Sweet Potato Layer Cake with Creamy Goat Cheese Frosting. It’s incredibly moist and the tang from the Honey Cream Cheese is a perfect counterbalance to the sweetness of the cake.
When I was a little girl my mom and I traveled to Texas every two years to visit My Uncle John and his wife Aunt Ida. Uncle John was mom’s brother, and Aunt Ida was one of the best cooks that ever lived. Aunt Ida would always load us up with fig preserves and pecans to take back home. My uncle and aunt had a pecan tree in their yard and with each step you were likely to step on pecans. What I wouldn’t give to have them now!
At the time I also didn’t appreciate the goodness of those fig preserves. These days I’ve come to love and appreciate figs and often add them to my granola. Last week on a whim I bought a jar of fig reserves and at first bite I was reminded of my Aunt Ida. At second bite the wheels starting turning on how to use them in a cake.
The yellow cake recipe is one I found on the box of Swans Down Cake flour. The cream cheese frosting is from allrecipes.com, and the caramelized hazelnuts from Nestle’s. What a line up! What a cake! My original idea was to only bake one layer, top it with cream cheese frosting, fig preserves and the caramelized hazelnuts. When you have all that sugar, fat and flour, what’s one more layer!
The frosting and the caramelized hazelnuts pack a powerful sweet punch and I’m very happy that I did add the extra layer, and that I didn’t frost the sides. One layer frosted and all that sugar might have been too much. That being said I loved all the texture. Soft moist cake, creamy smooth frosting, and the crunch of the caramelized hazelnuts are a great combo and a small slice is more than enough to get you where you’re going.
1-2-3-4 Cake – adapted from Swans Down Cake Flour
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour, see note
4 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
3 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp vanilla
Cream Cheese Frosting
Fig Preserves, approximately 2/3 cup
Note: sift the cake flour and then measure. It’s a royal pain but you gotta do it.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 2 8 inch pans for baking. I used the pan grease/grease and flour method and then lined the bottoms with parchment paper. This makes for a sure fire release. In a grease free bow beat the four egg whites until stiff peaks form and set aside. After sifting the cake flour lightly spoon it measuring cups to yield 3 cups. Sift the already sifted cake flour ( ai -yi-yi!!) with the baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Cream butter and gradually add sugar, creaming until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with the milk and vanilla, taking care not to over beat. Using a large spatula, fold in the beaten egg whites a third at a time just until they disappear. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until they test done.
Place one layer on a cake plate and pipe a generous ring of frosting approximately right on the edge of the cake. This time you not only want to create a dam to keep the filling in but allow it to fill out the space between the layers. This is purely for aesthetics since the sides won’t be frosted. Spread ½ cup of cream cheese frosting inside the frosting ring then top with 1/3 cup of fig preserves. On top of the preserves sprinkle approximately a third of a cup of the caramelized hazelnuts. Make sure the pieces aren’t too big. Top with the other layer and repeat the steps and amounts for the cream cheese frosting, fig preserves and caramelized hazelnut pieces. Place in refrigerator until serving time and refrigerate any leftovers.
Cream Cheese Frosting
3 cups Powdered Sugar
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
¼ butter, softened
Cream cream cheese and butter until smooth and add powdered sugar one cup at a time until firm enough to spread.
Caramelized Hazelnuts – Adapted from Nestle
2 TBS butter
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups chopped hazelnuts
Place sugar and butter in a small non-stick sauce pan and stir constantly over medium heat until sugar becomes golden brown in color then add the chopped hazelnuts, then remove from heat and stir.. After that, pour and spread it over cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.. Let cool to room temperature. Place in zippered bag and break into small pieces with a mallet or rolling pin. Allow part of the caramelized to be very fine or crumb like.
Thank you foodie friends for all the well wishes on my birthday. The flu bug has left the building and my energy is back, woo-hoo!! I felt that I deserved a little post birthday treat so I whipped up these cutie patooties. This is the recipe that I had intended to make for my birthday and it comes from C&H Sugar. A while back I tweeted that I was in search of a white cake recipe and they responded. This is the second time that they’ve responded when I sent out an SOS for a recipe. Thanks a bunch C&H!!
