Luscious Lemon Curd Cake
- ½ cup 118ml milk
- 3 tablespoon 42g unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest from about 2 lemons
- ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp 125g all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon 16g corn starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup 150g granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon 5ml pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon 30ml fresh lemon juice
- 1 recipe Small Batch Lemon Curd
- ¾ cup 180ml 35% whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the base of an 8-inch round cake pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the sides.
- Combine milk, butter and lemon zest in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes to infuse.
- Sift flour, corn starch and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add salt and whisk to blend evenly.
- Combine whole eggs, yolks and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Increase to high speed and beat for 4 minutes until pale, thick and tripled in volume. Mix in vanilla and lemon juice. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour in the warm milk mixture and mix just until incorporated. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture until combined and batter is smooth.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until evenly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, invert to release the cake and allow to cool completely.
- Prepare the Lemon Curd as directed here. Let cool and set completely. You an make it up to 1 week in advance.
- For the topping, whip cream to soft peaks using an electric mixer and spread over cooled cake. Dollop teaspoons of chilled lemon curd over the cream and swirl it through. Serve with extra curd on the side.