There is only one day a year where you can eat cake for dinner and no one bats an eye. The one day when it’s okay to be self-absorbed and gluttonous. At least, that’s how I approach all my birthdays.
Today marks a quarter of a century for me on this beautiful planet. Twenty-five years of learning, exploring, and stuffing my face with delicious eats. And I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to spend a relaxing day in the kitchen.
For my special birthday treat, I am making Blueberry Lemon Cake. This new test kitchen creation has a fluffy, whipped cream and cream cheese frosting that’s not too sweet. With layers of homemade lemon curd and tender blueberry cake, this cake is perfect for any special occasion. Although this recipe does take some time to complete, it is fairly simple to make, and is well worth the effort.
To get started, preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with softened butter or non-stick cooking spray. Pour some flour into each pan and tilt them around until flour covers the bottom and sides of the pan. Discard any excess flour that doesn’t stick to the pan.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture to your bowl of blueberries and toss lightly. Set aside.
Combine 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup butter in another bowl. Beat at medium speed until well mixed. I used a stand mixer, but a hand held mixer works just as well!
Add 4 eggs, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat at high speed until well mixed.
On low speed, alternate between adding the remaining flour mixture and milk.
Gently stir in the flour coated blueberries, then spread the batter evenly into your floured pans.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pans for 10 minutes then remove to cooling racks. Cool completely.
Cut each cake in half horizontally. This will give you four layers total – two from each cake. Set aside.
Place a whole egg and a yolk into bowl beat with fork. Set aside.
Combine 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3-4 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil and is slightly thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat.
Next it’s time to temper the eggs. Tempering is the process of adding hot liquid to an egg mixture. If you add the liquid too fast, you will scramble the eggs and your curd will be chunky. So by slowly adding the liquid and whisking constantly, you can gradually cook the eggs and they will incorporate into the liquid to form a silky smooth curd.
So while whisking quickly, slowly pour a small amount of the hot lemon mixture into the beaten eggs. Continue until half of the lemon mixture has been combined with your eggs.
Now that we have raised the temperature of our egg mixture, we are going to incorporate it back into the remaining lemon mixture. So while whisking quickly, slowly pour your egg mixture into the lemon mixture.
Return your pan to the stove top. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3-4 minutes or until mixture reaches 165°F and is thickened. Remove from heat. Add butter pieces; whisk until butter is melted. Refrigerate.
Combine cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla in bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add whipping cream, beating until stiff peaks form.
Gently stir in chopped blueberries. Reserve 1 cup frosting by placing into a resealable plastic food bag. Cut off small corner of bag.
Place 1 cake layer, cut-side up onto cake plate. Pipe around the edge using about a 1/3 of the reserved frosting. Spread 1/2 of the lemon curd over cake, staying within piped border. Place second cake layer on top and top with 1 cup frosting.
Repeat layering with reserved frosting, curd and cake layers. Frost cake with remaining frosting.
This cake is as tasty as it is beautiful. I hope you try Blueberry Lemon Cake for your next birthday or family get-together, and be sure to let us know how you liked it!
Rebecca is a Product Specialist in the Land O'Lakes Test Kitchen.