I'm a bit obsessed with curd these days (in case you hadn't noticed after last week's Hibiscus Strawberry Curd Tart recipe). While that recipe was gluten free, this cake recipe is for all you lucky ducks out there that can eat all the gluten your heart desires. This recipe is also a bit easier than the tart recipe, as you aren't making the curd. I bought my lemon curd from Trader Joes (you can find it here), and it is divine.
I have found the key with cake baking is greasing the cake pan well, and also knowing exactly when to take it out of the oven. To grease my cake pans, I melt a bit of butter and brush it all over the bottom and sides of the pan. Then I put flour in the pan and knock it around a bit until it covers the butter. I find this helps make for a smooth transfer out of the cake pan.
As for knowing when the cake it done, I always start checking it a little before the timer goes off by looking at it in the oven. With these cakes, I knew it was close once the tops were slightly golden and the cake started pulling away from the sides of the pan. To double check, I poked the cake with a cake tester (or toothpick!), and when it came out clean, I knew they were done. You don't want cakes to overcook, so definitely keep an eye on it starting a couple of minutes before your timer goes off!
Although this cake is not gluten free, I (of course) had to check to make sure it was good before serving it to my friends. I tasted a bit of the cake after leveling the layers, and oh. my. lanta. it's so delicious and moist (I absolutely hate that word, so it's a big deal that I'm using it to describe this cake - that's how good it is). This was definitely a winner with the friends and the hubby, so give it a whirl and let me know what you think!
Lemon Curd Cake with Rosemary Buttercream Frosting
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 2/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 5 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
- Sore bought high-quality lemon curd, as needed (I used almost a jar of Trader Joe's lemon curd)
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 3 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 Tbsp heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 6-inch cake round pans.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- With a stand up mixer or hand mixer, cream butter. Add sugar and whip until smooth. Add eggs and continue to mix on medium speed until incorporated. Add sour cream and mix. Scrape down bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing.
- Add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with milk. Begin and finish with flour mixture. Add lemon juice and lemon zest and mix until well incorporated.
- Divide batter evenly among the three prepared cake pans. Level batter with the back of a spoon. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan for 5 minutes, then run a mini offset spatula around the cake and unmold. Let cake cool to room temperature on wire rack.
- In a heavy bottomed sauce pot, add butter and rosemary. Melt over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 1 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Allow rosemary to steep for 60 minutes until butter is cool to the touch. Strain out rosemary and keep butter chilled in the fridge until ready to use.
- Let chilled rosemary infused butter soften at room temperature before use. Using a hand held mixer or a stand mixer, cream butter. Add confectioners' sugar, salt, and cream. Mix until buttercream is smooth. If buttercream is too soft, add additional confectioners' sugar 1 Tbsp at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
- Fit a piping bag with a small round tip. Fill the bag with about 1/2 cup of buttercream. Set aside.
- Level cake layers. Place one cake round on workspace. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on cake using a small offset spatula. Using the filled piping bag, pipe a small border of rosemary buttercream along the perimeter of the cake. This will serve as a barrier when you are filling the cake with lemon curd.
- Add enough lemon curd to fill the buttercream boundaries. Place second cake layer on top. Repeat filling cake layer with buttercream and lemon curd. Place the final third layer on top. This layer will not have lemon curd.
- Spread buttercream around the cake to create a "crumb coat" layer to seal in any crumbs. Chill cake in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to set frosting. If desired, generously coat the chilled cake with additional buttercream. Chill cake if not serving immediately. Decorate cake with fresh rosemary sprigs. Let cake sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow cake to soften.
Recipe adapted from The Little Epicurean