Tag Archives: frosting

lemon yogurt layer cake

Hello friends and cherished readers,

Once again I must apologize for neglecting edie’s eats. The last month has been a whirlwind–I traveled to Melbourne, New Zealand and the great barrier reef, and my family is here! But no worries (my favorite new Australian phrase), I am back in action and I know you won’t be disappointed by todays post. I’ll give you a hint-it’s another celebration cake 🙂 It was my housemate Victoria’s birthday, and following the tradition from Meg’s birthday (the pb/chocolate cake), I was put in charge of making a cake for her party. It was a smashing success.

I know, I know, you’re on a diet and don’t want me tempting you with pictures of moist lemon yogurt cake with tangy lemon curd and fluffy meringue frosting. Well i’m sorry, but this may just be the best cake I have ever made, and it would be a shame not to share it with you.

I promise I will make my next few posts extra healthy to compensate…but for now, enjoy!

Lemon Yogurt Cake layered with Lemon Curd and smothered in Meringue Frosting

Adapted from Orangette, Smitten Kitchen and The Joy of Cooking

Lemon Yogurt Cake:

This cake is light and citrusy and 100% delicious. If you don’t need a fancy  celebration cake, this is also great served just with the glaze for an easy weeknight dessert (just divide the recipe in three).

Yield: three 9-inch layers or 24 cupcakes

1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
4 tsp grated lemon zest
1 cup canola oil

Lemon glaze:
Juice for two lemons
1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and eggs, stirring until well blended. Add the flour, baking powder, and zest, mixing to just combine.

Add the oil and stir to incorporate. At first, it will look like an oily mess, but keep stirring and it will eventually come together into a smooth batter. Pour and scrape the batter into a prepared 9-inch round cake pan (after buttering, I sometimes line the bottom with a round of wax or parchment paper, and then I butter that too).

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.

Cool cake on a rack for about 20 minutes; then turn it out of the pan to cool completely.

When the cake is thoroughly cooled, combine the lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl and spoon it gently over the cake. The glaze will be thin and will soak in like a syrup.

Lemon Curd

This is also delicious with freshly baked scones or muffins, as a filling for angel food cake, and by the spoonful…

Note: If you don’t have a lot of time and need to get the cake done quickly you can always use store bought lemon curd which you can find in the jam area but I promise you it won’t be nearly as good as homemade.

8 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 lemons, zest grated and juiced

Place the ingredients in the double boiler over boiling water. Don’t let top pan touch the water. Cook and stir until mixture begins to gel or thicken ever-so-slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate it to thicken. This keeps, refrigerated, for about 1 week.

Meringue Frosting (also known as Seven Minute Frosting)

This may be the most INCREDIBLE frosting ever created!!! It is light and fluffy and marshmallow-y and FAT FREE and delicious! I will never feel nauseous from butter cream frosting again!

Note: Since my Australian kitchen isn’t very well stocked, I didn’t have a thermometer and didn’t feel like buying one, so I successfully made this without it. I just followed the time instructions and watched until I felt it was ready. I can’t endorse this method as I don’t want anyone to blame me if they get sick from raw egg whites, but I’m just putting it out there as an option if you don’t have a thermometer either.

5 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs whites at room temperature
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts or shredded sweetened dried coconut (optional-I didn’t use)

Whisk first five ingredients together in a large, stainless-steel bowl. Set the bowl in a wide, deep skillet filled with about 1 inch of simmering water. Make sure the water level is at least as high as the depth of the egg whites in the bowl. Beat the whites on low speed until the mixture reaches 140 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Do not stop beating while the bowl is in the skillet, or the egg whites will be overcooked. If you cannot hold the thermometer stem in the egg whites while continuing to beat, remove the bowl from the skillet just to read the thermometer, then return the bowl to the skillet. Beat on high speed for exactly five minutes. Remove the bowl from the skillet and add vanilla, beating on high speed for two to three more minutes to cool. Stir in coconut or nuts, if you are using them. Use this frosting the day it is made.

Layer Cake Assembly Instructions:

Add 1 tablespoon of lemon curd to the cake pedestal to help the cake stay in place. Remove excess crumbs from the sides of the cake. Decide which layers will be the bottom and middle and carefully slice off the top to flatten them if they are too rounded from baking. Spread the lemon curd liberally between the layers, on top and on the sides of the cake. Then finally get to the fun part and frost the top and sides of the cake with the fluffy meringue frosting! You can either smooth it out and pipe the sides (if you want to get fancy), or just leave it au natural like I did.

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three layer chocolate peanut butter cake

Hello friends,

I come to you today with my first celebration cake post, and let me tell you, this cake is no joke. Three layers of rich sour cream chocolate cake with thick peanut butter cream cheese frosting between each layer and all over the outside.

It was my housemate Meg’s 21st birthday, and I was given the important task of making her an epic birthday cake. Her two favorite foods are chocolate and peanut butter, so this cake was a natural choice. I had been eyeing it for months on Smitten Kitchen, but before settling I decided to check out chocolate peanut butter cakes on my other favorite blogs and what did I find? They were all copy cats of this same smitten kitchen recipe! I decided that it must be good if everyone else had made it, and I wasn’t wrong!

I will admit, this isn’t the cake I would choose off a dessert menu. I’m more of a creme brulee or cheesecake with berry compote sort of girl, but boy let me tell you, it was far from a chore to eat a piece of this. Everyone at the party LOVED it and I have been asked for the recipe on more than one occasion since then. So drum roll ladies and gentlemen, here it is:

3-Layer Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Courtesy of Smitten Kitchen (thanks Deb!!)

Chefs Notes: The original recipe calls for a chocolate peanut butter glaze on top of the peanut butter frosting, which I didn’t do, but I will give you the ingredients for in case you want to add it on. The recipe makes an 8-inch triple layer cake which will easily serve over 16 people because it is VERY rich and should be served in very skinny slices.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable/canola/soybean oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • peanut brittle, broken into pieces (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (Deb recommended putting these cakes in the freezer for around 30 minutes once out of the oven to firm up a bit because they are very soft. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. I did this and found it very helpful, especially with assembling and then frosting the cake.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (Deb recommends making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer,  which is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating. Once the cake is fully frosted, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the peanut butter frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze.)

Optional Step:

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle.

Peanut Butter Frosting


Makes about 5 cups

  • 10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out) Note: I used chunky peanut butter which is why you will see chunks of peanuts in my frosting. It was what I had around the house and worked perfectly as well.

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

The Birthday Girl

Make this cake for a friend’s birthday (or really anytime) for a very special and highly addictive treat! Let me know how it goes!

Cheers,

E