Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rosie's Lemon Birthday Cake

SO my BEST friend Rosie's birthday is tomorrow, and it's a perfect reason for me to bake something! She told me her favorite type of cake on her birthday is lemon cake so I searched in the internet for a recipe and made it for her, with the assistance from my trustiest minion, Fried Alex :-). Again I must emphasize the difficulty of baking in Italy! However we had such good inspiration we decided to power through the lack of measuring devices and make this cake. We decided to top it with a frosting because it's for a birthday, even though it would have been equally delicious simply topped with powdered sugar.

Lemon-yogurt cake:
2 large eggs
200g caster sugar
zest from 1 lemon, finely grated
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
280g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
250ml low fat greek yogurt
120ml oil

1. Whisk egg and sugar until pale, thick and creamy (3-4 minutes).
2. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Beat for a further 1 minute
3. In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Fold into the above mixture.
4. Mix in the yoghurt and then the oil.
5. Pour batter into a lined and greased 21-26cm cake tin. Bake at 180C in a preheated oven for 35-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Leave cake in tin to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a cake rack to cool.

Also usually I wouldn't frost this type of cake because it's delicious on it's own, but since it was for a birthday and we're in Italy we decided to make a mascarpone lemon frosting! YUM!

4 tablespoons butter (2 oz or 1/2 stick), softened
8 oz of mascarpone cheese
2 1/2-3 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest

With a mixer, cream butter and mascarpone cheese together until well incorporated and fluffy. Add lemon juice and lemon zest and 1 cup of sugar. Gradually add more sugar - you will need more sugar for it to be pipeable (stiffer) and less if you are just going to spread it on the cake.

SO the overall consensus on the cake is that it was BOMB and very delicious, however there is ALWAYS room for improvement...It could be maybe more moist (thus less flour and maybe mix it less). Positives are that the sweetness of the frosting contrasted the tartness of the cake beautifully and that the cake was very lemony!!!!

I would definitely make this again, even if not for a special occasion!

Also I must thank RACHEL for her beautiful normal person photography skillz.


  1. ...i don't know if i like a lemon cake(i need 6-7 slices to decide...eheh)...anywho this cake looks delicious!!good job sun!

  2. Lovely blog, Sarah! I love to read food writing and yours is so joyful. Can't believe you're in Italy, everything sounds awesome.

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROSIE!!!!! Wootles. Beautiful cake! I will accept a piece, shipped directly to 1913 Thomson. Thank you very, very much.

  4. i don't generally like lemony stuff very much, but i would very much like to have a piece of this cake...

    and happy birthday from me too.

  5. Thank you very much for the birthday wishes Laurel and Dr. MacMillan! It was a lovely day, and this cake was phenomenal! I really would recommend it. The icing was so tangy and sweet (yes, together in one!) and the cake wasn't too sweet (although still so delicious) so the combination was perfection! Thank you to SarahJane/SunflourJane for making my birthday, and the sweets we ate in its honor, so wonderful!

  6. This cake gave a good start to the birthday celebrations. It was nice that the actual cake itself was savory and "saporito" without it being too sugary. The icing definitely added a lot of sweetness that balanced out the cake and made it a delicious dessert.