The gift of a cake is one of the best. A cake is something that takes time and thought to prepare. I always carefully work through my cake baking and decorating but when it’s a gift I feel an extra pressure to make sure it is special.
This white chocolate lemon cake is so much fun to prepare AND I broke out my Russian piping tips which take it to the next level.
Perfect little cream and yellow flowers make a stunning wreath around the cake.
The first step is to bake up your lemon layers. I used zest and juice in the cake. The zest is really the most important part since I massaged it into the sugar. That helps to add more intensity to the lemon in the cake.
When I’m decorating a cake with the flower wreath I prefer a perfectly flat top. Slicing off the dome is also a good way to test the cake (that’s just an excuse to try a cake you are giving away as a gift)
Then scalded heavy cream and white chocolate are mixed together. Its pretty, but it gets even prettier.
The cream helps to turn it into a mock mousse filling that is stabilized with the high ratio of chocolate once whipped up. I told you it would get prettier!
I melted a few ounces of white chocolate to add into the icing. The flavour isn’t overpowering and I would say barely recognizable but it just ties in the ganache filling.
All whipped up and ready for assembly.
I piped a border of the icing around the cake to prevent it from squeezing out and creating the little bursts on the side.
Now, I’m not a crumb coat baker. Its a step that most bakers would consider essential but I just want to hurry along to the decorating stage and always skip it. For this reason, I have to pile on the icing from the get-go to create a thick layer and avoid crumbs from showing.
There we have it. A perfect gift for someone special.
White Chocolate Lemon Layer Cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 butter, room temperature
1/4 vegetable oil
2 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 nine-inch baking pans with parchment, baking spray and flour. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl massage the lemon zest into the 2 cups of sugar until it becomes fragrant.
- In a stand mixer beat together the flour, sugar, butter, oil, baking powder and salt. Beat for about 2 minutes until it becomes fluffy.
- Add in the vanilla. Add in the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.
- Pour in the milk and lemon juice. Beat together for about one minute.
- Divide the batter into 2 prepared baking pans and bake for about 25 minutes.
- Allow cakes to cool on a wire rack.
Whipped White Chocolate Ganache
1 cup scalded heavy cream
12 ounces white chocolate
- Pour the scalded cream over the white chocolate. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
- Stir the chocolate and cream until it is smooth. Set aside in the fridge for at least an hour or until it firm up.
- In a mixer beat together the ganache until stiff peaks form and it becomes light.
- Set aside in the fridge until assembling the cake.
Lemon Vanilla Icing
1 1/4 cups butter, room temperature
1/4 cup high ratio shortening
4 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
5-8 tbsps heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 lemon extract
3 ounces white chocolate, melted
- In a stand mixer (essential to the fluffy texture) beat together the butter and shortening until smooth. Gradually add in the icing sugar. Beat this together until it is completely mixed.
- Add the heavy cream and beat for 10 minutes (using up to 8 tablespoons is up to you depending on how fluffy you want the icing. When you go up to 8 tbsp you have a lot of air bubbles which becomes a bit annoying when trying to get a smooth finish)
- Beat in the salt, vanilla, lemon extract and white chocolate. Beat together for another 5 minutes.
- Cut the domed tops off of the cakes and set the scraps aside. Place the first cake layer on the cake stand and filled a piping bag with the icing. Pipe a circle around the perimeter of the cake.
- Fill in the cake with the white chocolate ganache and spread until evenly distributed.
- Place the second cake on top and dollop about 3/4 of the frosting on top. Spread it to the edge of the cake and bring it down. To get a smoother finish you can run your off set spatula under hot water an run it along the cake.
- I decorated my cake with flowers but feel free to leave it simple with some candied lemon slices!