Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Request A Year In The Making

Remember me telling you about my mom's gorgeous birthday cake? Well here it is! I'm not trying to toot my own horn, because I am hard on myself and see all kinds of flaws in the overall cake BUT it is pretty and I love the contrasting colors and flavors. This month the Cake Slice Bakers were to make a Key West Cake with Mango Mousse and Ginger Lime Cream. It sounds delicious but I didn't have time to make this cake as well as all the other birthday treats I had to bake this month. Besides, this is the cake my mother specifically asked for and I was glad to fulfill her request.

If you've been following me long, then you'll know I blogged about this cake exactly one year ago today. If you're new here, then WELCOME to my blog! I had intentions of making my mother cranberry orange scones for her birthday rather than a cake because she loves them and Starbucks changed their recipe and she complains about them every time she gets one. But I asked her what she'd like and without hesitations she said, "I want that lemon blueberry cake you made last year. I've been thinking about it ever since because it was so good." Well alright then, move over scones, hello luscious marble cake. Although I'm pretty sure I'll be making those scones for her sometime soon anyway.

This really is a great cake. I professed my love about it last July 20th (also known as Debby's birthday. Happy Birthday Debby!!!) and this time is no different. I like to eat it at room temperature because the buttercream is soft and creamy and buttery, but my mom likes it cold because the frosting stiffens up. It's great either way. I did decide to take a shortcut and purchase a jar of blueberry jam rather than making the homemade jam. If you have time to make it, then I suggest doing so, if not, spend the extra money for the good stuff. This particular one had lemon juice already in it, but I added a bit more to thin it out and add flavor. The only note I have for you is to puree the jam so you end up with a smoother consistency- I did not do this and my blueberries sunk to the bottom of the cake. Still pretty but not so marbled.

On a different, yet still related note, I get a lot of emails and comments about frosting my cakes and getting them so smooth. So while assembling this cake, I took several pictures of the process and I plan on sharing those with you at a later date- don't worry it will be soon. In the meantime, I hope you'll forgive me for not baking the Key West Cake the other Cake Slice Bakers made. And I hope that you enjoy this cake as much as my mother did.

Lemon Blueberry Marble Cake from Sky High

  • 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 batter 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.

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 (optional)

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 (if using). 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).

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 finely 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 (I take it off the heat at 235) 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.

NOTE: I reserved a small amount of the buttercream and tinted it with Americolor gel colors to pipe the birthday greeting. I piped it with a #3 tip. The border was piped with a #12 tip.

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.

To see pictures and learn how to frost a layer cake, click HERE.

Happy 50th Birthday Mom! I love you!

72 comments:

Esther said...

Wow! That cake looks professional. I love it! I love the intricate details you added. How long did it take you to finish all of it? And out of curiosity, why do you need to butter the parchment paper when the parchment paper usually doesn't stick to cakes and such? Amazing!! :)

Monica H said...

Hi Esther,

Thank you! I baked the cakes at night, wrapped them in plastic wrap, then the next day I assembled the cake and made the buttercream. It probably took me a little more than 2 1/2 hours. But I clean and take pictures along the way so that adds to the overall time.

I think the extra butter is just to ensure that it releases from the cake. Sometimes parchment will stick if there's not a lot of butter in it. This just makes it so that the parchment almost slides off the cake with very minimal effort. I sometimes use Baker's Joy and that works just as well.

~Monica H

cybil said...

Beautiful cake for a beautiful mom!!!

donna said...

The cake is just BEAUTIFUL, so professional, you really should go into business, such talent, lady!

Happy Birthday to your mom!

The Blue-Eyed Bakers said...

Oh gorgeous! And delicious too! Love the lemon blueberry combo...! And we'd definitely enjoy it at room temp too...mmm soft delicious buttercream. What mom wouldn't be just thrilled with such a beautiful treat!?

Cassie said...

Monica, that cake is FABULOUS!!! You're so talented.

mcpolish said...

I didn't get a chance to make this month's cake, either. :( But now I am DYING!!! to try this cake. It looks so very tasty, and your decorations on it are simply perfect. I envy your mad skillz in cake decorating!

