Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cheater, Cheater, Lemon Cake Eater!

This cake is simply delicious and easy. It's a cheater version of one of the most loved cakes we made at our restaurant years ago. You don't have to slave hours over these luscious layers of sweetness. This whimsical Strawberry Shortcake like torte will impress everyone that sees it!


For filling:
1 can of your favorite lemon pie filling
zest of 1 lemon, (add zest to can of filling and stir in)

Cake Layers:
Bakers spray or shortening and flour (to grease and dust pans)
1 box of your favorite butter yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 stick butter, softened but not mushy
1 1/4 cups water

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 package cream cheese (8 ounces), softened
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound confectioners sugar, sifted through a strainer

You will need:
3- 8" or 9 "cake pans
1 tooth pick
2-3 lemon slices, sugared (dipped in granulated sugar)
Decorating bag with star tip or zip lock bag with a tiny hole cut into the corner of the bag
Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray cake pans. In a mixing bowl or your stand mixer bowl, mix cake ingredients. Pour 1/3 of the batter into each prepared cake pan and bake according to package directions or 25 to 35 minutes, depending on your oven and cake pans used. Insert a toothpick into center of cakes. If it comes out clean, cakes are done. Let cake layers cool 10 minutes and remove from pans.  Off load cakes onto plates or wrap with cling wrap if desired and place in freezer. This is the secret to unbelievably moist cakes.

While the cakes are freezing, make the frosting. Sift the confectioners sugar in a mixing bowl or onto parchment paper.  In a mixing bowl cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla together. Turn mixer down to lowest speed and add sifted confectionsers sugar slowly. Mix until light and fluffy. About 3 to 4 minutes. Add frosting to your decorators bag with tip or baggie.

Assemble: Take the cake layers out of the freezer. Put the first layer on cake stand or plate. Starting with the bottom layer, spread 1/3 of the lemon filling to within 1 1/2 inches of the side of the cake. Add the cream cheese frosting to the edge of the cake in any pattern or motion you desire. The frosting should encircle the lemon filling on each layer. Repeat this method on the next two layers.  For the top, you can decorate with sugared lemon slices, frosting patterns or anyway you desire. The frozen layers will  practically be thawed before you finish the cake.

Cooks Notes: Feel free to use a canned cream cheese frosting to cut down on more time.  As a rule I'm not big on canned frosting, but that said, they are making canned frostings better than ever. Cakes do not have to be frozen hard, but it is best if they are at least parcially frozen or extremely cold.