What really struck me about this recipe is the inclusion of cream cheese frosting. Can you imagine what that does to a cake? And believe it or not it’s not overly sweet. The only thing I changed was the type of pan. The recommended pan size is 8×8. I used a 9-inch round and then cut 3” circles from it. Then I piped chocolate frosting on half the circles, topped them with the remaining ones and piped more super rich chocolate frosting on top. Oh yeah!!!!
Everyday is a celebration friends and life is too short not to have dessert, a couple of times.
Magic Cake – From C&H Sugar
1 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
1 (1-lb.) pkg. Domino® Confectioners Sugar (approx. 3 3/4 cups)
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour an 8×8-inch square baking pan.
Frosting: In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar alternately with milk, beating 1-2 minutes or until blended. Remove 1 cup of frosting from bowl and set aside.
Cake: With mixer at slow speed, add eggs to remaining frosting in mixing bowl. Add vanilla; beat until blended. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to mixing bowl alternately with water and continue beating 1-2 minutes or until well blended.
Pour into pan and bake 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely. Place cake on serving plate. Spread sides and top of cake with remaining frosting set aside. Makes 9 servings.
Ok, where was I? Yeah sitting on the couch with a painful, swollen ankle and kicking myself for overdoing it. I knew there was a long restless night ahead of me. I also knew I would be at the doctor’s office as quickly as I could in the morning. Fridays aren’t the best days for seeing specialists around here and come to think of it office hours in general are only a half day on Friday. I see their point in that one. I like to be off on Friday’s also; however, sickness and pain don’t follow a schedule.
What I wanted in addition to an examination was the boot. This would stabilize my ankle. I also knew that stairs and driving would be out of the question or a long time. The ortho dr was out of town. I called the rehab facility and they suggested I see my family doctor. Roger that. She took a look at it and thought that I had a full tear instead of a partial and wasn’t sure about the type of boot necessary. So back home I went to wait and see if she was able to reach the doctor or his associate by page.
Other than being in pain I was growing antsier by the minute because my classes were set to start in three days. In a nutshell here’s what happened. Family doctor calls back a couple of hours later and says they couldn’t reach the ortho dr or his associate, continue using the crutches and they’d call be back first thing Monday morning. 20 minutes later the ortho office called wanting to know what was going on. I gave them a recap and they said to come in and a technician there would fit me with a boot.
Let me stop right here and tell you how absolutely wonderful my husband, daughter and granddaughter have been through all of this. Repeated trips to the doctor, taking on all of the household stuff and waiting on me hand and foot, literally. I love them to pieces!!
The fitting of Das Boot only took about fifteen minutes. It’s very heavy and when laced up it hurts like the dickens. The compression is supposed to take care of the swelling. I was advised to nix my therapy appointment for Monday morning and come back to the office early. Bummer! Not being able to totally submit to the couch, Chari and I went to the grocery store on Sunday. Oh I was careful and I was in an amigo. Talk about a humbling moment. That’s when I knew that I had really had enough of this. I managed to make it through the store without incident. Although I almost took out a display of mayonnaise trying to make a right turn around it, LOL!!
Bright and early Monday morning I was back at the ortho office. Dr. says it’s not a full blown tear but we’re getting close. Continue to wear the boot, ice the ankle 2-3 times a day, use the crutches, no physical therapy, go super easy with my classes and if it’s not better in a week we have to start talking about surgery. Oh no, he said the “S” word!!!
Class was interesting and my students are supportive and understanding. The Mr. takes me to class and helps me get everything set up. From now on the staff at the college will take care of that. I sit in the chair for lecture and during the workouts. It’s mainly an upper body workout with some floor exercises. Getting on the floor with the boot on isn’t the daintiest maneuver either. Typically I am a hands on instructor. I don’t like for my class to do something that I can’t or won’t do. Not this time. When they were running I wanted to jump right in there with them. Realistically I know that probably won’t happen again. Even after this heals it’s not worth the risk.
