Lemon heaven cake

5-year-old: Mom, I want water!
Me (ignore):
5-year-old: MOM, I WANT WATER!!
Me: What’s the magic word?
5-year-old: Expelliarmus!

(That’s clearly not what I expect from this Harry Potter fan.)

Lemon heaven cake

(Adapted from Use Real Butter)

Lemon chiffon cake (for 2 8×2-inch round cakes)
275 g cake flour (or 205 g all purpose flour + 70 g cornstarch)
165 g confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 large egg + 1 yolk (about 61 g)
125 g whole milk
113 g canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
75 g lemon juice (I used 1 lemon and 1/2 lime)
245 g egg white (from 8 eggs)
175 g granulated sugar

Limoncello soaking syrup
60 g water
1 tbs sugar
4-6 tbs limoncello

Lemon curd
85 g lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
125 g granulated sugar
40 g butter
40 g heavy cream
pinch of salt
3 eggs
Zest of 1 lemon

Lemon swiss meringue buttercream
115 g egg whites (about 3 eggs)
225 g sugar
226 g butter (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon

  1. To make lemon chiffon cake:
    • Preheat oven to 375F
    • Line two 8×2 inch round pans with parchment papers.
    • In a large bowl, sift flour + confectioner’s sugar + baking powder.
    • Add eggs + milk + canola oil + vanilla extract + lemon juice to the mixture and whisk until combined.
    • Use a handheld mixer to whip egg whites and granulated sugar to medium peaks.
    • Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter.
      • Note: Do not slam the pans on the countertop to pop the air bubbles.
    • Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  2. To make limoncello soaking syrup:
    • In a small saucepan, boil sugar and water.
    • Let the syrup cool before adding limoncello.
    • Store in a squeeze bottle.
  3. To make lemon curd:
    • In a small saucepan, boil lemon juice + sugar + butter + heavy cream + salt.
    • In a bowl, whisk eggs.
    • Temper hot lemon mixture into eggs.
    • Pour mixture back into saucepan and boil over a medium heat, stiring constantly until thickened
      • Note: you will want it to be very thick, thicker than you think you’ll need. 
    • Strain through a mesh sieve.
    • Stir in the lemon zest.
    • Refrigerate.
    • Fill a pastry bag when ready to use.
  4. To make lemon swiss meringue buttercream:
    • In a mixing bowl, combine egg whites and sugar.
    • Whisk constantly over a simmering water bath until 140F is reached.
    • Use a handheld mixer to whip until stiff.
    • Turn down the speed to whip until completely cool.
    • Add soft butter piece by piece.
    • Mix until desired consistency is reached.
    • Add vanilla + lemon zest + lemon juice.
    • Refrigerate.
    • Fill a pastry bag when ready to use.
  5. To assemble the cake:
    • Cut each cake horizontally into 2 layers.
    • Line a serving plate with a parchment sheet.
    • Place the first cake layer, brown-side down.
    • Drizzle a quarter of the limoncello syrup over the cake.
    • Pipe a thin layer of the butter cream in circle over the cake, and use an icing spatula to smooth it out.
    • Pipe a layer of lemon curd on top and use an icing spatula to spread evenly.
    • Do the same for the remaining 3 layers.
      • Note: the top layer should have the brown side up. 
    • Crumb coat the sides of the cake with buttercream and finish frosting the cake with the remaining buttercream.