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A light dessert perfect for spring and summer get togethers

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Triple Layer Lemon Cake with Strawberry Filling

The spring season is well upon us and as we look forward to warmer months, we start to trend toward lighter foods, cooler beverages and desserts that are less intense.  If you live in California and you love going to farmer’s markets as much as I do, then you have probably noticed the abundance of Central Coast strawberries making their way onto the market tables. I love simple desserts. If I was given a choice between a slice of dense chocolate cake or a bowl of fresh summer berries drizzled with crème fraise, I would choose the berries. Having said that, I realize not everyone at your table will feel satisfied with just a ramekin of berries and cream. For that reason, I offer you the following compromise. Enjoy! –Tpum

Mise en place:

Equipment:

3 round cake pans. Commercial grade aluminum pans work the best as they distribute the heat evenly. Parchment paper, rubber spatulas, stand up or hand held kitchen mixer, wire rack, offset spatula.

4 ½ cups all-purpose flour (APF)

3 cups sugar

1 ½ Tbsp. baking powder

1 Tbsp. lemon zest

2 cups whole milk

¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from the one you just zested)

¾ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature

2 tsp. real vanilla extract

3 eggs

Lemon – about 10 medium slices

 

Strawberry filling:

You may use a prepared strawberry fruit spread like preserves, but I recommend using fresh berries to make a simple strawberry sauce.

 1 cup fresh strawberries hulled and halved.

1 cup sugar

½ cup of water or better yet, use a fruit juice like apple in place of the water.

 Lemon frosting:

 ½ cup of unsalted butter

4 cups of powdered sugar

¼ cup lemon juice

1 ½ tsp. vanilla

 

Let’s begin. Preheat your oven to 350 or gas mark 4. Spray your cake pans with baking spray and set them aside. *Chef’s tip: Buy yourself some parchment paper. Trust me, you’ll be happier. Cut a circle the same size as your round pan. After a light spray on the sides and bottom of your pans, line the bottoms with the parchment cut-outs. Next step:

 In a large bowl (or use a stand up kitchen mixer), combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and lemon zest. Add the milk, lemon juice, butter and vanilla and mix on a low speed until combined. At this point you can set the mixer speed on high for about 2 minutes. Now add the eggs and mix on high again for an additional 2 minutes making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula. Pour 1/3 of your cake batter into each of the 3 pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes. After about 15 minutes, rotate each pan half way to ensure even baking. Bake for the remaining amount of time or until a inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove and let the pans cool for 10 minutes. Invert the pans on to the wire rack and let cool completely before frosting the layers.

 While the cake layers are cooling down, use this time to make your frosting and the strawberry filling. For the strawberry filling, add the berries, sugar and water / fruit juice. Stir to combine and cook on low for about 8 minutes, stirring often and making sure to scrape the sides of your saucepan. { for a nice presentation, add your lemon slices into the pan after about 5 minutes and reserve until the end }Cool the mixture completely. For the frosting, beat ½ cup of butter in a large bowl or again, you can use a stand up mixer. Beat in between medium and high speeds until the butter is light and fluffy. Slowly add half of the powdered sugar (2 cups), beating to combine. Slowly add the lemon juice and vanilla until it too is combined. Continue on with the remaining powdered sugar, beating it until well combined. If you have used a store bought frosting in the past, you are looking for the same consistency. If the frosting becomes too dry, add additional lemon juice until you arrive at the desired consistency.

 At this point your cake layers should be cool enough to begin the cake assembly. Remove the parchment paper from each circle. On a plate or cake platter, add a dollop of frosting on its center point and place the first layer bottom side up. The dollop of frosting will help the cake adhere to the plate. Spread half of the cooled strawberry filling onto the bottom layer and set the 2nd layer on top. Spread the remaining strawberry filling onto this layer. Place the 3rd layer, again, bottom side up making sure your cake is level and that the layers are uniform.

 Frost your cake. If you use a cake blade or offset spatula, you will have more control over the process. Frost the top of the cake first and then take care of the sides. For best results, don’t overdo it with the frosting. This is a “moderation” cake after all and it’s supposed to be light. As with any cake, always use just enough to cover the cake completely and fill in the gaps between the layers. Too much on the sides will result in a droopy looking dessert. For a beautiful presentation, gather up the cooked lemon slices with a pair of tongs and pile them onto the center of your cake. You can also dress with fresh sliced strawberries.  

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3 comments on “A light dessert perfect for spring and summer get togethers

  1. As the admin of this website is working, no question very shortly it will be well-known, due to its quality contents.

  2. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you, However I am experiencing problems with
    your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I can’t subscribe to it. Is there anybody else getting the same RSS issues? Anybody who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  3. I tried something similar but did not turn out as well. Thank you for the remedy.

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