Rachel (rachescakes) said...

It's gorgeous!

Jennifurla said...

Happy birthday to your mom, her cake is divine

Katie said...

YUM! I remember this cake fondly too it was delicious. You've decorated it so beautifully, I'm sure your mum was delighted with it (can see by the photo she was). Hope you had a good time away

Susi said...

This cake looks like you got it from a bakery! I love everything about it. I own this book and remember the cake when I was flipping through the pages but I MUST make this cake after seeing how wonderful yours turned out. Great post!

♥peachkins♥ said...

beautiful cake, wonderful flavors! your mom is so lucky. Happy Birthday to her..

The Captain's Daughter said...

You are SOOOO forgiven! The cake is beautiful - the smile on your mom's face tells a great story.

Oh, and THANKS TO YOU, I am able to ice a cake smooth!

You're the best!

vanillasugar said...

that is one gorgeous looking cake. i wish you lived closer as i would love order one from you. nice job sweetie.

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

Such a gorgeous cake, Monica!! And the perfect combo of flavors -- yum!

From the Kitchen said...

I love the photo of your very happy Mom!! The cake is beautiful. It looks and sounds delicious. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

Hope your little getaway was wonderful!

Best,
Bonnie

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

This is beautiful...and I'm sure it tastes delicious. I love how you decorated the sides of the cake...so pretty! Eeek...I'm older than your mom!

oneordinaryday said...

Gorgeous cake, Monica. That's one of my favorites from the Sky High book too. It really is so delicious.

Ummm...
I hate to bring this up but your dear mom is only 8 years older than me!!!! :P

scmom (Barbara) said...

I hope that some day one of my children will bake a cake for me. You're a good girl!

Hennifer said...

Wow! Happy Birthday to your mother.
This cake is so beautiful it literally made me gasp when the page loaded, and I'm sure I'd love the cake as I love that flavor combo as well.

Maranda said...

This cake looks amazing!! I love lemon and blueberry together! I will be making this soon. Actually, I think I have everything I would need to make it right now...hmmmmm....I hear a kitchen calling my name!

anniebakes said...

i am your newest follower! i found you over at la bella vita and your pictures and recipes are to die for! can't wait to have to time to dig in further,

anne
www.anniebakes.net

sarahe said...

my mouth is watering...

seriously, when i opened up this page i said (out loud) "oohhh...this is beautiful..." my husband said "huh?" and i had to admit (a bit ashamed) that i was drooling over a cake online.

Healthy and Homemade said...

This is the MOST gorgeous cake EVER!!!

It's seriously so beautiful to look at, my heart would break having to slice it. Although, I would be in heaven with blueberries and lemon swirling around on my palette. Okay, I want to make this now. Possibly for my own birthday ^_^ YUMS!

Laura said...

The cake is beautiful! I remember that post that year because the cake was so great...your mom looks so young! happy birthday Debby!

mbc said...

Wow, this is one stunning cake! Your mom looks so happy, so you must've outdone yourself! I'm impressed!

p.s. You had me at lemon buttercream...

cookies and cups said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I bet it tasted yummmmmm :)

Colleen said...

That cake is prettier than most at the bakeries my way!
Love it!
I swear if you lived near me I would MAKE you open a shop!!
Happy fifty and fabulous to your Mom!!

girlichef said...

Yes, you are the master!! It's gorgeous Monica...and that smile says it all, doesn't it!? I dream of turning out cakes half as beautiful as yours ;)

grace said...

Holy moly! This looks fabulous. Well done!

Ingrid said...

I forgive you....for not baking the other cake and for not making your own jam 'cause I'm nice like that. :) Ha! You know I think you rock!

Great photo of your mom....I see where you get your good looks from. (Now I'm trying to butter you up. I probably need a favor.) Happy Birthday, Monica's Mama! :)

I'm looking forward to the cake frosting lesson.
~ingrid

chocolatecoveredgummiebears said...

Gorgeous cake inside and out! It looks delicious!

Raina said...

Your cake looks absolutely beautiful and delicious. You are a good daughter:)

joven said...

