Thursday, June 16, 2011

Strawberry Lemon Celebration Cake



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
3 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 eggs
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

Frosting
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

OR

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.

OR

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.

22 comments:

  1. I would celebrate anything to have a big slice of that cake! Looks absolutely fantastic.

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  2. The cake looks moist and delicious. In the last photo did a raspberry manage to sneak in unnoticed?:)

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  3. Delicious! i totally agree with you that the combination of lemon and strawberries is a winner. The cake looks so edible and your photo of it is so pretty, hope the family saved the last slice for you!

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  4. I like the photo of the one piece ,, we get to see all the lovely layers,, I certainly hope they saved that piece for you!

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  5. I know a lot of folks who don’t eat eggs (they’re allergic, for health reasons, or concerns about animal cruelty). Here’s an awesome site that gives tips on cooking and baking without eggs: http://EggFreeLiving.com

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  6. Berries and lemon are the best combo, and perfect for summer! This cake looks heavenly. Wonderful photos. :)

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  7. Oh my GOSH! This cake is perfect. I just scrapped my dessert plan for tonight and changed it to THIS. Yum. I'm sure our company will love it! The layers are beautiful too. (Question, it looks like three layers, but the recipe states 2 pans... what am I missing?) Thanks for the idea!

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  8. ACK. I forgot that I used my lemons last night. I guess the cake will have to wait for another time. But it is definitely going to be made. Thanks again!

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  9. Yes, there are only 3 layers, I split the 2 cakes in half and wouldn't you know - turned my head for a minute or two and a couple of rascals had nibbled - do you have this problem with your kids??

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  10. What I wouldn't give to have a slice of that cake right now! Not only is it beautiful, but it looks almost too pretty to eat! Oooo cake is my weakness and this one has caused me to gain a couple of extra pounds just by looking at the picture....

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  11. Oh Mary feel free to ship that last piece my way!!!! This looks absolutely amazing and your photos are beautiful! Well Done!!!

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  12. Gorgeous cake, Mary! I am not very good at decorating cakes and making them look pretty! Takes a LOT of concentration and time to make it look half as good as yours does! Great job... Glad you managed to get a picture before that last slice disappeared! Thanks for sharing :)

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  13. What a gorgeous looking cake Mary! I am wanting me a slice of that for breakfast! xxoo

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  14. that combines my two favorite flavors in a sweet and rich dessert! That cakes looks so moist i bet it just falls right off the fork. Oh how i wish I had a piece of that right now!

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  15. Yum! I love strawberries and lemon and love them even more combined! This cake looks awesome! I'm always impressed by good looking cakes. Nicely done!

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  16. This is a wonderful celebration cake! Love the strawberries.

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  17. Oh my heavens this looks delightful Mary. I have the last few lemons of the season from my tree. I am going to have to try this.

    Thank you for sharing!!

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  18. This cake looks so delicious. I JUST made something quite similar for Father's Day dinner. Yum!!

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  19. Your cake is beautiful! I love the flavors you infused into it. I can see why it disappeared so fast!

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  20. Oh my gosh, this is the second time this week I've seen a cake like this. Maybe it's a sign that I should make one. Gorgeous.

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  21. Beautiful crumb... just love the idea of this and a beautiful look and presentation

    Delicious!

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  22. I stumbled upon your blog via google whilst looking for a recipe for a lemon celebration cake. Your cake looks lovely and inviting. x

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