I love it when people who know I have a blog try something I’ve made and say “this must go on the blog!” This cake elicited that sort of response when I brought the leftovers into the office. Ultra lemony with a lemon curd filling and lightly sweet and soft meringue frosting.
I bake less often than I cook. When I do bake I usually can find plenty inspiration on the blogs I follow. I then follow the recipe closely and usually have great success. I’ve made the mistake of deviating from recipes and have ended up with hard chocolate chip cookies, mushy fruit crisps, and fall apart cupcakes.
But Matt’s birthday was a couple weeks ago and I had in my head a lemon cake with the most intense lemon flavor. The frosting would be a swiss meringue, reminiscent of the most perfect wedding cakes, smooth and buttery but not too sweet. It would be garnished simply with sliced lemons and pistachios. But mostly it would be lemony and sweet like the ultimate lemon bar but in cake form.
My evaluation of recipes showed that few used more than 1-2 lemons. I knew that wouldn’t work but eventually I came across Ina Garten’s lemon cake. It called for 6-8 lemons, mostly using the zest, exactly what I was looking for. The recipe was more for a loaf snacking cake, not the frosted variety I had in mind. Luckily, baking is science and I knew if I paid attention to the details and studied the proportions in recipes I trusted I could figure this out. I decided the recipe could be tweaked for a pan with a couple modification.
One more note on how I bake. Generally I prefer measuring cups but I use a kitchen scale when I weigh out flour and other ingredients prone to mis-measurement. For that reason, those weights are included. If you don’t use a scale just carefully measure the flour (shift and level).