Lemon Lust Cake

READY IN: 2hrs 30mins




  • The cake: position oven rack in center of oven; preheat oven to 350°; grease the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans; dust pans with flour and tap out excess.
  • Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl; whisk to combine; set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until cream, about 30 seconds.
  • Gradually add in sugar; beat at high speed until well blended and light, about 3 minutes.
  • Scrape down sides of bowl as needed; decrease speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and mixing until blended.
  • Beat in the lemon zest and lemon juice until blended.
  • Decrease speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating it with the milk in two additions, and mixing just until blended.
  • Scraped batter into prepared pans, dividing it evenly, and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
  • Bake cakes for 22-25 minutes, until they are golden brown around the edges and a pick comes out clean.
  • Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes; invert cakes onto the wire racks and let cool completely.
  • The filling: in a bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream at high speed until firm peaks form; transfer the whipped cream to a smaller bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
  • In the same mixer bowl (no need to wash it), using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until very creamy, about 2 minutes.
  • On low speed, beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Add the lemon curd and beat at medium speed until well blended and smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the whipped cream until almost completely blended.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate while you make the syrup and buttercream.
  • The syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the water, lemon juice, and sugar; bring to a boil over med-high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar; remove the pan from the heat and set aside at room temperature.
  • The buttercream: in a bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until cream and light, about 2 minutes.
  • At medium speed, gradually add the lemon curd, a large spoonful at a time, then add the salt and beat at med-high speed until creamy and light, about 1 ½ minutes; set aside at room temperature while you assemble the cake.
  • Assemble cake: using a long serrated knife, trim off the domed tops of the cakes so that they are even; cut each cake horizontally into 2 layers; reserve one of the flat bottom layers for the top of the cake.
  • Place another layer cut side up on a cardboard cake round or flat serving plate; generously brush with some of the lemon syrup.
  • Spoon a scant cup of the filling onto the cake and, using a small offset spatula, spread it into an even layer, leaving a ½ inch border around the edge of the cake.
  • Top with another cake layer and brush it with more syrup; top with another scant cup of filling.
  • Repeat with another layer, more syrup, and remaining filling.
  • Brush the cut side of the reserved cake layer with remaining syrup; place the layer cut side down on top of the cake.
  • Frost the sides and top of the cake with the buttercream.
  • Serve the cake at room temperature; if it has to be refrigerated, let stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes before serving.