This cake captures all the vibrant colors and fresh flavors of spring in every sweet bite. The festive flowers and lemon-scented cake and frosting make it bright, citrusy and delicious.
- 3 cups cake flour
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon pudding mix
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 1¼ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
- Yellow food coloring (optional)
- 2¼ cups unsalted butter, slightly cold
- 8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 pinch salt
- Yellow food coloring (optional)
- 1-inch round cookie cutter
- Four colors of fondant (three for the flowers and one of the leaves)
- Black sprinkles
- Cupcake liners
- Sheet pan
For the cake:
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
2. In a medium size bowl, whisk the egg whites and add the lemon extract.
3. In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed for 30 seconds.
4. Add the butter and continue to mix on low speed until the mixture blended. Slowly add the buttermilk and mix on low speed for a couple minutes.
5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches, mixing until well combined, about two minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all the batter has been incorporated.
6. Divide batter evenly among your pans, about 16 ounces of batter in each pan.
7. Bake the cakes (on the shortbread crust) until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs inserted into the center, about 22-25 minutes. Let cool on wire racks for 10 minutes before inverting them onto cooling racks to cool completely.
For the frosting:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
2. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the powdered sugar, followed by the cream, salt and lemon extract. Mix until combined. Add food gel, if using. Mix until incorporated completely. Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat the frosting for about 5 minutes.
3. Remove bowl from the mixer stand and use a wooden spoon to beat the frosting by hand for about 2 minutes to push out any air pockets.
1. Place the first cake layer, top side up.
2. Add about 1/2 cup of frosting on the cake layer. Spread over the cake layer as evenly as possible. Make sure to get eye level with the cake to ensure the frosting is spread evenly over the cake.
3. Repeat this step until you get to the final cake layer, which you will lay top side down.
4. Apply a thin coat of frosting around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs. Freeze for about 10-15 minutes.
5. After the crumb coat is set, continue to frost the cake with the final coat of frosting, reserve about 1/4 cup of frosting to decorate.
1. Plan to make your fondant flowers a day ahead of decorating the cake so they have time to "dry." You want the shape to hold as it sits on the side of your cake.
2. Roll out your fondant to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut circles with the cookie cutter.
3. Use your thumbs to create more of an oval shape after you've cut the circles.
4. Place the petals in the crease of a folded paper to start creating a curve while you work on the other petals.
5. Use a little sugar water as "glue" to hold the fondant together as you make the flower.
6. Place each completed flower in a cupcake liner overnight. This keeps the sides of the flower curved up.
7. For the leaves, freehand cut the shape of the leaves. Place the leaves over the edge of the sheet pan to create curves. Let sit out overnight to dry.
8. Use buttercream for the center of the flower. Place black sprinkles in the center of the flower on the buttercream.
9. When placing the flowers on your cake, use a little buttercream and toothpicks to hold the flowers and leaves in place on the cake.