Weekend Challenge: Lemon Birthday Cake

19 May

On peoples’ birthdays, I like to treat them really special. I like to run around waiting on them hand and foot. I like to ask their opinion and then agree with everything they say. I like to heartily laugh at all their jokes.

People love being treated like this. Maybe you think you’re different. Maybe you think you wouldn’t want to receive this special treatment from me, but trust me, you would.

My objective on peoples’ birthdays is to react to everything they do and say as if it is either a) the deepest thought or b) the funniest joke. Really what more can you ask for than to be deep and funny? And if you think about it, the only reactions you need to get by in this world are mhmmmmm or hahahahaha.

Prior to Ryan’s birthday, I asked him what kind of a cake he wanted. He requested a white cake with white icing. Yawn. I mean, I know it’s your birthday and I should be agreeing with everything you say, but…come on. Challenge me! Instead, I eventually convinced him to come up with the brilliant idea of letting me make a lemon cake.

Here’s what I came up with.

Cut 2 rounds and 2 half-moon rounds out of your previously made half-sheet cake.

Throw some simple syrup and lemon curd on layer #1.

Smooth out the lemon curd and pipe the perimeter with lemon buttercream frosting. (My piping bag = a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off. Winning!)

Fit together those half-moon pieces and fill in the cracks with extra cake pieces for the middle cake layer.

Repeat syruping, curding, and piping.

For your final layer, all you’ll need is syrup and lemon buttercream.

Who can resist a three-layer cake??

Toss on some blueberries as garnish. Look how pretty and fancy, and I’m the worst at making cakes look pretty and fancy. (Don’t be alarmed: I am the best at making them taste good, though.)

Lemon Birthday Cake

Serves 10-12


vanilla génoise
vanilla buttercream frosting + 1 T. lemon curd (I used this)
3/4 c. simple syrup (such as the one given here)
1 c. lemon curd


To assemble the cake, place the rectangular-shaped génoise on a work surface. Using a metal cake ring, springform pan, or other 8-inch circle as a guide, cut out two 8-inch rounds in opposite corners of the rectangle, cutting close to the edge of the rectangle. Cut out two half-rounds from the remaining génoise, and save the scraps. The two half-rounds will be put together, with the scraps cut to fill in the gap, to become the center cake layer.

Place a whole cake layer on a cake stand. Drizzle and spread 1/4 c. simple syrup on the cake layer. Spread 1/2 c. lemon curd on the center of the cake, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Using a piping bag (or Ziploc bag with the end snipped off), pipe a ring of buttercream around the circumference of the cake.

Top with the two partial layers, and fill in the center gap with trimmings of the reserved cake scraps. Drizzle and brush the layer with another 1/4 c. of the simple syrup, and repeat the procedure wit the remaining lemon curd and another buttercream ring.

Add the final cake layer. Drizzle and brush the top layer with the remaining syrup. Place about 1 cup of buttercream onto the cake, and spread evenly. (Here you can either refrigerate for one hour until the buttercream is firm or forge ahead if you’re in a hurry.)

Frost the sides of the cake, and decorate with any remaining buttercream. Serve plain or with fresh blueberries or raspberries as garnish.

Adapted from Sarabeth’s Bakery

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