As you can see by the candles, this is a birthday cake :)
It's a buttermilk sponge cake with a lemon cream icing using mascarpone cheese. I made this cake last summer using regular cream cheese and it works all the same way, but the sweet creaminess of the mascarpone compliments the sourness of the lemon juice very nicely.
It was my partner's birthday this week and I decided to make him this cake. He's had it before and I remember him liking it a lot so I thought it was a good choice.
Sadly I was looking forward to a lengthier week of cake and a cup of tea after, but the cake was a little too popular to last even a couple of days.
This has easily become one of my favorite cakes in the word, It's the perfect balance of lemon and sweetness and is the perfect cake for a summer afternoon high tea.
For the cake:
- 2 1/4 cups fine cake flour
- 1 1/4 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 buttermilk
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 1/3 cups white sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In another bowl, beat the buttermilk and egg whites with an electric whisk until it forms soft peaks.
In another bowl, rub together the sugar and lemon zest and whisk in the butter and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
Gradually add half of the flour while whisking with an electric mixer.Then slowly add the egg whites and mix again.
Add the rest of the flour, continuing to mix well until you're left with a smooth batter.
Divide the cake batter into two 9 inch round cake pans lined with parchment paper.
(I used spring form pans which makes it easier to remove the cakes)
Bake at the top of the oven for 30-35 minutes.
When the cakes are done, let them cool in their cake pans a little before transferring to a cooling rack.
For the Lemon Cream:
- 1 tub of soft mascarpone cheese (8 oz)
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 5 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy cream
When the cakes have cooled fully you can begin to make the lemon cream.
Whip the cream with an electric whisk until it forms high stiff peaks. Add the mascarpone and lemon juice to the cream and whisk. Then slowly add in the confectioners sugar, whisking well until smooth.
Begin to assemble the cake by placing one of the cakes on a serving plate. Spread the lemon cream to cover the top of the cake.
Then carefully place the other cake on top of the lemon cream covered cake and cover them all over with the rest of the lemon cream.
Decorate the cake as you like! I used sliced lemons and blueberries and lightly dusted confectioners sugar over the cake.
Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving to enable the lemon cream to set.