Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Italian Lemon Layer Cake Recipe

People need to know about this recipe. Seriously!! If you like lemons (I love them!!) and you like cake then this is for you!! It's like a light airy lemon version of tiramisu!! I first had this cake at our Italy reunion party Jay's sister Claudia had made it for dessert and it was the highlight of the whole party! I knew I had to get the recipe for Jay's birthday since he isn't a big dessert fan I wanted to go all out for his birthday. Claudia finally emailed me the recipe and I hope I don't get in trouble for sharing it!! It's a cake recipe from the Island of Capri! The cake is amazing. Lemon flavors come through strong, but the delicate mascarpone and
cream soften the lemon and smooth it out. Served best with some chilled limoncello shots!!

Italian Lemon Layer Cake



First off you should know 3 things..

  • This cake might take a few days to make I started 2 days before so the last day all I had to do was assemble. 1st day lemon curd and cakes, second day icing and assemble. 
  • I am 100% not a cake baker person so your cake has a chance of turning out way better than mine. Although it will be equally as amazing in flavor. 
  • I used Meyer Lemons for this recipe not those uber sour lemons that taste like cleaning supplies. 
Grocery Store List:
Produce: 
1-2 Oranges
6-8 Meyer Lemons (more if your planning on decorating with lemons)
Baking Goods- 
1- Package of Duncan Hines Yellow Cake mix
3/4 Cup of Sugar
2/3 Cup of Confectioner Sugar
1/3 Cup of Oil
1/2 Cup of Limoncello
Dairy: 
5- Eggs
6- Tablespoons UN-salted butter
8- Oz. of Mascarpone Cheese
8- Oz. of Room Temp Cream Cheese
2- Cups of Chilled Whipping Cream


Lemon Curd:
First you will want to make the lemon curd it can easily be made stove top or in the microwave. Stove top was more convenient for me so I could watch the consistency of the curd. If you use the microwave you will need a large bowl because the curd will bubble up and possibly over-flow. On the stove top I had no such problem.
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. orange zest
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Gather your zest and all other ingredients and stir into pot. Continue to stir/whisk until you get a good coating on the back of your spoon. Mine took about 6 minutes. Place in container to cool and refrigerate over night.

Cake:
Make cake to directions on box and add these in-- 
2 Tbsp. lemon zest

1 tsp. orange zest
1/3 Cup of lemon juice 
1 Tbsp. orange juice 

Mix all ingredients together and pour into 2 cake pans. Bake to box instructions. It's OK if your tooth pick has a little crumb on it. Cool cakes in pan on counter for 10‐15 minutes, then invert and finish cooling on cake rack.

Icing and Filling: 
2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup confectioner's (10X) sugar
16 oz. mascarpone cheese, softened OR
8 oz. mascarpone cheese & 8 oz. cream cheese (I used mascarpone & Neufchatel)

1‐1/4 cups lemon curd (homemade or purchased)

Place large mixing bowl and wire whip beaters in freezer for 10 minutes. Remove and whip the
cream till stiff. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating till stiff again. In separate smaller bowl,
by hand or with electric mixer with wire whip attachment, beat the softened cheese and chilled
lemon curd together till well combined. Add the sweetened cream and beat again till everything is

well blended.

Assembly: 
 Cut the cooled cake layers in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Place the first layer, cut
side up, on serving plate. Using pastry brush, brush 1/4 of Limoncello (or lemon syrup) onto the
cake. Top with 3/4 ‐ 1 cup of the frosting. Place next layer cut side down and repeat process. Frost
the outside of the cake and the top. If desired, decorate top using a pastry bag (or resealable
plastic bag with corner cut and star tip inserted in cut corner) and star tip. If you do not have a
star tip, you can decorate top with chopped nuts, chopped crystallized ginger, or thin lemon slices.
Yield: 10‐12 servings.
The cake should be refrigerated for at least 6 hours before serving. It's really like a Tiramisu and it
WILL pick you up! (Tiramisu means literally "pick me up.")

Honestly I had a hard time with the assembly 1 of my cakes completely fell apart. Luckily you can put it back together like puzzle pieces and slap some filling on top. No one will ever know!!! The icing is smooth and thick enough to cover up any mistakes and very easy to decorate!! I used lemon twists, lemon circles, and lemon heads. Last minute I stole a yellow flower off the bouquet and added that.


Beginning of my lemon curd.. Oops I forgot to melt the butter. 

In case anyone was wondering splitting cakes is hard! But it's OK I have a TON of icing!! 


I still have a ton of icing leftover. 

Decorate yay!! 


The lemon twists turned out really neat on the cake!!