Pretty Spring Cake {Vanilla Cake with Lemon Filling}

Spring comes early here in California, and with tulips and daffodils blooming all around our neighborhood, I was ready for a little spring themed baking.  I’ve been enjoying the homemade lemon curd I made recently, and knew it would be a delicious cake filling.  I paired the sweet-tart lemon curd with vanilla cake and lemon frosting.  And since I recently enjoyed decorating my daughter’s birthday cake with the simple, yet intricate looking petal effect, I wanted to give it another try.  The end results was a delicious cake that I think is perfect for spring!

Vanilla Cake

2 1/2 cups cake flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract (or 2 teaspoons extract, and 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)

1 cup oil (vegetable, canola, or extra light olive oil)

1 cup buttermilk (can be made with 1 cup milk and 2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice, add acid to milk and set aside for 5 minutes before use)

Directions-

* Preheat oven to 350*F.
* Prepare cake pans (line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper, butter and flour the sides of the pans)
* In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together with whisk, and set aside.
* In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and oil, beat.
* Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the milk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined. Scrap down the side of the bowl.
* The batter will be thin. Pour batter into prepared cake pans.
* Bake cakes until cake is slightly domed, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only moist crumbs, no wet batter.  Depending on the size pans you use (6″, 8″ or 9″), the baking time will vary between 22-30 minutes.
* Cool cakes about 10 minutes in pans, then remove from pans.  Wrap warm cakes in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and place in freezer about 20 minutes.  This will help them cool fully, but stay nice and moist.
* Frost as desired when fully cool.
 
Yield- The cake pictured is a 6″ cake.  If you are using 8″ pans the finished cake will not be as tall.  If you are using 9″ pans I would recommend tripling the original Vanilla Cupcake recipe posted HERE.
Recipe source- Glorious Treats (this is the same recipe as my Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes, simply doubled for a cake)
 
Lemon Filling
 
Spread about 1/4 cup lemon curd between each layer.  I used my delicious Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe.
 
Lemon Frosting
 
Prepare one batch of my American Buttercream Recipe.  Add one teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest and 1/2-1 teaspoon pure lemon extract.
 
 

How to Make Pretty Spring Cake {Vanilla Cake with Lemon Filling}

vanilla cake with lemon frosting

Pretty Spring Cake {Vanilla Cake with Lemon Filling}

A delicious cake that is perfect for spring!
Prep Time 50 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 637 kcal

Ingredients
 

Vanilla Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 2 teaspoons extract, and 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup oil vegetable, canola, or extra light olive oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk can be made with 1 cup milk and 2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice, add acid to milk and set aside for 5 minutes before use

Lemon Filling

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice usually requires 1-2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest finely grated
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Lemon Frosting

  • 1 cup butter 2 sticks, salted or unsalted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt if using unsalted butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract best quality available
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream half and half or milk

Instructions
 

Vanilla Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350*F.
  • Prepare cake pans (line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper, butter and flour the sides of the pans)
  • In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together with whisk, and set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds. Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and oil, beat.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the milk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined. Scrap down the side of the bowl.
  • The batter will be thin. Pour batter into prepared cake pans.
  • Bake cakes until cake is slightly domed, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only moist crumbs, no wet batter. Depending on the size pans you use (6″, 8″ or 9″), the baking time will vary between 22-30 minutes.
  • Cool cakes about 10 minutes in pans, then remove from pans. Wrap warm cakes in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and place in freezer about 20 minutes. This will help them cool fully, but stay nice and moist.
  • Frost as desired when fully cool.

Lemon Filling

  • Combine all ingredients in the top of a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water).
  • Heat, while stirring (almost) constantly with a whisk, until mixture thickens. It is done when it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Remove from heat, cover and refrigerate until cool.
  • Store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Lemon Frosting

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter (on medium speed) until completely smooth (30 seconds to a minute).
  • Add salt (if needed).
  • One cup at time, add 2 cups of powdered sugar, beating after each addition.
  • Add vanilla, or other flavorings and beat to combine.
  • Add about 1 tablespoon of cream, and continue beating.
  • Add the remaining 2 cups powdered sugar, one at a time.
  • Add an additional 1-2 tablespoons cream until desired consistency is reached. If you want to pipe the frosting on cupcakes, the frosting should be nice and thick. Continue to beat another minute or so. The frosting should now be smooth and fluffy.

Nutrition

Calories: 637kcalCarbohydrates: 93gProtein: 7gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 491mgPotassium: 112mgFiber: 1gSugar: 72gVitamin A: 356IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 117mgIron: 1mg
Keyword lemon filling, spring cake, vanilla cake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

 

As I mentioned when I posted my daughter’s birthday cake, I first discovered this pretty petal effect style of decoating on My Cake School.  Here are a couple photos of the process so you can try it too!

~ How to frost a cake using a petal or scale effect ~

1.  After frosting the cake with a thin layer of icing (also called a crumb coat), place the cake in the fridge for 10-20 minutes for the frosting to set up.  Fill a piping bag fitted with a round tip (with a 1/4-1/2 inch opening) with frosting and squeeze icing to create dots in a vertical row (as shown).

2.  In one motion (per dot), use an offset spatula to spread the icing dot in one direction.

3.  Continue the pattern by spreading each individual dot (one stroke per dot), scraping off the spatula (into a bowl) between every or everyother swipe.  One you have spread one row of dots, add another row of dots and repeat the process.

Note- When you get all the way around the cake with this technique, the last row of dots you spread will bump into your first row a bit.  Just do your best to match the pattern, and this will need to be the “back side” of your cake.

Prop note- The pretty pastel flowers I added to the cake are premade flower decorations from Sweet Estelle’s Baking Supply.

Happy Decorating!

76 comments

  1. Hi! I’m getting ready to use your Vanilla Cake recipe. I was wondering if the amounts above would work in a Bundt pan?

  2. I am about to make this cake for a party and I looked at the perfectly vanilla cupcake recipe too. That one has sour cream but this one does not. This recipe says that it’s the same exact one but doubled. Assuming this does not need sour cream?

    • Yes, I’m sorry for the confusion. The vanilla cupcake recipe I updated just a bit (with the addition of sour cream) a little while back. Both the original recipe (listed here) and the sour cream version are perfectly delicious. Feel free to use whichever version you have the ingredients on hand for.

  3. Hi Glory! I need enough batter to fill a 12×12 square tin (single layer), as i’ll be making a large cake but baking in single layer batches. How much batter do you think i will i need for this?

  4. Hi!!!!!

     I will know if i can use this recipe to make 2tier cake….. And if you have the recipe with grams ,not cups

    Thanks

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