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Lemon Layer Cake with Curd and Blueberries

Layered and light the tiers of this cake call for cholesterol-free egg whites and skim milk; the berries in between are thought to be brain boosters.

  • Servings: 10
Lemon Layer Cake with Curd and Blueberries

Photography: Elizabeth Watt

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2006

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE

  • Vegetable oil, cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

FOR THE LEMON CURD

  • 4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon, plus 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups blueberries, lightly crushed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Coat two 8-by-1 1/2-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment. Spray parchment; set aside.

  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together 1/4 cup sugar, the milk, oil, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl; set aside.

  3. Put egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until foamy. Raise speed to medium-high. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.

  4. Add half of the flour mixture to the milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Fold in remaining flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the egg white mixture. Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out cakes onto rack. Remove parchment; reinvert. Let cool completely.

  5. Make the lemon curd: Put egg yolks
    into a medium heatproof bowl; set aside.
    Whisk together lemon zest, sugar, cornstarch,
    and salt in a medium saucepan.
    Add 1 1/2 cups water and the lemon juice;
    whisk until sugar and cornstarch have
    dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium-high
    heat, whisking constantly. Cook 2
    minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low;
    gradually whisk one-third of the lemon
    mixture into the reserved egg yolks. Pour mixture into pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 2 1/2 minutes.

  6. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour into a bowl; place plastic wrap directly on surface. Refrigerate until firm and cold, at least 1 hour (up to 1 day).

  7. Fold blueberries into curd; set aside. Trim top and bottom of one cake to be flat. Cut each cake in half horizontally. Set untrimmed bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with 1 cup curd. Repeat with trimmed halves for second and third layers. Top with untrimmed top layer. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Reviews (13)

  • ervinc 10 May, 2014

    A friend made this cake for a party recently, and it was the highlight of the evening. I'm not sure how he transported it, as the layers are balanced precariously. The cake itself is light and airy, almost like a chiffon, and the lemon curd is sinfully rich. The whole mouth sensation was 'Wow!' It's my new favorite cake.

  • stevoe 10 Apr, 2013

    Don't these layers slide? It looks precarious!

  • quietbay34 1 Apr, 2013

    I made this for Easter yesterday and it was a HUGE hit. I secured it with 4 skewers so it wouldn't shift as we drove. The recipe was easy to follow and the lemon curd was fantastic.
    Thanks again!

  • kristyn770 14 Jun, 2010

    The nutritional info from the magazine, per serving: 350 cals; 10 g fat; 82 mg cholesterol; 63 g carbohydrate; 278 mg sodium; 4 g protein; 1 g fiber

  • RobsDiva 16 May, 2009

    What is the nutritional info on this cake? I don't see it listed anywhere. Thanks!

  • Lyggie 12 Mar, 2009

    The instructions are included for the Curd. Read the recipe properly.

  • Lyggie 12 Mar, 2009

    The instructions are included for the Curd. Read the recipe properly.

  • mmsrjs 3 Aug, 2008

    HEY I DID AS I SAID AND AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE I FIND THE SEARCH ENGINE AND TYPED IN "LEMON CURD" AND GUESS WHAT? THERE ARE 2541 ENTRIES FOR LEMON CURD, SO GO TO IT AND HAVE FUN, LOOK UP AS MANY AS YOU LIKE OR HAVE TIME FOR. "GRANNY AKA NANNY"

  • mmsrjs 3 Aug, 2008

    I DONT KNOW WHAT ALL THE HOOP-LA IS ABOUT. STEP 5 TELLS HOW TO MAKE THE CURD. AND I'M PRETTY SURE IF YOU GO TO THE SEARCH AND TYPE IN LEMON CURD IT WILL COME UP. GOOD LUCK ALL

  • rob_farina 26 Apr, 2008

    There is a step missing from this cake- there should be directions on how to make the curd between steps 4 and 5 !

  • michellephant 23 Mar, 2008

    TO CONTINUE (damn you 500 word character limit!): Reduce heat to medium-low; gradually wish one-third of the lemon mixture into the reserved egg yolks. Pour mixture into pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 2 1/2 minutes.

  • michellephant 23 Mar, 2008

    I have the magazine. Step #5 is: Make the lemon curd: Put egg yolks into a medium heatproof bowl; set aside. Whisk together lemon zest, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cups water and the lemon juice; whisk until sugar and cornstarch have dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Cook 2 minutes.

  • SteveT 19 Dec, 2007

    There seems to be a step missing (between #4 and #5) in creating the lemon curd that goes into between the layers. At the end of step 4, you're turning out the cake onto the rack and removing the parchment. Step 5 starts with "Remove from heat..."

    The lemon curd part of this recipe is missing.

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