This lemon crumb cake is a light lovely cake filled and covered with lemon cream goodness!
It’s spring and that means it’s lemon season at our house. I love just about anything lemon and I can’t seem to get enough of it.
I generally share recipes that are easy and quick to prepare. But once in a while I love to spend a little time puttering in the kitchen creating something special and this lemon cream cake is the perfect way to do that. There are several steps involved but you can do a few of them the day before so it’s not so much work at one time. I can tell you though, the extra effort is definitely worth it.
It would be a real crowd pleaser dessert for your Easter brunch or dinner.
The recipe is two layers of a delicious white cake with a hint of lemon thanks to some lemon zest. Add in a nice thick layer of lemon cream in the middle and a thin layer all over the outside of the cake and then a sprinkle of a crumb mixture on top makes for one amazing dessert.
How to Make Lemon Cream Cake
- The lemon cream mixture includes an amazing lemon curd – I mean amazing. I could have eaten the whole batch if I hadn’t needed it for the filling for the cake. This is one area where you could save a bit of time if you like. You can use store bought lemon curd instead or just make the lemon curd the night before and keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the cake.
- I often make the cake a day or a few days before and then wrap the individual layers in three layers of plastic wrap and put them in the freezer. The cake stays perfectly fresh and a frozen cake is easier to frost. Just pull out the cake when you are ready to assemble it.
- This cake has a “naked cake” look which means you can actually see the cake layer through the frosting. I love the look but if you prefer a fully frosted cake you can do that too.
- After frosting, the cake you can add the crumb topping which is a mixture of powdered sugar, flour, butter and vanilla. If you are looking to save some time, you could eliminate the crumb topping but it does give the cake a pretty finish on top and a nice yummy texture.
This cake would look so pretty on your Easter table or at any celebration.
What are you having for Easter dessert??
Check out more easy lemon desserts:
The BEST Lemon Bars
Layered Lemon Sponge Cake
Yummy Lemon Poppyseed Bread
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Did you know I wrote a cookbook? Check out the Holiday Slow Cooker Cookbook for 100 delicious recipes
Lemon Cream Cake Recipe
Lemon Cream Cake
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
- 4 large egg whites save the yolks for the lemon curd
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/3 cup simple syrup see recipe below
- 1 pkg unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup lemon curd recipe follows or use store bouight
- 1 8 oz. cream cheese softened
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 2 lemons
- 4 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 4 Tbsp butter cold
Vanilla Crumb Topping
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup, plus 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 5 Tbsp butter chilled, cut into small pieces
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool until ready to use.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
- Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
- Combine sugar and butter and beat with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer,beat on medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.
- Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
- Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.
- Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Mix for two minutes until well combined.
- Divide the batter between the two 9 inch pans that have been greased and floured. Line the bottom of the pans with wax paper and grease and flour that also.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch, or until a thin knife or toothpick comes out clean.
- Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners.
- Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months).
- Add the gelatin in a few Tbsp of water for about 5 minutes
- Heat the simple syrup over medium heat and add the gelatin, bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool.
- In a chilled mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
- In the mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and the lemon curd until it is well mixed
- Slowly drizzle in the cooled simple syrup, scraping down sides as needed
- Add the whipping cream and beat with the whisk attachment until incorporated. Chill the mixture until slightly thickened.
- Zest the lemons and set aside. Juice the lemons.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Stir in zest and juice.
- Pour the mixture into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon
- Remove from the heat and pour through a strainer into a glass bowl. Add in butter, 1 Tbsp at a time.
- Cool to room temperature then press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface and chill in the fridge until completely chilled and set
Vanilla Crumb Topping
- In a bowl mix the flour and powdered sugar. Cut in the chilled butter until small pea size pieces form.
- Drizzle the vanilla over and mix to combine. Chill the mixture until needed.
Assembling the cake
- When the cake is cooled, brush the tops of the cake with the remaining simple syrup
- Spread 2/3 of the filling on the bottom half of the cake and top with the other layer.
- Frost the top and the outside of the cake with the remaining filling and then press the crumb mixture onto the sides and top of the cake. ( I only did it on the top)
- Chill for several hours or freeze to firm up the filling
Originally posted May 10, 2013
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