Le­mon curd but­ter­cream makes the cake

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - KELLY BRANT

There’s no shame in reach­ing for a box of cake mix. Es­pe­cially when said cake will be adorned with a lus­cious, de­lec­ta­ble home­made frost­ing.

This cake is a le­mon lover’s dream. It com­bines stan­dard yel­low cake with a rich le­mon curd but­ter­cream frost­ing. The frost­ing is what makes the cake. Sweet, tart, bright, in­dul­gent and vel­vety, it just melts in your mouth.

De­spite call­ing for a mix, this is not the kind of cake you can make on the spur of the mo­ment. The le­mon curd for the but­ter­cream re­quires sev­eral hours of chill­ing, so be sure to plan ahead. I much pre­fer the fla­vor of home­made le­mon curd, but I sup­pose you could use the jarred kind in a pinch. You’d need about 1 1/4 cups.

On the other hand, if you wanted to sub­sti­tute your fa­vorite from-scratch yel­low cake here, it could only make this cake even bet­ter.

Yel­low Cake With Le­mon Curd But­ter­cream

For the cake:

1 (15- to 16-ounce) box yel­low

cake mix

1 cup wa­ter (or amount called for on cake mix pack­age) ⅓ cup veg­etable oil

3 eggs

2 tea­spoons vanilla ex­tract For the le­mon curd

but­ter­cream:

4 egg yolks

1 ta­ble­spoon finely grated le­mon zest ½ cup fresh le­mon juice 1 ta­ble­spoon corn­starch

1 ½ cups PLUS 6 ta­ble­spoons but­ter, soft­ened ¾ cup gran­u­lated sugar ½ to 1 cup con­fec­tion­ers’ sugar Heat oven to 350 de­grees. Grease the sides and bot­toms of 2 (8- or 9-inch) cake pans and line bot­toms with parch­ment pa­per. Set aside.

In a large mix­ing bowl, com­bine cake mix, wa­ter, oil and eggs and vanilla and whisk by hand or beat on low speed with an elec­tric mixer un­til moist­ened. Whisk vig­or­ously for 3 min­utes or beat on medium speed for 2 min­utes. Bat­ter should be com­pletely smooth. Di­vide bat­ter be­tween the two pans.

Bake 26 min­utes, ro­tat­ing pans half­way through, or un­til a wooden pick in­serted near the cen­ter of each cake comes out clean. Cool cakes in pan on a wire rack for 15 min­utes, then re­move from pans and cool com­pletely.

For the le­mon curd but­ter­cream:

In small bowl, with a wire whisk, beat egg yolks un­til smooth; set aside. In a medium

saucepan, com­bine the le­mon zest, le­mon juice and corn­starch and whisk un­til smooth. Add the 6 ta­ble­spoons but­ter and ¾ cup gran­u­lated sugar, and bring mix­ture to boil over medium heat. Whisk­ing con­stantly, boil for 1 minute.

Whisk about ¼ cup of the hot le­mon mix­ture into the egg yolks. Then, whisk­ing con­stantly, pour the egg yolk mix­ture into the saucepan. Re­duce heat to low; cook, stir­ring con­stantly, 5 min­utes, or un­til thick­ened, do not let mix­ture boil.

Pour curd into a medium bowl. Press plas­tic wrap onto sur­face and cool to room tem­per­a­ture, then re­frig­er­ate 3 hours to 3 days.

To make frost­ing: In a large bowl, beat the chilled le­mon curd, re­main­ing 1 ½ cups soft­ened but­ter and ½ cup of the con­fec­tion­ers’ sugar un­til smooth.

Add the re­main­ing con­fec­tion­ers’ sugar and con­tinue beat­ing un­til light and fluffy. Be pa­tient, this will take sev­eral min­utes.

To as­sem­ble: If nec­es­sary, level each layer by re­mov­ing the dome. Cut each cake layer in half hor­i­zon­tally to cre­ate 4 lay­ers. Place one layer on a cake stand or serv­ing plat­ter. Spread about ½ cup of the le­mon curd but­ter­cream over cake.

Top with sec­ond layer, spread it with about ½ cup but­ter­cream. Re­peat with re­main­ing lay­ers. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the re­main­ing but­ter­cream. Re­frig­er­ate un­til ready to serve. Re­frig­er­ate any left­overs.

Makes 1 (4-layer) cake.

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