Last week was my birthday. It was a wonderful day. My son took me out to the movies and my husband took me out to dinner. There was, however, something missing…birthday cake! Okay…at my age (officially eligible for retirement according to the Social Security Administration), I really need to be watching the sweets, but birthdays come but once a year. I decided a couple days later that I would bake the cake that was my favorite since childhood – super moist white cake topped with fluffy, not-too-sweet white frosting and creamy lemon filling between the two layers.
The cake uses 5 egg whites – the lemon filling, 2 egg yolks. No eggs in the frosting of course, but if you are like me and most sweet frostings set your teeth on edge, you’ll love this one! It’s light, creamy, and just a touch of sweet. If possible, I recommend preparing the lemon filling and baking the cake the night before. It’s always a good idea to chill the cake layers before frosting anyway. This helps to minimize crumbs. I wrapped mine in plastic wrap after cooling completely on a wire rack. If you wrap the layers while warm, your cake will get sticky and come off onto the plastic wrap when you remove it. Wrap each layer separately if chilling.
Charlcie’s Birthday Cake
Start first by separating the yolks from 5 eggs. Reserve 2 of the yolks for the lemon filling and reserve the other 3 for scrambled eggs the next morning. The whites from the 5 eggs are now ready for the cake…
5 egg whites
1 cup buttermilk (divided into ¼ and ¾ cups)
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups sifted cake flour* (measuring after sifting)
2 cups sugar
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
12 Tbsp softened unsalted butter
1 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350°F
Grease and flour two 9 x 2 inch cake pans.
In a medium bowl lightly combine the egg whites, 1/4 cup buttermilk, and the vanilla.
In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix them together on low to blend. Add the softened butter and remaining 3/4 cup buttermilk. Mix on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes to aerate. Scrape down the sides and add a small amount of the egg white/buttermilk mixture, beating for 20 seconds to incorporate. Continue in the same method twice more until all the egg mixture has been incorporated. Add the boiling water. Scrape down the sides of the bowl AND scrape the bottom of the bowl to loosen anything stuck to it. Beat on low to incorporate then increase to high for 30 seconds. Pour in to the prepared pans. The batter should fill half-way in each.
Bake for 35 minutes in the top half of the oven if possible. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans onto wire rack and cool completely (1 hour) and frost as desired.*
*Tips: It helps to chill cake in refrigerator for ease of frosting.
If you don’t have cake flour or your local store does not carry it, you can make your own. Measure out the 3 cups called for in this recipe and then remove 6 tablespoons. Replace the removed flour with 6 tablespoons of corn starch. Mix well with a whisk, and then sift a total of 4 times. Measure out your 3 cups and proceed with the recipe.
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
In a large saucepan or double boiler combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Mix well. Beat the egg yolks and water together, then whisk into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and butter. Cover with plastic wrap until completely cooled.
Fluffy Not-Too-Sweet White Frosting
4 Tbsp flour
1 Cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 Cup softened butter (2 sticks, softened)
1 Cup sugar
Using a wire whisk, blend flour and milk in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens to a paste-like consistency (about 3 to 4 minutes). Allow to cool completely.
When completely cool, transfer mixture into a large bowl and add vanilla. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer for 4 minutes. In a separate bowl mix butter and sugar together beating with an electric mixer at medium high speed for 4 minutes.
Add butter/sugar mixture to flour/milk mixture and beat on medium for another 4 minutes.Send to friend