Whenever I ask Sheila what kind of cake she would LOVE to have for her Birthday; the answer is always the same. “Make me a Lemon Cake with lots of whipped cream!”
Thank heavens she always says that! I love that we enjoy this summery-fresh, gluten free Lemon Cake during the darkest time of the year. On a cold winter evening with a fire roaring in the fireplace, surrounded by family and friends; there is nothing better than enjoying a slice of: The lightest Vanilla Cake this side of heaven, split into layers and filled with a tart Lemon Custard and clouds of Whipped Cream! Oh, yes… this is…
Wait a minute...
Was that the kids or did Sheila’s husband do that…
Sheila’s Lemon Birthday Cake
Line two – 8” x 2” round cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 325°F
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup potato starch (potato starch not flour!)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup bakers sugar (very finely granulated sugar)
4 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Sift cornstarch, potato starch, cream of tartar and salt, twice. Set aside. Measure 3/4 cup bakers sugar. Set aside.
2. Separate eggs – Put yolks in a small bowl. Put whites in a GREASE FREE mixing bowl and beat whites 1 – 2 minutes on high speed with your electric mixer until thick and puffy. Beat in vanilla, then S-L-O-W-L-Y pour in the sugar a little bit at a time, while beating on high speed until light and fluffy. It should look like thick, puffy clouds!
3. Turn mixer speed to medium and add egg yolks one at a time, beating just until mixed in. Take the beaten “cloud” mixing bowl to a counter and you’re going to hand-whisk in the dry ingredients. Sift the dry ingredients in thirds over the egg whites; gently WHISK just until mixed. (A whisk is the best tool for this!)
4. Pour into prepared pans. Bake approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cakes on a wire rack. When completely cooled, run a knife around the edges and loosen cakes.
3 cups heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Place all in a chilled bowl and beat on low speed until mixed together, then on high speed until thick and fluffy.
I cheat. I use store-bought Lemon Curd from Trader Joe’s. “Lemon Custard” just sounds fancy to me; so I decided to tell people this cake is filled with Lemon Custard. (This will be our little secret.)
Lemon Curd tastes marvelous. It’s Gluten Free and since it’s already prepared; it’s “zero cooking.” Lemon Curd is a “Lemon Lover’s” Dream come true!
1 pint (or more) fresh Strawberries
Remove the parchment paper from the cake and slice each cake in half to make four layers.
- Put one layer on your cake plate and spread with some Lemon Curd (oops, I mean Lemon Custard!) Top with with sweetened Whipped Cream. Be sure to spread to the edges. NOTE: You can put some sliced strawberries in between the lemon custard and whipped cream if you desire.
- Add another layer and repeat until you’re done!
- Decorate your cake with fresh strawberries and Birthday candles.
Keep chilled in refrigerator. About 15-20 minutes before you serve the cake; take the cake out of the refrigerator so all the flavors blossom.