This time of the year is just jam packed full of celebrations. We've had Birthdays, Confirmations, Graduations and Father's Day is just around the corner. All these celebrations demand desserts - at least for my family which has a very strong sweet tooth.
When I think of summer desserts I tend to lean towards berries and lemon. Just the idea seems to make the sun come out. I have a great fondness for strawberries, I must say the British strawberries are just out of this world! I can't have a strawberry at this time of year without thinking of Wimbledon and the Queen!
I thought I would put it all together and make a lemon cake oozing with icing and covered in berries - this was the result. You would think by now my family would have learnt the rules of food blogging - only eat AFTER the picture has been taken - but no - by the time I found my camera there was only one piece left.
Here's what you'll need for a slice of summer,
8 oz unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups of sugar (I used Sucanat to produce a golden color)
Zest of a lemon
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 generous teaspoons of baking powder
3/4 cup of buttermilk
Juice of a lemon
3 tablespoons of butter (at room temperature)
1 1/2 cups of confectioner's sugar
1-2 tablespoons of milk
Dash of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
8 oz of heavy cream
4 -5 oz of lemon curd (store bought is fine!)
Heat the oven to 350F
Grease 2, 8 inch cake pans
It really does make a difference to the cake if you let the butter and eggs come to room temperature before you start.
Cream the butter and the sugar together until really light and fluffy. You can't over beat this and longer is better. Add the lemon zest and continue to beat.
Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down between each addition.
Mix together the flour and baking powder.
Add half the flour and baking powder to the egg mixture and gently combine. Slowly add the buttermilk and lemon juice.
Add the remainder of the flour. Don't over beat, just fold in to combine.
Pour into the cake pans and put in the oven. Start checking the cakes after 25 minutes. They should be risen and golden and spring back when you touch them.
When cooked, remove from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the pans and place on a baking rack to cool thoroughly.
Meanwhile make the frosting. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth. It's important to have your butter at room temperature otherwise you will be left with small lumps of butter in your frosting - not nice!
You may need to add a little more confectioner's sugar - or a little more milk - just check as you go along - yum.
Beat the heavy cream until fairly stiff
Fold in the lemon curd gently until combined - that's it!
When you're satisfied with the consistency of the frosting and the cakes are cool, frost the cakes and sprinkle berries all over.