Monday, June 20, 2011

Lemon Pound Cake with Raspberry Buttercream and Whipped Cream Frosting

I’m going to come right out and say it—I don’t like cake. However, I really like to bake cake. When there’s a special occasion coming up that requires a cake, thoughts of flavor combinations, recipe possibilities and decorating options literally consume me.  This lemon and raspberry combination has been on my mind since before Mother’s Day. I can’t remember why but I didn’t get the chance to make a cake for my mom.

Fast forward to last weekend, when Wegman’s was giving away samples of EVERYTHING while I did my weekly grocery shopping. One of those samples just so happened to be a teeny, tiny piece of white cake with lemon and raspberry fillings and a whipped cream frosting. I only took it so I could eat the frosting. Take it from someone who doesn’t like cake—the flavor combination was incredible. Thoughts of cakes I could bake started to float around in my head with a renewed vigor.

Luckily for me, Father’s Day was fast approaching, along with my Grandma’s 80th Birthday. A little Googling and I found recipes for white cake, lemon buttercream, raspberry buttercream and whipped cream frosting. I blocked off time in my weekend to really do it right.

In the end we (my sister and I) simplified a little, deciding to go with what eventually became the final recipe: Lemon Pound Cake with Raspberry Buttercream Filling and Whipped Cream Frosting. Let me tell you (yes, from someone who doesn’t like cake) this was divine, although some of that may have had to do with how beautifully it came out.

You should try this. And if you don’t want to bake it yourself, I’d be happy to do it for you. For a cost of course. I’ve got to get this baking business off the ground somehow :) I also take custom orders. *Wink, Wink.* If you want me to make a cake for your special occasion, or non occasion, I'd love to do it! I could use all the practice I can get!

Happy Birthday Grandma!
Yea, it's recipes like these that would keep me running if I didn't already love it.

**Update!!! Here's what the cake looked like on the inside :)
Wasn't it gorgeous??

Lemon Cake From Ina Garten/Food Network
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 8" round cake pans. 
Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.
Combime the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. 
Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Poke holes in the cakes with the cake tester. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray then spoon the lemon syrup over them. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
Raspberry Buttercream adapted from Martha Stewart Weddings
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 pound (4 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces fresh or frozen raspberries, pureed and strained to make 1 cup

Bring a saucepan with about 2 inches of water to a simmer. Combine sugar and whites in a large heatproof mixer bowl set over (not in) simmering water. and Whisk until whites are warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes.

Place bowl on mixer stand; whisk on low speed until mixture is foamy. Raise speed to medium-high; whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form and mixture is cooled completely, about 10 minutes.

Reduce speed to medium-low; add butter 2 tablespoons at a time, whisking to incorporate fully well after each addition (if buttercream appears curdled, at this point simply beat until smooth). Whisk in vanilla and raspberry puree.

Switch to paddle; beat on low to reduce air bubbles, 3 to 5 minutes. To store, refrigerate airtight up to 3 days, or freeze up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature; beat on low until smooth about 10 minutes.

Whipped Cream Frosting 
highly adapted from Homemade by Holman
2 cups heavy cream
powdered sugar (we used about 6 Tbsp)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chill mixer bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes. Add heavy cream and vanilla and beat (with the whisk attachment) on low speed. Slowly increase to high speed as the cream thickens. Add sugar one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Frost cake, then decorate!

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