5 Aug 2014

Lemon Meringue… Cake?

Last Thursday was my mom's birthday and the first time I have ever baked a proper cake. I saw the recipe for this lemon meringue cake on Jamie Oliver's YouTube channel, which featured Cupcake Jemma. My mom has a thing for lemon meringue pies and I thought that a cake version would be interesting and fun to make for her birthday! Now, usually mom bakes her own cake but since I've been wanting to up my baking game, I saw this as a great opportunity to not only test my baking skills, but also to show my appreciation for all of those years she baked for my family. 

The Process
The baking process was stretched over 2 days. On day 1, I prepared a simple lemon buttercream frosting (which goes between the top and bottom cake layers), half of the marshmallow icing (which I ended up using to crumb coat the cake), and the lemon cake. I used the recipe from the YouTube video, not wanting to alter anything as it was a new recipe. I used the zest of 5 lemons, instead of 6, and a bit more lemon juice as I didn't want the lemon to be too overpowering. Also, the suggested baking time was 25-30 minutes at 150°C, but I found that it took almost an hour and a half to get it to cook all the way through.

On day 2 I assembled the cake, iced it, and blowtorched it. I used two 8-inch round pans, for the cake and halved each of them to create 4 layers. Between those layers, I alternated the lemon buttercream and lemon curd. I also made a fresh batch of the marshmallow icing, to ensure that it looked nice and fluffy for serving. The batch from the previous day had settled, and I found it to not be as smooth as a fresh batch. 

We had some family come over at around 7pm, so by 6:30 I was adding the finishing touches to the cake. We whipped out mom's new blowtorch and I just lightly ran the flame across the cake. I was aiming for an even coverage of burnt sugar, just enough to make it look presentable. This part was nothing more than for aesthetic purposes. 

The Result
The cake itself was quite dense and very heavy. I'm not saying that it is a particularly bad recipe, I just found it to be too heavy for the lightness that I associate with lemon meringue pies. I would replace it with a spongier cake recipe. 

Next time, I would remove the lemon buttercream completely and replace it with more lemon curd. We found that the buttercream was just way too sweet, especially with the marshmallow icing covering the cake. The tartness of the lemon curd balanced out the sweetness of the marshmallow icing beautifully. 

The Verdict 
Overall, I am quite pleased with the final product. With it being my first proper cake that I have baked, I had some trouble with the baking time and slicing each cake in half evenly (certainly something I must work on). It will definitely be a recipe that I will tweak and return to! 

Do you have any recipes which takes a new perspective on old classics?


  1. It's a shame that the cake turned out a bit heavy- it's annoying when a recipe doesn't turn out quite as you expected! I just discovered your blog and followed you on bloglovin :) I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    Grace's Beauty Space xx

    1. I completely agree! When it comes to baking (or cooking), all you can really do is try a lot of things out and improve on them for the next time :)

      Thank you very much! I really appreciate it :)


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