For me it’s going to be like tweaking a recipe. I’ll add a little of this and omit some of that until I have the formula that works for me. Right now the ankle is still swollen though not as much and the same goes for the pain. We’ll see what doc says on Wednesday.
Back to the birthday cakes. Charisse couldn’t really decide between a banana or chocolate cake, so being the doting mother that I am I made both. I’ve used the recipes before and they never fail.
The banana cake was covered with a cream cheese butter cream frosting.
To Gabbi’s great delight the chocolate one was slathered with chocolate frosting.
I’m sorry there aren’t any pictures of the cakes cut. Gathering props and standing to do that was out of the question. Shopping for the ideal teal accessories wasn’t happening either so I grabbed what I saw and made the best of it. Hence the plastic table cover and teal paper plates. Had this been on a folding table in another room, I wouldn’t have felt so bad. Using them in the formal dining room just didn’t feel or look right to me. What I did really like was the teal colored bling that I put on the black stemware.
You can bet I’ll be using that idea many more times. My go with everything plain stemware from the thrift store was also used. For the runner I folded my white tablecloth length wise. I also used black dinner plates and black napkins. The black napkins were folded into a triangle and placed on top of a white salad plate. Silver flatware that I scored from Big Lots completed the setting.
It surely wasn’t my best and was definitely a case of working with what was accessible. The best thing about it was that Charisse didn’t complain about having a plastic cloth and paper plates for her 30th birthday. She’s a sweetie pie!
Thanks for all of your well wishes and being kind enough to read all of my updates. I’m in the process of having some of my “stuff” brought upstairs so I don’t have to make the trip downstairs to bake. I’ll be at it again soon, fingers crossed!!!
I’ve been so busy with Thanksgiving preparations that I almost forgot to give you this recipe. These banana cupcakes were on the kids table. Before I give you this easy peasy recipe I have a question for you. How do you keep your cupcake liners from buckling when you fill them? That drives me nuts and I’ve wasted so many trying to get them to stand up straight. I’ve trained spooning in the batter slowly. Letting it dribble from a spoon, and doubling them. Sometimes you can tell if they’re going to be a problem child if the pleats aren’t tight from the beginning. Using my square cupcake pan seems to work the best in solving this dilemma, but sometimes you want them round. Let me know if you have any tricks of the cupcake trade that will help.
The cupcake was moist but not heavy as banana cake can often be. This batter also would take well to the addition of nuts or white chocolate chips. I used a basic butter cream frosting, but cream cheese would be the bomb. Make an extra batch and freeze them, we’re going to need lots of timesavers in the month ahead. Enjoy!
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup mashed bananas
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Mix above ingredients, fill muffin tins (lined with cupcake liners) 1/3 to ½ full. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes. Let cupcakes cool completely and frost them as you like.
I actually made these cupcakes the week before the party, smart move. I used a very light powdered sugar glaze just to seal the tops. After we each had one I decided to add them to the menu and pop the remaining ones in the freezer, after a mini photo shoot, smarter move. They froze very well, probably because of all the fat in them. Usually when I make a Cream Cheese Pound Cake I health-ify it a bit. Not this time! I went all out and even added Oreos. The texture is rather light and is a bit more interesting with the addition of the Oreos. They were baked a frozen in cupcake liners, but I ditched them for the final presentation.
Eons ago most homemakers had old fashioned punchbowls with a whole gaggle of punch cups that came with hooks to attach along the rim of the punchbowl. It wasn’t unheard of for newlyweds to receive 2-3 punchbowls as wedding gifts. Nowadays my punchbowl is a vessel for punchbowl cake or a layered salad. I also discovered that I have lots of punchbowl cups and decided to serve the cupcakes in them. Once again, in the interest of brevity and because I had some extra on hand, the cupcakes were frosted with a ready made Cream Cheese frosting and then sprinkled with crushed Oreos. Is this what you call adding insult to injury? I’m very pleased with how they came out and I hope you are too.
