Updated: Feb 16, 2021
This cake was inspired by a vintage Valentine's Day card motif. I absolutely love the idea of taking a simple white cake , filling it with a delicious lemon curd filling. ( perfect combo in my opinion ) and combing it's purity and simplicity with a bold hand painted cupid / heart design created using food gels. The actual painting of the image was treated the same I would treat a watercolor painting, but instead of using water, I used Everclear which evaporates much quicker. You could also use clear lemon extract instead.
This design was painted on a super thin sheet of fondant. The sugar paste rosettes that embellish the top and bottom borders add an elegant finishing touch.
INGREDIENTS ( cake )
3 cups all purpose flour (See note)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
6 egg whites, room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
INGREDIENTS ( lemon curd filling )
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
8 large egg yolks (egg whites reserved for another use)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter (10 tablespoons), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
INGREDIENTS ( simple syrup )
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
INGREDIENTS ( frosting )
6 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1-3 Tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Generously grease and flour two 8-inch light-colored aluminum heart shaped cake pans.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar using a mixer until light and fluffy. About three minutes.
Add egg whites one at a time, mixing until just combined. Mix in vanilla.
Mix the flour mixture on low in three additions, alternating with the milk in two additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl in between and mix until combined. Be careful not to over mix.
Pour batter evenly among two cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool cake in pans for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool on a wire rack.
Use a serrated knife to cut off the top of each domed cake layer and use a pastry brush to spread simple syrup on top of the layers.
Lemon Curd Filling
1. In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, zest, and egg yolks; whisk in
lemon juice and salt.
2. Add butter and place pan over medium-high. Cook, whisking constantly, until butter
has melted, mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and small bubbles
form around the edge of pan, about 5 minutes (do not boil).
3- Remove pan from heat while continuing to whisk. Pour curd through a fine-mesh
sieve into a glass bowl. Press plastic wrap against the surface of curd and refrigerate
To make a simple syrup, heat sugar and water in small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until sugar granules completely dissolve. Cool and it's ready to apply on top of your cake layers.
Cover with plastic wrap and make frosting. Another trick I do is put the cake pans back on top of the layers if I'm not going to leave them out very long before decorating.
For the frosting, beat butter for 3-4 minutes until whipped and creamy. Add confectioners' sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing on low to start and increasing until incorporated. Add vanilla extract and milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until you achieve your desired consistency.
Frost the top of one cake layer. Place the second layer on top and frost. Spread a thin layer around the sides as a crumb coat and chill cake.
Roll out a very thing even layer of white fondant and cover cake once crumb coat has hardened