The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Lemon Curd Cake with Toasted Meringue Frosting

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Level: Easy

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Description

For some reason, I think this cake looks kind of macho. And that’s why this was my husband’s birthday cake. Maybe because of the mountains of whipped meringue, or the toasted marshmallow waves, or the rustic feel of this cake. The lemon curd. Not as macho as it sounds. But it is sweet, tangy and delicious.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 1 cup Cake Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ cups Milk, Room Temperature
  • ½ sticks Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
  • ½ Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 whole Large Egg, Room Temperature
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • ⅓ cups Homemade Lemon Curd (recipe Below)
  • FOR THE LEMON CURD:
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
  • ½ cups Granulated Sugar
  • ½ sticks Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
  • 2 whole Large Egg
  • ¼ cups Lemon Juice
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • FOR THE MERINGUE FROSTING:
  • ¾ cups Granulated Sugar
  • 3 whole Large Egg White
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Water

Preparation

Note: The lemon curd needs time to cool in the refrigerator so you can make it ahead.

For the cakes:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease three 5-inch round cake pans, and line bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Mix milk, melted butter and vanilla in another bowl. Set aside.

Whip the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of a standing mixer until pale, thick and ribbon-like. This will take about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just incorporated.

Scoop 2 cups of cake batter and add it into the milk and butter mixture. Whisk until well combined. Then pour the mixture back into the remaining cake batter. Fold until well mixed.

Evenly distribute the batter into the prepared cake pans and spread evenly.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and set on a rack. Cool cakes in the pan for about 10 minutes before inverting onto a rack. Let cakes cool completely before frosting.

To assemble the cake:
You’ll need 1/3 cup of the curd for this recipe. Place one cake layer on a greased baking sheet. Spread with half of the lemon curd. Place another cake layer on top, and gently press down a little bit. Spread with the remaining lemon curd. Place the last layer of cake on top. Refrigerate until you are ready to frost and serve, preferably on the same day.

For the lemon curd:
Mix lemon zest and sugar in a small bowl with a fork.

In a large bowl, cream the butter. Add the sugar mixture and beat together. Add the eggs, lemon juice and salt and mix together until thoroughly combined.

Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat while stirring constantly for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the curd starts to thicken and coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and allow curd to cool.

Push the lemon curd through the sieve and into a bowl to make it super smooth. Place bowl in the refrigerator for an hour.

For the frosting:
In a large heatproof bowl, combine sugar and egg whites. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on high speed until foamy for 1 minute. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Continue to beat on high speed and heat it until the mixture is hot to touch.

Remove bowl from heat, stir in vanilla and water, and continue whipping for another 10 minutes until stiff and glossy peaks form.

Smear the meringue frosting thickly on the top and sides of the assembled cake. Use a small metal spatula to create swoops and peaks.
Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the frosting.

Leave it at room temperature and serve the cake in the same day, as over time the frosting will become grainy.

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