This is a great recipe if you love lemons, or if you’re looking to make something that will look really pretty. I loved the way all of the layers looked before I added the frosting!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 1/4 cups white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup limoncello liqueur
Lemon Curd Filling
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 4 egg yolks, beaten
Lemon Pastry Cream Filling
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest (from 2 large lemons)
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
Lemon Whipped Cream Frosting
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3-4 Tbsp. limoncello liqueur, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8 inch round pans. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk and limoncello, mixing just until incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
To make lemon curd filling: In medium saucepan, mix together 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth. Mix in 6 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup sugar, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. In small bowl, with a wire whisk, beat egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the sauce pan, beating the hot lemon mixture rapidly. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes, or until thick (not to boil).
Pour mixture into medium bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface to keep skin from forming as it cools. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the lemon pastry cream: In a small saucepan, bring the milk and lemon zest to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix together the egg yolks, sugar and flour (mixture will be thick). Pour the milk mixture into the bowl and whisk until smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk constantly over medium-low heat until smooth and thick, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Whisk in the vanilla and lemon juice until smooth. Transfer the pastry cream to a clean bowl and lay a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the lemon whipped cream frosting: Beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and limoncello and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
To assemble: With long serrated knife, split each cake layer in half horizontally, making 6 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Spread with 1/3 of the lemon curd filling. Top with another layer, and spread with 1/2 of the lemon pastry cream. Add third layer, and spread with 1/3 of the lemon curd filling. Add fourth layer, and top with remaining lemon pastry cream. Top with fifth layer, and spread remaining lemon curd filling. Press on final cake layer, and frost top and sides of cake with whipped cream frosting. Refrigerate cake until serving time.