Oreo Cream Cheese Pound Cake Cupcakes – Adapted from Allrecipes.com
1 ½ cups butter, softened
3 cups sugar
1 – 8oz package cream cheese, softened
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
2 cups crushed Oreos, divided (approximately 28 cookies)
Cream Cheese Frosting
Coarsely crush Oreos to yield two cups, set aside one cup for garnish. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and cream cheese. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and baking powder; mix well. Fold in one cup of crushed Oreos. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners or prepare each cup with nonstick baking spray. Spoon batter into liners until half full. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until a cake tester, or toothpick, inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing. Not only do these freeze well they also age well. Brush a thin powdered sugar glaze over the top if you’re planning on freezing them. If you can’t wait to eat them, frost with either a homemade or canned Cream Cheese Frosting and sprinkle with remaining crushed Oreos. Tomorrow we workout!
Most of the time I’m a couple of steps behind the baking trends. Sometimes I catch up sometimes I don’t. This isn’t the typical time of year for Red Velvet, the cycle now is all about pastels, and springy kinda stuff. I’m cool with that but I did want a velvet cheesecake, just not red. One because I don’t think red velvet fit’s the season it seems too heavy and second, the Apple Crisp Queen is allergic to Red Dye #40. What’s a cheesecake loving Mommy to do? She tries for pink velvet. Keyword, tries. I used pink dye but with the cocoa it’s a deep, brownish pink. Now I’m on the hunt for a white cocoa and not a hot chocolate mix to substitute for the cocoa in the traditional recipe.
Oh one more thing, this cheesecake isn’t to be called “Pink Velvet”. Charisse wants it called, “Pink Champagne” since I’m revamping it so she can eat it. Just so you don’t think it’s one of my liquor induced creations it’s not, there’s isn’t a drop of champagne in it. But if that’s what she wants to call it, I’m not complaining.
Now, lest I be marched into a field at dawn, and be forced to watch geckos frolicking merrily, I have been sworn to secrecy about the recipe. And you know it doesn’t matter where the recipe comes from, baking a cheesecake is nerve wracking. Or is it just me? I do want to share a cheesecake tip I ran across while surfing the net. You know there’s the whole water bath or no water bath thing. Well this kind soul who’s name I can’t remember nor the name of her blog makes this suggestion. Do the water bath and instead of wrapping the spring form pan in foil to prevent water from seeping in, use a turkey bag. No chance of leaking at all. Pretty nifty huh? And for the record I didn’t have any turkey bags on hand and didn’t feel like going to the store so I wrapped my pan in foil.
Since there isn’t any champagne in the cheesecake, wouldn’t a nice cold glass of pink champagne be perfect with this? Maybe even Moscato, yum! Charisse’s Pink Velvet Champagne Cheesecake came out just fine. There was a slight crack but it was covered with the frosting. It wasn’t the bright pink that I wanted but it tastes sooo good. She had a tiny piece and so far no allergic reaction. We’re going to have to pace ourselves with this one. It’s full fat and sugar. On it’s own it’s a calorie powerhouse. Combine it with the rest of our Easter dinner and it’s a jean tightner. Hope your Easter was great.
Years ago when I was on a roll with the cake baking business I made all of my cakes from a box. Boo, hiss! The Mr. told me over and again to find a couple of good scratch recipes and work with them. Man how I hated to hear that. Partly because I knew he was right and partly because I wanted to stay in my cake mix comfort zone, and the other part is my stubborn streak. This is from the files of “living with me is not petunia patch”. If you’ve read My CNN Experience that will make sense. Yvonne has been a loyal client for years. She always orders banana cakes, whether the cake was for her or someone else, it had to be banana. Now that I’m comfortably working with scratch recipes I’m searching for a really good banana cake one. I have learned to read any reviews posted about a recipe. This one had rave reviews all the way around. Even though there were several other recipes vying for my attention. The reviews for this one won me over.