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joven said...

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joven said...

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Memória said...

WOW! What a stunning cake and mom :). Your mother looks so extra young!! Goodness! Happy birthday to her! ¡Feliz cumpleaños! Feliz aniversário! Buon compleanno! Joyeaux anniversaire!

Your photos are always fantastic. This cake is so phenomenal! Wow. Good job, Mónica. Really.

Yosha said...

Hello! this looks gorgeous and delicious! I was looking at this in sky high to make for a cake auction for a cancer fundraiser.

I am/was debating between this and a sourcream blueberry cake. So have a question. Do you think it would work to replace all or some of the milk with sour cream? or would this make it too heavy?

Thanks!

April said...

Monica,
I just found your site through a friend of mine and I have to say I think your food is the most beautiful food I've ever seen! I keep coming back to look some more.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Oh Monica! Your mom is a lucky woman and so am I. I was looking at the jar of blueberry jam that you sent me (lovingly stored in a dark and cool place). I was given fresh blueberries yesterday. Today, I see this. Is this an omen? I'm hoping to have time to make this for a party this weekend. However, YOU have the best decorating skills...more than I ever will. When is Monica's bakery opening? Thank you so much for the birthday shout. I'm having a great week.
xoxo

Amanda said...

That has to be one of the most beautiful cakes I've ever seen. The cake itself looks so luscious and the frosting is perfect! My husband keeps asking me what I want for my birthday and I think I've found it!

PS your photographs are so lovely. :)

Julie said...

I so want a piece of this! It's just gorgeous.

Kerstin said...

Now that's a gorgeous cake. I love the lemon blueberry combo too - I'll definitely be making this!

Selba said...

What a beautiful b'day cake for your mom, Monica! Love it!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Everything you make looks amazing and yummy!

Paula

Monica H said...

Yosha-

Thanks for stopping by! In response to your question...I'm not sure I would substitute the sour cream for the milk in this recipe. It's a moist cake already and it's pretty light in texture. I'm afraid the sour cream would make it dense. But feel free to substitiute sour cream in any recipe that calls for yogurt. Sometimes I use a little sour cream in recipes that call for buttermilk and oil too. If you do try it, please let me know how it turns out.

~Monica

Avril Miller said...

Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Once again so impressed with the beauty of your creation/master-piece! :-)

Nonna Beach said...

That cake is almost too perfect and pretty to eat...fantastic job !!!

Leslie Limon said...

What a gorgeous cake! And it looks delicious! I will be adding it to my "To Bake" list! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a beginner when it comes to baking. I have only tired simple recipes. I saw the post and fell in love with this cake. I want to make it for my friends 35th birthday. Is it hard? Any tips would be helpful and greatly appreciated.

Elizabeth said...

How can you even see any flaws! I do not see any and neither should you. This cake looks so incredible I am so jealous, not to mention it looks so tasty. Great photos and great blog!

Kristin said...

Oh. My. Gosh. BEAUTIFUL cake and I love blueberries...now I just need to come up with a good reason to bake this. I'm sure my decorating will not come close to yours but I'm sure it is not only attractive but delicious as well. Thanks for sharing this!

http://sweetjumbles.wordpress.com/

Jana said...

Your cake looks delish and I am going to have my daughter make it. I am NOT a baker. YOUR MOM LOOKS AMAZING. Tell her I said so.

bella roz said...

Monica, I can't wait to make this cake now! Yours is so pretty and the photos make me speechless! Roz

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am new to your site/blog and loooove so many stuff on here! I can't wait to try a bunch of stuff out but this will cake will be my first!! (For my mom's bday as well!) Anyway, because I know I'll be sort of time I'm gonna by some nice jam because I can't puree it. You said you added lemon juice to one that already had some in it, how much should I add to some that already has some lemon vs. one that has none? Thanks so much and I can't wait to make this!!

Shama said...

MONICA, MONICA, MONICA!!! dios mio....with this cake i fall in love with you blog this one is the responsible of everything, it is so so pretty thanks so much.....keep doing more like this

Libbie said...

