lemon layer cake with vanilla bean buttercream

excuse me while i go on a bit of a rant here… you might want to just scroll down a bit.

apparently the other day lady gaga felt it was appropriate to tweet something to the affect of eating a salad instead of a burger because “popstars don’t eat”. since i’m seeing a lot of articles on it… i had to rant about it because SERIOUSLY??!? i’m all for eating healthy and eating in moderation. and yes. there are some days i eat a salad instead of a burger but SERIOUSLY??!? who really cares what i have to say?? i’m not an internationally known popstar who released a song called “born this way” that is all about accepting yourself as you were born. don’t get me wrong.. i’m not saying that if there is something about someone that truly bothers them that they shouldn’t do something about it… if a boob job or new nose is GENIUNELY going to make you feel better, go for it. but a boob job or new nose isn’t starving yourself. that’s like the images i see all the time on pinterest that say “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. bullcrap. i SLIGHTLY agree with the updated version that goes like “nothing tastes as good as skinny healthy feels.” personally i’m a foodie so arguing with me that nothing tastes as good as… is a completely wasted argument. but we should be focusing on health and not being rail thin. some of us in this world were not made to be bean poles and that’s ok. heck… it’s ok to be a bean pole if that’s how you naturally are as long as you’re healthy.


rant over.

i was really pumped about sharing this cake with you… i’m sure i had some really witty banter to share that was lighthearted but then lady gaga and her horns took over. but for those that say nothing tastes as good as… haven’t had this cake. it’s everything that says springtime lemon in cake form. it packs a lemon punch in the cake itself as well as a lemon marscapone filling.  then that all gets sealed in with a light vanilla bean buttercream. i pinned this recipe a while back and have been waiting for the perfect time for a lemon cake. i mean let’s be honest… lemon cake in december isn’t really seasonal. although i guess i did make some lemon cookies and bundt cakes with lemon out of season. but then again… south louisiana doesn’t have the season typically known as spring so is lemon ever really out of season here? i’m gonna go with a no on that one.

lemon layer cake with vanilla bean buttercream

  • 3 c cake flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c (2 sticks) + 2 1/2 tbs + 1 1/2 c & 2 tbs (3 sticks & 2 tbs) softened, unsalted butter
  • zest of 1 lemon, divided
  • 2 c sugar
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 c buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 tbs + 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
  • 4 oz mascarpone cheese, cold
  •  1 1/4 + 3 c powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 c + 2tbs heavy cream, chilled – or if you’re really lazy, you could use 2 c REALLY GOOD whipped cream instead of the 1 c but it has to be REALLY GOOD whipped cream, none of this cool whip stuff in this recipe.
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  1. preheat the oven to 350F.  Bbutter and flour (spray with baker’s joy) the edges of 3 round cake pans and shake out the excess.
  2. combine the cake flour and baking powder in a bowl, set aside. combine the buttermilk, 1 tbs lemon extract and 1 tsp vanilla extract, set aside.
  3. beat 1 c butter, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 the lemon zest until light and fluffy and creamy in color. scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. add the sugar to the butter mixture, a little at a time, beating well between each addition.  add the eggs one at a time, mixing each until it is throughly incorporated. scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. alternatively add the dry ingredients and wet ingredients to the mixer; begin and end with the dry. scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix 15 sec passed being just incorporated.
  6. divide the batter between the 3 cake pans. bake 20-22 mins or until the cakes are golden and a toothpick comes out of the center clean. let cool in the pans 10 mins before inverting to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. make your filling while your cakes are cooling. combine the mascarpone and 2 1/2 tbs butter until smooth and well combined. beat in the powdered sugar until incorporated. beat in the remaining lemon extract and zest. increase the mixer speed and beat until the filling is light and fluffy. transfer to a bowl.
  8. wipe out the mixer and use a whisk attachment to whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. or use your REALLY GOOD whipped cream. gently fold in half of the whipped cream (homemade or REALLY GOOD) into the lemon mascarpone mixture. put in the fridge until ready to use.
  9. now make you frosting… put the remaining butter in the bowl of your mixer with a whisk attachment and whip on medium-high until smooth. add the powdered sugar and mix on medium-low until just blended. add the vanilla bean seeds, vanilla extract, heavy cream and pinch of salt.  increase the mixer to high and whip until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  10. now it’s time to assemble your cake. divide the filling into two and spread between the layers. frost with your vanilla bean buttercream.

you can decorate and make your cake really pretty if you want to. i didn’t but because 1) i was feeling lazy and 2) i made this cake for easter dinner at my mom’s house and didn’t feel like bringing my piping bags and tips.

you should go make this cake now so you can prove that it tastes as better than skinny feels.


recipe from: annie’s eats


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