This beautiful lemon ruffle cake isn’t just all about the looks but also has a wonderful taste! You will love this cake not only because it is filled with multiple layers of lemon curd but also because it is very moist and packed with lemon flavor, all the way to the lemon frosting (which is way lighter than a heavy butter cream frosting)!
The cake that you see there is actually the 6th attempt at the perfect lemon cake. I made batches that were either too dense, didn’t rise well, were too dry,.. I was very picky when trying to come up with this recipe here, I knew exactly what I had in mind and how it should taste but creating a good cake recipe is not a piece of cake.. haha. Corny jokes aside, you’re probably wondering what happened to all those cakes. Well some were eaten by my family, brought with to church, eaten by friends, and one was actually thrown into the trash. (I was very frustrated at that point). But that all seems far behind me now as I am finally sharing this amazing recipe with you today. I am so glad that all the work payed off 🙂
Helpful tips for making a ruffle cake:
- Bake the cake a day ahead so it is completely cooled and you don’t have so many steps in one day. The cake stays moist for at least 3 days. Just keep in mind to wrap the layers well in plastic wrap so they don’t dry out.
- When tinting the frosting, remember that a little goes a long way. Start with less and then add more if necessary.
- Make quite a thick crumb coat so that if you can peak through the ruffles on some parts of the cake it won’t show the cake that’s underneath.
- Let the coat dry a bit before adding on the ruffles, this way you can remove any ruffles gone wrong with your finger without messing with the coating underneath.
- When piping the ruffles, remember to hold the thick part of the 104 tip against the cake, always check that that’s the case before starting another row.
- Also, don’t be afraid to rest the thick part of the tip against the cake when piping, it is easier if you are touching the cake and your frosting will adhere to the cake better.
How to pipe the ruffles is explained best via a video, you can find a good one here.
The recipe makes quite a large cake, as it is beautifully high. I was making this during the week and had a bunch leftover but that wasn’t a problem because I just froze it, fully iced and all. Just be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil if you do to keep out any ice crystals and smells from other foods.
Makes 1 large cake consisting of 2x 9-inch cakes
- 640g pastry flour* (5 cups)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 300g butter, softend (1 and 1/3 cup)
- 600g white granulated sugar (3 cups)
- 4 teaspoons lemon zest
- 4 medium eggs plus 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
- juice of 3 lemons
- 480ml buttermilk (2 cups), at room temperature
- 300g butter, softened
- 18 drops lemon extract
- 1600g powdered sugar
- 220ml water, or more if necessary
- yellow gel food coloring
- 1 lemon slice
- Grease and flour two 9-inch pans, set aside. Preheat oven to 180°C or 350°F.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Give it a good stir with a whisk to combine everything.
- In a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 min. Turn the speed down to low and add in the eggs one at a time. Then add the lemon juice.
- Keeping the speed on low, add in the flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating. First a third of the flour mixture then a third of the buttermilk, then another third of the flour mixture and so on until everything is inside.
- Fill into your prepared cake pans and bang the pans onto your kitchen counter 3 times to get the trapped air to the top. This is an important step to ensure that your cakes will rise evenly.
- Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let them cool completely.
- Then level the cakes and cut each cake in half. Assemble your layers by spreading lemon curd on top of a layer and adding the next until you get to the last which you will turn upside down (the crumb side should face downwards). Chill in the fridge for at least 30 min before adding on your crumb coat.
- In a large bowl cream the butter and lemon extract for one minute. Then sift the powdered sugar into the bowl. I do not add in all the sugar at once, but add a part, then mix into the butter and add another, to make sure everything is well combined, until all the sugar is in the bowl.
- Then add in the water, mix it all together, and tint with food coloring. The consistency should be quite soft, easily spreadable. (Like ice cream.) Add more water if necessary.
- Crumb coat the cake by coating it with frosting with an angled spatula, sealing in all the crumbs. Smooth sides and top with a bench scraper and make sure your frosting is level. Chill again for at least 30 min, until the frosting has slightly hardened.
- Pipe the ruffles onto the cake (see video), leaving some room in the center of your cake. Add a lemon slice to the center to garnish.
*pastry flour= glattes Mehl
Store this cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze iced or not iced for up to 2 months. To freeze the iced cake without destroying the ruffles, freeze for 4 hours without covering until the frosting has hardened. Then wrap tightly with multiple layers of plastic wrap and one outer layer of aluminum foil and put back into freezer.