Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lemon Drop Cake


So, my good friend "Big Guy" had a birthday on Friday. I told him I wanted to make him a birthday cake and organize something for his birthday. I told him he could have any kind of cake he wanted. I was pretty sure he'd ask for something chocolate and then I could try one of the many chocolate cakes on my "must-try" list. But, no, he chose a lemon cake.



Nothing wrong with that choice of course. But, man, I sure have been on a lemon baking kick lately. And, not just lemon desserts, but lemon cakes too. First there was the Luscious Lemon Cake for my sister-in-law's birthday. Then there was the TWD Lemon Yogurt Cake which I turned into a birthday cake for myself. And so Big Guy's lemon cake makes three. (Even though I so badly want to join the Cake Slice group - haven't heard a response yet - I guess it is a good thing I am not in that group because then that would have been 4 lemon cakes in 3 months! )


And, like I said, lemon cakes are not the only lemon goodies that have come out of my oven recently. There was my delicious Lemon Apricot Cupcakes, the TWD Lemon Custard and Lemon Cookies (that I haven't even posted yet). Phew. Lemon is good though - so its all good. But hopefully the next birthday in my life will choose something other than lemon!


So, it was a tough choice - what lemon cake to make? The first two I made received rave reviews. But, I am a sucker for trying new things. It's kind of like celebrities and their red carpet wear - even if they make the best dressed list and are the talk of the town, they'd rather take a chance next time than do a repeat. OK, that is a bit of an exaggeration, because I do rely on standbys but I love to try new things - so you get the metaphor. The Cake Slice bakers hit the blogs hard with their tempting and gorgeous photos of their Lemon Chiffon cakes. I almost chose this cake to make, almost.


But, I didn't. Jessica from the awesome blog A Singleton in the Kitchen made the Lemon Drop Cake from Baked. As you may know, I just got this cookbook for my birthday from my lovely friend Jaci and after reading the recipe and getting inspired by Jessica and chose the Baked cake. She posted the recipe here so I am not going to do so because this post is already pretty long. So, late into the night I began making the cake. I had learned from Jessica's post that it was a delicate cake and that I needed to proceed with care. Did I listen?

No, I did not (well not entirely). I did pipe a frosting dam around the cake so the curd did not ooze out the side when I assembled the cake. And, I did but the cake in the fridge for a little while after putting the curd on each layer to help it set and help prevent oozing. That really worked - I had no oozing problems. But what I did have problems with was delicate cake. Instead of making the cake in 3 8-inch pans (because I have only 2 and it was late) I made it in 2 9-inch pans. And, for some reason, I baked them on two different shelves in the oven instead of side by side and forgot to switch them halfway through. So, one cake was undercooked and sunk a little in the middle, and the other cracked significantly when I removed it to cool on a rack.

I did not panic though. I saw how Jessica was able to turn almost disaster into a beautiful cake, so I plowed on. I was able to carefully cut the cracked layer (which was cooked all the way through) thanks to my NEW Atteco Revolving Cake Stand which I got from Hubby for my Birthday ( I never knew I NEEDED this and I LOVE it). I then cut the badly sunken cake in half and decided not to use the top half (with an undercooked sunken center). There - three layers just how the Baked boys intended. But, what to do with the good cake ring around the sunken center of that fourth layer?

Mini Lemon Drop cakes!! I used a biscuit cutter to cut out four circles. I filled them with the lemon curd, crumb coated them and then frosted them with the lemon buttercream frosting from the Luscious Lemon Cake (I was too tired to do the complicated looking one in the Baked book). And, in honor of spring and the new baking group I created - Sweet Melissa Sundays - to bake our way through the Sweet Melissa Baking Book, I decorated them using little bee toppers. How cute are those? Anyhow, the baking group will start posting next Sunday and there is a giveaway of the Baking Book that is open until 11:59PM PST tonight! Come join us!

23 comments:

  1. Wow! I am so impressed with how pretty both of the cakes are. The big one looks like it should be in a bakery window, you got the buttercream perfectly smooth. The little ones with the bee on them are SO CUTE!! I love the whole bee motif, super adorable. I also love the picture of the mostly eaten cake, it looks like it was a big hit!
    The cake is so delicate but it looks like you made it work. I sort of have to wonder what the folks at Baked do, they must get quite a few cracks, right? I'm going to tell myself that they do anyway. I'm so glad that you picked this cake because I thought it was super fantastic.
    I'm so excited about Sweet Melissa Sundays. It looks like there are some seriously wonderful recipes in that book.

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  2. Ugh!! This cake looks SO GOOD!! Great job!

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  3. Yummy - I love lemon cakes and it's my husbands favorite - so I am always willing and ready to try a new one.

    This one looks like a keeper, so as soon as I have an occasion (like tomorrow?) I will be baking!

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  4. Wow.. this looks amazing. I just love it! Its beautiful and the flavors of lemon throughout sound fantastic!! I have to try this..

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  5. What a fabulous looking cake! Big Guy is one very lucky guy. I love citrus anything so I'd love a slice of this.

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  6. Looks wonderful! You know what, I don't think I have ever had a lemon cake!! I will have to fix that.

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  7. That cake sounds great. Beautiful pics. The lemon sounds out of this world good!!!

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  8. Great looking cakes! I think the mini cakes are adorable!!

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  9. I love lemon desserts! The cake looks amazing!!

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  10. Great cake..I love the mini with the little bumblebee on top..way cute! I would have dropped over if my husband said lemon..he always wnats chocolate!

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  11. Mmmm I LOVE that book! I bet this cake was awesome! I love the sprinkles! And I know what you mean about always wanting to try a new recipe, even though you already know of a few great ones!

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  12. I love the little mini cakes. And WOW, you are lemoned out. But they all sound great! :)

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  13. Your cake looks gorgeous. I so want to make it. I love that you were able to turn it around and made mini-cakes.

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  14. That is a fantastic-looking cake - nice job! I also have been making some things out of my copy of Baked, and I can't wait to try this one.

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  15. These are SO pretty! I love your piped borders, and the sprinkles on the inside of the border. So gorgeous!

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  16. What a gorgeous cake! So pretty! I love the way you decorated it, and the lemon looks delightful!
    Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Lemon anything makes me weak in the knees. That little cake would be history!! Just beautiful!

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  18. For the cuteness (love the bee!) and yumminess of the cake! gREAT JOB!

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  19. The cake looks great. I love the idea of a lemon curd layer in the middle.

    And I really love hearing about disaster baking, so I smiled all the way through this post. :)

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  20. Oh my gosh. That mini-cake is too precious. This looks delicious. I didn't know you had such made decorating skills. The cake looks fantastic. I already know that it made for a great bday celebration! (P.S. if you ever want to try out your chocolate cakes, you know I'm right around the corner and totally willing to be a taste tester!)

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  21. this sounds fantastic...i love lemon anything! i totally understand why you would want to bake a different lemon cake...i do the same thing :) and baked is on my (long, too long) list of books i want.

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  22. What a save! I really need to bake this from my book now... :)

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