My current obsession is the layer cake. Layer cakes seem to be the next big thing and I’ve fallen in love with their clumsy, excessive excellence. My latest baking adventure – 5 layers of tangy lemon sponge sandwiched with lemon-condensed-milk whipped cream and crushed meringue was no exception.
The cake was baked in honour of one of my best friend’s kitchen tea. I wanted to make something special, something just a tad extravagant, and a tiny bit sentimental. That’s how the Lemon Meringue Layer Cake was baked to life.
The classic lemon meringue pie holds a special place in my heart – a sticky sweet affair that leaves you reeling from sugar saturation. This one, though just as grand, left me feeling a little less dizzy and was a lot prettier to look at…
Lemon Meringue Layer Cake:
For the cake: (Makes 2-3 layers, I made this twice)
3 free range XL eggs
Juice & zest of 1 ripe lemon
1,5 cups flour
12ml baking powder
For the syrup:
Juice & zest of 1 ripe lemon
For the cream:
60ml Condensed Milk
15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the Meringues:
2 egg whites
2.5ml cream of tartar
120ml castor sugar
1. Preheat your oven to 180
2. Spray and prepare baking tins.
3. Place a glass bowl over 2-3cm of water on the stove – turn to medium heat. Whisk eggs and sugar until ribbon stage (Until its creamy and thick, and when dribbled off a spoon holds its shape for 5 seconds.) By whisking the eggs properly, enough air will be incorporated into the batter to ensure that the cake rises.
4. Melt butter in the microwave, add to milk and cook for 15 seconds.
5. Gently stir the butter mixture into the egg mixture – add lemon juice.
6. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together. Gently fold into batter.
7. Pour into prepared baking tins.
(Tip: use a measuring cup to equally divide the batter for even layers.)
8. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden and bouncy.
9. Whisk egg whites until frothy, add cream of tartar and beat until peaks form. Slowly add a tablespoon or two of sugar and repeat – beating to stiff peak after each addition.
10. Pipe or spread onto a baking-paper lined baking tray.
11. Bake at 100°C on thermo fan, or 120°C conventional for 40 minutes.
12: Place all ingredients into a pot and slowly bring to boil, stirring until all the sugar has melted, add more lemon if necessary.
Leave to cool.
13. Mix lemon juice with the condensed milk.
14. Whip the cream until soft and gloopy. Gradually beat in a spoonful of condensed milk mix at a time.
15.Place the first layer of sponge onto your cake stand or plate, drizzle with lemon syrup. Spoon cream onto the top – spread until it reaches the sides. Crush some meringue on top.
16. Repeat with all layers.
17. Top layer – load with cream, extra meringue and pile high with flowers.
So it took a little bit of time to create this cake but it was well worth it. It looked like marital bliss and the faces they made while munching made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Happy baking and lemon-pie making…
*All photo’s prepped, styled and photographed by Robyn Lea Smith