Banana cakes tend to be dense and heavy and because Yvonne has ordered a 14” cake I want a cake that won’t weigh a ton. I wanted to add some banana liqueur for part of the flavoring. Well the only banana liqueur I seen was $19.98 a bottle. That was way too much to pay for only 1 tsp. Yeah, yeah I know it would last me until the cows come home, but dang that’s too much. I like to buy liqueurs in the shot size bottles and that wasn’t an option. I will be on the lookout for them in the future.
Just want to let you know that I didn’t put the cake in the freezer as the recipe suggests. The Mr. has done work on freezers and refrigerators and I’ve learned that putting hot things into a freezer isn’t’ a good thing. And since this was a practice cake for the 14” one I have to do this weekend I knew that no way would a 14” cake fit into my freezer.
After I frosted the cake and applied a simple top and bottom border it looked very plain. It needed a little something-something to jazz it up a bit. Hold on to your pot holders foodie friends! When I didn’t get the banana liqueur I bought a bottle of apricot brandy and some bananas that weren’t the ripest in the bunch. Woo-hoo time to kick this baby up a notch! I took a break to surf the net and find out how to do what I wanted to do without burning down the house. A little flambé if you please. Whoosh!! Oh my the flames were pretty. Gabbi stood at a distance and I did the happy dance. The flames died out in about 3 minutes. I returned the mixture to the fire, which I turned down low and let it cook down for about 5 minutes. It was thick and syrupy and I was totally geeked. The frosted cake was chilling in the fridge waiting for it’s close-up. Such a pretty cake; topped with liquor drenched bananas browned in butter and sugar.
I couldn’t wait to get the photo shoot out of the way to taste it. The Mr. was as excited as I about how pretty the cake was. With the pictures out of the way it was tasting time. Yep it’s good. Next time I’ll cut back on the liquor, it was a bit strong, not that I can’t hang mind you. There is so much dessert in my house, would you come and get some? Please and thank you.
Best Ever Banana Cake – adapted from Food.com
1 ½ cups bananas, mashed, ripe, about 4 medium
2 tsp lemon juice
3 cups flour, sifted
1 ½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup butter, at room temp
2 1/8 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups buttermilk
½ butter, softened
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 Bananas, slightly underripe and sliced
2 TBS butter
2 TBS brown sugar
¾ cup apricot brandy
Preheat oven to 275°. Grease and flour 2- 9“ cake pans. In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, cream ¾ cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 tsp vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in banana mixture. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist. For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1 tsp vanilla. Add icing sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed until frosting is smooth. Spread on cooled cake. For the flaming bananas, melt butter in skillet over medium high heat. Place bananas in single layer and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Brown on one side, then flip them and brown the other. Remove the skillet from the heat and pour brandy into a measuring cup. Never pour directly from the bottle into the hot skillet. Pour brandy into skillet and light with a long match. After the flames die down return skillet to low heat and let bananas simmer for approx five minutes. Try not to stir or move them around too much, they’re very vulnerable at this point and may break up. Spoon bananas and syrup over chilled cake and let the yumminess begin!
For the love of cookbooks. I don’t make it to Barnes & Noble too often but when I do, the bargain bin gets my full attention. Rarely do you find a book priced over $12.98, with $6.98 being the average. A couple of Friday’s ago I wandered into B&N for a quick low-fat latte¢ and a little bin browsing. How could I not come home with, “Crave, a Passion for Chocolate”, by Maureen McKeon. At $7.49 it was a steal and this is a big book. Ms. McKeon goes into full detail about the characteristics of different chocolates, and how to work with them. She offers basic recipes, those with chocolate and nuts, chocolate and fruit, cool and hot chocolate and frostings. I could go on but I think you get the point. She’s thorough. With visions of chocolate dancing in my head it took what seemed like forever to narrow down my first recipe to bake from the book. In reality, Charisse chose the recipe; it’s Carrot and Walnut Cake. What, no chocolate in the title? Trust me it’s in there.
