Monday, July 20, 2009

Lemons. Blueberries. Summer.

It's time again for The Cake Slice Bakers to reveal their sky high creations! And this months cake is Lemon Blueberry Marble Cake--a highly delicious, moist and flavorful cake. A must make this summer.

I was skeptical about this cake, though I'm not sure why. I love lemon and blueberries. Heck, I even love cake so I'm not sure why I was so apprehensive. Maybe because when it comes to cake, I tend to veer towards chocolate because that's what my husband craves. Don't know, but I should have never questioned the integrity of this cake. It was beyond good!

This recipe comes from the very impressive Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne. As a member of The Cake Slice Bakers, we are working our way though this book and it has been a treat. I've said it once (or twice) and I'll say it again. Go get this book, or at least stop by your local bookstore or library and check it out. You'll drool, I promise.

Back to the cake. Lemons and blueberries are a perfect pairing. Both great representatives of summer. The cake was light and moist almost like a breakfast cake swirled throughout with homemade blueberry lemon jam. I didn't think the jam was exceptional on it own, but as a filling it was perfect. The frosting was equally wonderful. A lot of buttercreams I've had in the past were greasy and overly sweet. This was not--it was creamy and thick, sweet with a subtle lemon pucker. The only adaptation I made to the frosting was to add grated lemon zest for more punch of flavor. I halved the recipe to make a smaller 6-inch cake and I regret it. I should have made the whole thing and not shared. It was sublime sublemon!

Lemon Blueberry Marble Cake from Sky High Printable Version
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1½ tsp lemon extract
  • 7 egg whites
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1¼ cups milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of three 8 inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

In a mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, lemon zest and lemon extract until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg whites 2 or 3 at a time, beating well between additions and stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk gently to blend. In 2 or 3 alternating additions, beat the dry ingredients and milk into the butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times. Beat on medium-high speed for about 1 minute to smooth out any lumps and aerate the batter.

Scoop 1 cup* of the batter into a small bowl. Divide the remaining equally among the 3 prepared pans, smoothing the tops with a spatula. This gives you a smooth surface to work with. Add 2½ tbsp of the lemon blueberry jam to the reserved batter and blend well. Drizzle heaping teaspoons of this blueberry mixture over the batter in the pans. Use a skewer to swirl the blueberry mixture in short strokes to drag it down through the lemon batter without mixing it in.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until a cake tester or skewer stuck in the center comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Let the layers cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack, peeling off the paper and leaving to cool completely.

NOTE: *I used more than a cup of blueberry jam/cake batter to marble in the cakes because I wanted more of a marble effect, rather than a "drizzle".

Blueberry Lemon Jam

  • 3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger (I omitted this)

Puree the blueberries with any juices that have exuded in a blender. Pass the puree through a coarse strainer to remove the skins.

In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the blueberry puree with the sugar, lemon juice, zest and ginger. Bring to a gentle boil over a medium heat, stirring often for 20 minutes, or until the preserves have thickened and are reduced to 1 cup.

To check the proper thickness place a small amount of a saucer and put in the freezer until cold. Drag your finger through it. If a clear path is made through the preserve then it is ready. Let the preserves cool before using. (Can be made up to 5 days in advance).

NOTE: I didn't read the recipe til after I had added the blueberries, zest and sugar in a pot. So I went ahead and cooked it down halfway, then pureed and strained it. It worked out fine-Oops!

Lemon Buttercream

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest (my addition)

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil without stirring, occasionally washing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from the heat.

In a large mixer bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs briefly. Slowly add the hot syrup in a thin stream, pouring it down the sides of the bowl; be careful to avoid hitting the beaters or the syrup may splatter. When all the syrup has been added, raise the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is very fluffy and cooled to body temperature. This can take 15-20 minutes.

Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and gradually add the softened butter 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, beating well between additions. As you’re adding the last few tablespoons of butter, the frosting will appear to break, then suddenly come together like whipped butter.

