March 29, 2009

Lemon Layer Cake

happy birthday to my bro

All week I was thinking about how I was going to make my brother, Ryan a lemon cake for his birthday. I also wanted to make it extra special and have his face on it. I found a recipe in the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook for the cake…and decided on skipping the lemon curd and used lemon pudding instead.

Casey totally hooked me up and helped me with the face part. Look at the stencil!

the stencil

It seriously makes me laugh every time I look at it…the stencil is sitting in our kitchen still and I feel like I would be so sad if I threw it out. The image was adapted from a photograph, and it’s likeness is spot on!


It started off with a lemon cake…all frosted and nice. Then a photo…some Photoshopping…and some slick Exacto skills from my husband. First there was some preliminary testing…which caused us to add skewers on all side of the stencils for support. Dusted the top with cocoa powder after covering the cake in Saran Wrap.

Filled in the parts that were left on to connect the stencil together…and tada! A few hours well spent, I’d say.

Let’s take a peak at the filling…

lemon pudding filling

I added some strawberries on the sides

side swiped

We were filled with sooo much excitement driving this cake to my parent’s house. When you have something this funny, it’s really hard to contain the joy. It was a hit! My brother loved it and so did my parents.

cutting into ryan

After we dug into it, Casey commented “Ryan is half the man he used to be.” We got a good chuckle off that.

As for the cake…it was very tasty! The cake part wasn’t as moist as I hoped, but I think it was due to my leaving it in the oven too long. The pudding inside turned out wonderful. I was nervous about taking a gamble, but it all worked out! The frosting was soooo good too. Another cake down! Hmmm what cake to bake next?

Lemon Layer Cake

serves 10

(adapted from Magolia Bakery Cookbook)

For the Cake:
– 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
– 2 cups sugar
– 4 large eggs, at room temperature
– 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
-1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-3/4 cup milk
-1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
-2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and lightly flour three 9-by-2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottom with waxed paper.

To make the cake: In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Combine the flours and add in four parts, alternating with milk and lemon juice and zest, beating well after each addition. Divide batter among cake pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

For the Filling
-1 package JELL-O Instant pudding (the smallest box)
-1 3/4 cup milk (or whatever it calls for to make the Pie filling recipe)

Follow the direction on the box for Pie filling. Make sure you do this well in advance. Make sure you put an even amount of frosting on each layer. I kinda skimped on the first layer and was annoyed by it!

For the Lemon Buttercream Frosting:
-2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp)
-8 cups of powdered sugar
-1 teaspoon lemon zest
-1/2 cup lemon juice

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of sugar and juice, then the zest. Beat until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, one cup at a time until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. (It took me less that 5 cups to get to this point). Use and store at room temperature.

When cake has cooled, spread the pudding evenly between layers and frost the outside of the cake with the buttercream frosting.

Makes 1 three-layer 9-inch cake.

  • jenny

    jesus, woman.

    you are my hero.

    can i fly you out here to do the bird’s first birthday cake?
    i’m thinking, if i can get you and hula-seventy-andrea out here to do all the fun party decor, i’d have one amazing first birthday party.

    soooo, whaddya think? you doin’ anything the first week o’may?

  • Paula

    Yum, that looks fab (as usual). The stencil is a really great idea.

  • Cara

    Not only does that look like the best cake ever, but the “half the man he used to be” comment made me laugh for quite awhile. You are amazing.

  • Melisser

    OMG, I want to do a stencil like that!

  • Shelby

    What flavor was the pudding that you used as the filling?

Leave a Comment