This one’s a bit time intensive with all the chopping and grating but I didn’t care, because I was also geeked up about trying out my new mixer. And wouldn’t you know it, the only thing that had to be mixed was the eggs and sugar. Oh well, all things in time. Now I’m a card carrying member of the chocoholic society, but when I read that 1 ¼ cup grated dark chocolate went into the batter I was a bit skeptical. But blogger buddies the skepticism flew out the window at first bite. Was this a chocolate cake with carrots, a carrot cake with chocolate or both with walnuts thrown in? All of the above, and then top it off with a Lemon Cream Cheese frosting. Sweet Mother of Pearl!
10 ½ oz all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
4 lge eggs
9 oz superfine sugar (if you don’t have superfine, give the regular a whirl in a food processor)
1 ¼ cups grated dark chocolate
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 cups firmly packed coarsely grated carrots (3 small to medium carrots)
1 cup vegetable oil ( I used canola)
½ cup cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter 2-8” round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. (This blogging thing is slowly pushing out of my comfort zone.) I’m getting used to the idea of not greasing and flouring or using my pan grease to prepare my pans. Sift the dry ingredients together. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until pale and increased in volume about 5 minutes. And my mixer did an outstanding job in those 5 minutes! HA!
Add the sifted dry ingredients and fold in using a rubber spatula. Add the grated chocolate, walnuts, carrots and oil and fold in. Do not over mix. Pour the mixture into prepared pans and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until cakes test done. Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn onto wire racks to cool completely.
Beat all the ingredients together until light and fluffy. Fill and frost the cake as desired. Decorate with coconut or chocolate shavings if you feel you just have to have a little enhancement. J It’s best to let this cake chill in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight to allow the frosting to firm up for better slicing. If you’re in a hurry to get into it, just swipe all the gooey goodness that collects on your knife and have at it. Enjoy!
Look at all the chocolate yum yums!
My sister-in-law Pauletta has been in our family since I was four years old, and that’s a pretty long time. Over the years she’s been sister-in-law, sister, surrogate mom and a great friend. She’s had her share of heartaches and health problems, and when she asks for a cake the answer is always yes. I made this cake as a Mother’s Day treat for her this year, and shortly after she was hospitalized. So the running joke around here is that my cake made her sick; which of course it didn’t, but it’s a great story line. Despite her health problems she stays as active as she can, volunteering and serving on more committees than I could ever dare. This is the cake she requested for a club meeting over the weekend. I would love to show you the inside of the cake, but I don’t think Pauletta would’ve appreciated me cutting into it before she did.
You know, I haven’t heard from her; hope all is well.
Lemon Layer Cake
Adapted from Epicurious
4 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
5 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
Lemon Curd with White Chocolate
Cream Cheese Frosting
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and flour 2-10” round cake pans and set aside. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir together milk and lemon juice (mixture will curdle). Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture in batches, beginning and ending with flour, mixing at low speed until just combined. Divide batter between pans, smoothing tops. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes, then invert onto racks, and cool completely.
Lemon Curd with White Chocolate
4 lge eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2/3 cups fresh lemon juice
6 TBS unsalted butter, but into bits
2 oz white chocolate, cut into bits
In a heavy saucepan, combine the eggs, yolks, sugar, and lemon juice. Cook the mixture over moderately low heat, stirring until custard is thick and just begins to bubble. Strain into a bowl and stir in the butter and white chocolate until smooth. Pour into a bowl and press wax paper or plastic wrap on top to prevent a skin from forming. Cool and chill.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Stir in vanilla.
Fill a frosting bag with approximately 1 cup of the cream cheese frosting and set aside. Place one cake layer on a plate and pipe a ring of frosting ½ “ from the edge of layer. This ring or dam prevents the filling from oozing between the layers. Spread 1 cup of the lemon curd inside the ring. Place second layer on top. Spread cream cheese frosting on top and sides of cake, smoothing with an angled spatula. With remaining frosting in bag, pipe a top and bottom border, if desired. And if you’re feeling frisky, spoon some of the lemon curd into a frosting bag or a Ziploc bag. Snip off the end and make squiggly lines on top of the cake.