American Kitchen Classic Lemon Cake

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Total Time
1hr 40mins
Prep
1 hr
Cook
40 mins

A thoroughly modern version of a traditional sponge cake, this lemon flavored creation is perfect for entertaining or special occasions.

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Ingredients

Nutrition

Directions

  1. Premake the lemon curd - Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, zest, and salt in a 4-qt. saucepan. Add yolks, and whisk until smooth; stir in juice.
  2. Stirring often, bring to a boil over medium heat; cook, stirring constantly, until very thick, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, and transfer to a bowl; chill the lemon curd.
  3. When ready to bake - Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Butter and flour two 9″ cake pans, and set aside.
  5. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside. Whisk together milk and vanilla in a bowl; set aside.
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and zest on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  7. On low speed, alternately add dry ingredients in 3 batches and wet ingredients in 2 batches. Increase speed to high and beat until batter is smooth, about 5 seconds.
  8. Divide batter between prepared pans, and smooth top with a rubber spatula; drop pans lightly on a counter to expel any large air bubbles.
  9. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cakes cool for 20 minutes in pans; invert onto wire racks, and let cool.
  10. Using a serrated knife, halve each cake horizontally to produce four layers; set aside.
  11. Bring remaining sugar and juice to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Remove from heat, and set syrup aside.
  12. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat butter and 1/4 of the chilled lemon curd on medium-high speed until fluffy and smooth, about 1 minute. Add half the remaining curd, beating until smooth, and then add remaining curd and vanilla. Increase speed to high; beat frosting until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  13. When ready to assemble - Place one cake layer on a cake stand, drizzle with 2 tablespoons syrup, and spread with 3/4 cup frosting; top with another cake, drizzle with 2 tablespoons syrup, and spread with 3/4 cup frosting.
  14. Place another cake over the frosting, drizzle with 2 tablespoons syrup, and spread with 3/4 cup frosting; top with remaining cake, and drizzle with remaining syrup.
  15. Cover top and sides with remaining frosting; chill cake to firm frosting. Serve at room temperature.