Now that is one perfect cake! I don't know how you do it! I have been peeking around your site a little tonight & man...am I hungry now! & just when I am tryingto take off all my baby weight :) Congrats to you on your new babe coming too!!!! That is soooo exciting!

Mel said...

Monica, I intend to bake this cake soon. For making the Blueberry Lemon Jam; after puree the 3 cups blueberry, how much would it be? 1 or 2 cups? And since you are using the store bought Blueberry Jam, how much you are using there? Thanks for your reply.

ILuvMyGem said...

Is it possible to make these as cupcakes? I'm making cupcakes for my daughter's birthday and she loves blueberries. Thanks for any replies.

Sara said...

Wow, this cake is so pretty! I totally love it...definitely need to pull out my copy of Sky High! :)

Shanns said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shanns said...

Every comment here seems to only express how beautiful this cake is. It really is lovely, but I feel like you could have written the recipe differently for those of us wanting to try it out. Unlike most comment posters here, I actually attempted this recipe. The buttercream was not successful. The cake and jam were fine, though I would have liked to know that I should have started the jam first. For the buttercream, do you really use 2 whole eggs, or do you need to specify 2 egg whites?? Do you use the whisk or paddle attachment?? I ended up with egg-flavored rock candy in my mixer, and didn't bother wasting any butter into that mess. Perhaps I over cooked the sugar... But it was a bit difficult to get an accurate temp reading in so little liquid. I am a professional and this recipe is insulting. Lame, I really wanted this to turn out.

Monica H said...

Shanns- I'm sorry you had difficulty with this buttercream recipe. I don't mean to offend you in any way, but as a "professional" you probably should have read the "insulting" recipe in it's entirety before attempting it, then you would have known to make the jam ahead of time, especially since it gets marbled into the batter.

I copied the recipe as it was written in Sky High Cakes. There in not a typo regarding the two eggs in the buttercream. The recipe calls for two wholes eggs, not egg whites. And yes, I would agree that your sugar syrup was cooked too long and that's why it hardened in your bowl. I used the whisk attachment.

I've made this cake three times now and have not had an issue with the buttercream, but I have made a Swiss meringue buttercream and had similar results, with candy like threads in the bowl simply because it was cooked too long. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do to save it, you just have to start over. I make the syrup in the smallest saucepan I have so there's enough liquid to get an accurate temperature with. I hope these tips help, though I'm betting you won't be attempting it again.

~Monica h

EC said...

This cake was soooo amazing. I am no where near a professional baker and mine came out perfect down to the last plop of frosting on the cake :) Everyone loved it, especially my mother-in-law (I made it for her birthday). So thanks for getting me some brownie points!

Made With Pink said...

Hello, I'd like to make this cake later in the week, and take it to work the following day. My office doesn't have a fridge, so I'm wondering if this cake can be left out at room temperature for a few hours, or even over night? I'm not sure because of the eggs in the icing (although they will technically be cooked). Also, can you tell me how the icing tastes and the texture of it? There doesn't appear to be much sugar in it compared to a regular buttercream that uses cup after cup of icing sugar. Is it just not as sweet as a regular buttercream? Thanks very much :-)

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Anonymous said...

The pictures of this cake really look fabulous and I couldn't wait to make it for Easter. Unfortunately, it didn't come out that good. The frosting was very buttery and my blueberry filling with the ginger didn't taste good. I decided to taste the cake and was glad I did because I wasn't crazy about the texture. I ended up scrapping it and made a different cake.

Dina said...

sounds yummy!

Denise Land said...

I tried this cake batter and it's everything I've been looking for. U have no idea how many cake recipes I've tried. It's fluffy and not dense. It light and feathery not spongy. It's perfect for a wedding!!! Love!!! May I ask who made this recipe?

Anonymous said...

Wow! Fabulous!! I want to make it this weekend for my daughters engagement party - does it need to be refrigerated beacuse of the filling if I make the day before? Thanks!

Monica H said...

Yes, refrigerate the cake overnight then take the cake out before the party for it to come to room temp before serving

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

This is going to be my birthday cake!

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