Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yellow (Lemon Blueberry Cake)

Spring is here, summer is well on its way. This is what my town looks like right now (this was on one of the very rare rainy days here):

Everything is in sunny yellow bloom. So it was only fitting that I made a sunny yellow cake for my grandma's birthday.

My grandma's dietary restrictions (no chocolate or nuts) have inspired me to branch out into new territories, since I have always believed that desserts with chocolate and/or nuts are always the best. I have begun to make exceptions to this rule, and while I will always be a die-hard chocolate lover and choose chocolate cake (especially with my mom's signature mocha glaze and blackberry filling) for my own birthday, I have a newfound appreciation for fruit-based cakes.

I adapted this recipe from Sweetapolita and replaced the lemon curd with an all-fruit blackberry jam. Don't look at her photos, they are far too beautiful in comparison to my amateur shots!

Just kidding. Please do look at her photos. They will convince you to make this cake just as they convinced me.

Lemon-Blueberry Layer Cake      
2 cups plus 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract (I used lemon juice)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened about 20 minutes out of refrigerator
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare three 8″ round cake pans with parchment paper, butter and flour. Sift dry ingredients into medium bowl. Transfer 1 tablespoon flour mixture to larger bowl. Add fresh blueberries and toss to coat them with flour. Set remaining flour mixture and blueberries aside.
Stir whole milk, sour cream, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon zest in small bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar, until pale yellow and very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, until well combined. Mix in flour mixture alternately with milk mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Divide batter equally among 8″ round pans.
Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks for about 10 minutes, then invert onto racks until completely cool.
*The Lemon-Blueberry cake base adapted (actually adapted ;)) from Epicurious

Zesty Lemon Frosting        

1 cup soft unsalted butter
2 teaspoons lemon zest
6 cups icing sugar
60 ml fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract (I juiced a couple of lemons and cooked down the juice until very concentrated and yellow, then measured out 1/2 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons water
pinch salt
1 drop of yellow gel color (optional)

Cream butter and lemon zest in bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, about 3 minutes. Slowly add icing sugar, mixing on low speed for about 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and beat on med-high for 3-4 minutes until very fluffy. If using color gel, add a drop or two (really, no more than that, because too much sunshine really can be a bad thing!), then beat until blended. Yields enough to frost outside of three layer 8″ round cake.

Place one layer of cake on a cake board or plate. Spread blackberry jam evenly across cake. Carefully place second layer of cake on top and repeat. Top with third layer of cake. Spread thin layer (crumb coat) of Zesty Lemon Frosting over top and sides of cake. Place cake in refrigerator for apprx 30 mins. Remove from refrigerator and using same method, frost cake with generous layer of frosting, smoothing again. Decorate as desired.


Galexi Cupcakes said...

A couple of things: The trees in the pictures look absolutely ready for spring. The cake looks amazingly delicious and lastly, please, if you haven't make your mom's cake!!! LOL
Thanks for sharing.Jackie

Alisa said...

Thanks Jackie! The cake was quite delicious, and the trees are definitely ready for spring (unfortunately, so are my allergies). If you would like a recipe for my mom's cake, this is it: http://allrecipes.com/PersonalRecipe/62159962/Mocha-Blackberry-Fantasy-Cake/Detail.aspx Let me know if you make it!

Meaghan Luby said...

blue berries and lemons are such a perfect match.... thank you so so much for sharing! love this, love you, love your blog! ha. it's a party. i'll keep you updated if i make this!
@ http://clutzycooking.blogspot.com