Beat in the lemon juice and zest (if using), and the frosting is ready to use.

Assembly: To assemble the cake, place a layer, flat side up, on a cake stand. Spread half of the lemon blueberry jam over the top. Place a second layer on top of the first and spread the remaining jam over it. Finally place the third layer on top and frost the top and sides with the lemon buttercream. Decorate with fresh blueberries and serve.

Makes one 8 inch triple layered cake.

WAIT! ...Before you leave! Please go by and wish Debby from A Feast For The Eyes a very Happy Birthday! Deb, I hope you have a wonderful day. This slice is for you sweetie!

44 comments:

Cat J B said...

Oh. My. Gosh!!! I just found your blog, directed here by I can't remember who, and I'm instantly hooked! There are so many recipes on here I'm going to have to try out, oooh I can't wait! Nice to meet you, I'll be dropping by often :)

Katie said...

Your cake looks wonderful! I love how you decorated it and the marbleing turned out so well. I agree the buttercream was divine!

TheTinyJEWELBox said...

that looks AMAZING!!!!@

Jo said...

Absolutely gorgeous looking cake. I love the swirled blueberrie effect. Unfortunately mine didn't turn out so swirled. I'll probably have to add more next time round.

cookies and cups said...

That cake looks gorgeous!! Like a top tier of a wedding cake! With the fruit in there you could justify having a slice for breakfast, right? ;)

♥peachkins♥ said...

Gosh! This looks like a mouthwatering cake!

Selba said...

What a beautiful cake! I wish I could have one for my coming soon b'day :)

Kim said...

I just saw the Sky High book at Williams-Sonoma the other day and was seriously drooling. What a beautiful book and this cake is an example of that!! What a beautiful and delicious looking cake. I think I'm gonna have to have that book : )

BigSis said...

So beautiful! I don't think I've ever seen a cake quite like this. I LOVE the purple marbling!

Smitten Sugar said...

Wow this looks so light and fluffy! Perfect for a summer afternoon. I would never have put these two together but wow its looks delish! I think I might need to get this book too!

Sophie said...

I'm a fan of the marbled look too :)! I love these flavors together, I'm ready for a slice!

Amber said...

YUMMM!

Lissaloo said...

I am dying to make this cake! Wow, it's gorgeous! You are the Queen of Cakes Monica =)

Jacque said...

Ooooh, that is the cutest cake! Nice job. I agree, it was very good.

Joanna said...

Wow, this cake is so pretty! Nice job! :)

SiHaN said...

I love the final cake. Well done with the decor as well. I wish I had done better with mine. Nonetheless I'm still looking forward to next month's recipe!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

LOL-- I just raced to my fridge for a slice of my birthday cake. This posting made me CRAVE cake! First, beautiful piping job! What do you need classes for? You weren't kidding-- this recipe sounds divine. We are lemon lovers, in this house, so it looks like you've given me my first "Monica Challenge". OK, you convinced me to see if my library has this book. As always, this is a show stopping cake!
PS: Thanks for the birthday wishes. xoxox
Debby

Maria said...

That cake is AMAZING! I love love love it!

Delectable Dining said...

What a masterpiece! It's such a work of art-- beautiful!

Ingrid said...

Monica...congrats! I just saw that YOU won! No surprise really and with my fave snickerdoodle blondies! :)

The cake looks and sounds delish. I much prefer my fruit pureed rather than left whole so this sounds right up my alley. I gotta say that while the cake photos are awesome its the two of the blueberries that are the winners out of this bunch. (Love the cake stand and blue background)
~ingrid

girlichef said...

Looks absolutely fabulous!! You are the cake queen. I swear you are.

Mermaid Sweets said...

Wow, your cake is amazing. You really are an awesome baker. I love how you decorated, just perfect. And the insides look great too. I didn't have much time to take photos, so not too proud of mine, but it went quickly.

Coleen's Recipes said...

