Here's the scoop: I used this recipe from apollinas.com as inspiration, but the most exceptional part of the cake is how you decorate it! So, feel free to pick and choose different parts of the recipe, employ your favorite white frosting instead of theirs, or even *gasp* use a cake mix! (I wish I had...it would have saved me a lot of angst...)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the pans
- grated zest of 2 oranges
- grated zest of two lemons
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk
- Blood oranges (or grapefruit), regular oranges, lemons, limes sliced to arrange on top of the cake
- fresh mint, also to arrange on top of the cake
- Heat oven to 350°F. Butter two 8″, 9″ or 10″ round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment, butter again, and dust with flour, tapping out the excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- Using an electric (or hand mixer -that’s all I have at the moment!), beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the grated zest of the oranges and lemons. Beat in the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined (don’t over mix).
- Divide the batter equally between the prepared cake pans, leveling the top of each with a large spoon or rubber spatula. Bake until a toothpick from the center of the cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes for 8-inch pans, 22 to 25 minutes for 9-inch pans and 20 to 22 minutes for a 10 inch pan. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely. (After they cooled, I wrapped and froze my cakes until the next day).
Transfer one of the cooled cakes to a plate and spread with the lemon curd. Top with the remaining cake and refrigerate to set, 30 minutes. Then frost the rest of the cake!
Lemon Curd Filling (adapted from RealSimple)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and salt. Add the butter. Set the bowl over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened (like the consistency of mayonnaise), 12 to 15 minutes.
- Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper directly on the surface of the lemon curd and refrigerate until completely cool, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
Fresh Orange Lemon Frosting
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 pound confectioners’ sugar (about 3 3/4 cups), sifted
- pinch salt
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and lemon zest on high until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the orange juice. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the sugar, then the salt, and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Ice the cake!