Lemon Cake with Swiss Meringue Icing


Now that I’ve joined the birthday baking committee at work, I will be making ~50% of the birthday treats at the office. I’m also going to be making a wedding cake in August, so there was an icing style I wanted to try out on this cake. They want a cool ruffle texture (which is typically done with fondant/gumpaste/wafer paper) but with buttercream, so I wanted to see what could be done. I’m still working on the whole elevation thing, so that’s been quite a learning curve. Overall I think the recipe turned out pretty well, but there is some room for textural improvement.

lr cake (1 of 1)

LEMON CAKE (from Layered Cookbook)

Note: I’ve included my altitude adjustments for 4500 feet


  • 325 g cake flour
  • 1.5 tsp. baking powder (I used 1 tsp.)
  • 0.75 tsp. baking soda
  • 0.5 tsp. salt
  • 170 g (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 300 g granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. lemon zest (I used zest from 2 lemons)
  • 0.75 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 250 g buttermilk (I used 275 g)
  • 15 g lemon juice


  1. Grease and line 3 x 6″ cake pans. Set oven to 350 F.
  2. Zest and juice 2 lemons. Set aside.
  3. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer, cream the butter. Add in the lemon zest and granulated sugar and mix well.
  5. Add vanilla and eggs to butter mixture and mix well.
  6. Mix lemon juice and buttermilk together.
  7. Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture in 3 batches, starting and ending with the dry mixture. Do not over mix.
  8. Divide evenly between the three cake pans (I use a scale) and bake for ~20 minutes. A toothpick should come out cleanly.

SWISS MERINGUE ICING (from Layered Cookbook)


  • 120 g egg whites
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 340 g unsalted butter, softened and cubed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt


  1. Whisk together the egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer bowl.
  2. Heat up the egg whites with a double boiler while whisking periodically.
  3. When the egg whites reach 70 C, remove from heat and put into the stand mixer. Use the whisk attachment and whip at high speed for ~10 minutes (until cool to touch).
  4. Switch to the paddle attachment and add in cubes of butter one by one. Whip until glossy.
  5. Add in the vanilla and salt and mix well


To assemble the cake, I just put some raspberry jam inside and some fresh raspberries on top. As you can see from the picture above, the cakes didn’t come out of the pans as cleanly as desired. Honestly, I’m not sure what the exact change is that I need to make, but I’ll play around with it a bit more next time.


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