For the birthday boy's 3rd birthday, I turned this sweet, and tart, poppyseed lemon cake into a country fair themed cake. The 4 layer cake was filled and frosted with a light lemon cream cheese frosting, and decorated with fondant figurines. The flavor of the cake was so yummy and fresh... perfect for summer!
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Lemon Poppyseed Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting:
(makes 2 8 inch rounds)
3 cups cake flour
1 ¾ cups sugar
4 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2-3 tbsp poppy seeds
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch cubes
zest of 1 large lemon
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
5 egg whites
½ tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds; mix on low speed until combined.
Add butter, lemon zest, and one cup of the buttermilk, beat for 2-3 minutes, until combined.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup of buttermilk, egg whites and vanilla.
Gradually add the egg white mixture to the batter and beat for another 1-2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Make sure everything is thoroughly combined, but do not overbeat your batter.
Pour into pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cake cool in the pans about 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and cool completely.
4 oz. cream cheese, cold
2½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. lemon extract
zest of ½ a lemon
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
To make the filling, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined.
Mix in the powdered sugar and beat on low speed until incorporated.
Blend in the lemon extract and lemon zest. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and set aside.
Wipe out the mixer bowl and fit with the whisk attachment.
Add the heavy cream to the bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over beat.
Mix about a third of the whipped cream into the lemon-mascarpone mixture to lighten.
Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until no streaks remain and the mixture is evenly blended.
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
6-8 cups powdered sugar
zest of 1 lemon
fresh lemon juice, to taste
1 tsp. vanilla extract
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add cream cheese and mix for another 2 to 3 minutes.
With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar (a little at a time), lemon zest, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy.
Add fresh lemon juice, a tablespoon at a time, till lemon flavor is to your liking.
If mixture seems to thick, add milk, 2 tablespoons at a time to reach desired consistency.
If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.