I’m serious about my baking. Never met a cake I didn’t like or couldn’t cook. One of my guilty pleasures is trawling food blogs. There are so, so many clever, wonderful amateur chefs out there sharing their passion for food.
On rotation in my bookmarks at the moment is The Fox Fix – The Magical BakeShop of Mikaela Fox. I love the way she writes and her recipes are out-of-this-world delicious. This cake is the Queen of Cakes. The name says it all right? Golden. Summer. And look at her little flag detail!
Mikaela found the recipe in a book she picked up at a junk sale - Rosie’s Bakery: All-Butter, Fresh Cream, Sugar-Packed No Holds Barred Baking Book (best title for a cake book ever) and then adapted it slightly.
I’ve found the book on Amazon – you can buy it here.
Now this recipe looks hard because it is long and there are three steps but it isn’t at all.
Go for it and prepare to have your world rocked.
Vanilla-Sour Cream Cake (makes two 9 or 10 in layers to be cut in half. You could also make three layers from this recipe).
3 3/4 cup cake flour (make sure to pour into the cup measure and scrape the top- don’t just scoop)
1 1/4 t baking powder
1 1/4 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
3 1/2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
2 t vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1 1/4 cup sour cream
Preheat to 350 degrees.
Grease and line 2 or 3 pans with parchment rounds.
Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.
Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar until very fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the yolks and eggs one at a time, blending each well and scraping down the bowl as needed.
Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the sour cream in 2 or 3 additions. Mix only until incorporated before adding the next addition. When everything is added, turn the mixer to low and blend until the batter is very smooth. It tastes so good at this point.
Divide the batter between your pans and smooth the top. Drop the pans a few times from a few inches up to get the bubbles out. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the cake springs back when you touch it and a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.
Cool the layers completely before cutting in half. Take a long serrated knife and work around the sides of the layer to make sure it’s cut evenly.
While the cake is baking, make the Lemon Curd Filling:
2 t finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 stick of butter
Mix the zest, juice, eggs and sugar in a saucepan and heat, stirring very often, over medium heat until it boils and is thickened.
Pour through a strainer into a medium bowl.
Cut the butter into small pieces and stir into the lemon curd until melted.
Set the bowl into an ice bath and stir occasionally until cool.
When cool, put into the fridge for at least an hour.
Finally, make the vanilla buttercream. Rosie’s book introduced me to adding significant amounts of cream to the butter when making buttercream. When mixed long enough, the cream actually turns into butter itself. Pretty cool.
1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups heavy cream
2 t vanilla extract
1 pound or 6 cups powdered sugar
Mix all the ingredients with the paddle attachment in a stand mixer. You can do this with a hand held mixer, but the frosting takes at least 10 minute to come together, and thats a long time to stand there, hand vibrating.
Mix on medium-high until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least ten minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. At first some of the cream might want to splash out, so I recommend wrapping some plastic wrap around the open part of the bowl.
This frosting is great because you can flavor it with just about anything. So far I’ve used espresso to make mocha frosting, I’ve added white chocolate, and I’ve added raspberry jam.
Making It Look Pretty.
To assemble the cake, take your split layers and stack, spread about a 1/2 cup lemon curd between each. Spread a thin crumb coat of vanilla buttercream all over the cake and stick in the fridge for 10 or so minutes before completing the cake. For an easy garnish, I like to cut thin slices of lemons and slit them on one side to make little lemon curls as seen in the above picture.