What a great looking cake!! I really liked the swirled batter photo and thought "boy I hope she shows us the inside of the cake after its baked" and you did not disappoint...my goodness, what a beautiful cake.

Laura said...

you have to enter this in this weeks contest so so gorgeous!

Allison said...

That is one yummy looking cake. Now, I want to make one for lunch. =O)

Kerstin said...

Wow, I'm so impressed (again!), it looks SO delicious! And the batter is so pretty.

Juliana said...

Such a nice cake...love the combination of the flavors... blueberries and lemon...can only imagine the flavor...yummie. Great pictures!

Donna-FFW said...

This is an amazing work of culinary masterpiece!! It is so gorgeous Monica!! The sliced piece looks perfect!

Treehouse Chef said...

That cake is so unique and beautiful. I am so sad-- I checked out the library and they don't have that book. I guess I will just need to order it. Great Job! Lovely cake!

Caroline said...

Oh my, look at all that creamy frosting! And you had more success with the marbling than I did - all of mine just kinda stayed on top of the cake. Yours turned out so pretty!

Bella said...

Monica, I am completely speechless and in utter AWE over this lemon blueberry piece of heaven that you have shared. Your blog is magnificent and I am adding you to my sidebar ASAP. I can't get enough cake and frosting in my life and my husband's an addict! I'll also get the book you recommended and go directly to your other blog. Grazie mille (Thanks a Million in Italian!) Roz (aka Bella) and also thanks for all of your lovely comments that you have left on my blog. You are too kind!

Julie said...

That cake is just stunning! Maybe too pretty to eat....but I'd probably eat it anyway.

Palidor said...

That is one perfect looking cake!

Tami said...

I just love your blog! I spend a few minutes here looking around and walk away craving something sweet every time!

This cake is gorgeous! Nice work and beautiful pictures to go along with it!

cookie dough said...

I'm making this cake for the "Blueberry Bash" that our town holds...thanks so much for posting the recipe and the gorgeous pictures!

OvenDelights said...

Monica,
This cake pic is amazing! Its my favorite! Too bad the cookbook's pic didnt' turn out as well as yours. Plus their's doesn't look as scrumptious! Job well done!!

jajb.lilly said...

This looks so delicious. I am going to give it a try this weekend. I have a quick question, when making the butter cream, should I use the paddle attachment or the whisk attachment? Thanks!

Monica H said...

Jajb.lilly- If I remember correctly, I used the whisk attachment. I hope you like it!

Janet said...

What a beautiful cake! I definitely will make this one for my upcoming birthday or spring time special! I love Blueberry comb with lemon! Sounds so delicious!

vthib said...

I AM MAKING THIS for a fundraiser this weekend! It looks so good. My family raises money to give scholarships at our high school in memory of my beloved son. I'm always looking fabulous desserts for our Dessert Tea Fundraiser. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Do you think you could make a blueberry buttercream substituting the lemon juice for blueberry juice and a little blueberry pulp? :)

Sheer Drapes World said...

QUESTION! HELP!!! if i use 2 1/2 T of the jam in the cup of batter and then dribble Tablespoons of jam over each cake pan, then how do I know that using the REST of the jam will be enough for between the layers. i think i'm missing something! i can't figure this out!! love it. thanks.

Monica H said...

Sheer Drapes- there will be enough jam left over to spread between the layers. I can't remember exactly how much jam this recipe makes, but you're only adding a little bit to the batter to make a purple Jammy batter. You then take the blueberry batter and marble it into the plain batter. You're not drizzling the batter with blueberry jam so Whatever jam is left, you spread between the layers. Dont worry, you'll have enough! Please let me know how it turns out.

Monica h

Anonymous said...

I was able to make all other components of the cake perfectly fine, but it took me multiple attempts to make the buttercream. The first time the sugar mixture cooled too quickly. The second time it was so hot it started cooking some of the eggs but also congealed too quickly. Did no one else have problems making the buttercream? Could it be that without a "whisk" attachment my mixer wasn't mixing it well enough?

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