So this is a favorite of both myself and my friends. It’s excellent, light and not too sweet. While not horribly complicated (I think) it is a little labor intensive but so worth it in the end. I don’t remember what inspired me to create this recipe but I cobbled it together from several different sources. Oh and in posting this I realized no where did I mention, until the assembling part, that you should have Limoncello on hand although it’s implied in the recipe name. It could be optional I suppose but why?
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
- Zest of 2 lemons (or 3 if it takes that many to get ¾ a cup of juice)
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
Whisk together the sugar & eggs in a sauce pan. Add juice, lemon zest & melted butter. Cook on Med Hi heat. Stir until thick, mixture should coat the back of a metal spoon*. Cool on counter, whisking occasionally, for about an hour. Finish cooling in fridge.
*OK so what the hell does this mean? Dip the spoon into the mixture. There should be a nice layer of mixture on the spoon that doesn’t immediately drip off. Run a finger down the middle. Does the line stay? Or does it immediately start to blend back down the spoon. If it stays, it’s done.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- 2 9inch cake pans
- 2 ¼ cups of sifted flour
- 1 ½ cups of sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup of soft shortening
- 2/3 & 1/3 cups of milk (split)
- 1 ½ tsp lemon flavoring
- 2 large eggs
Sift together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder & salt). Add in shortening, flavoring & 2/3 cup of milk. Mix at medium speed for about 2 mins (may be lumpy, that’s ok). Add 1/3 cup of milk & eggs, mix at medium speed until well mixed (about another 2 mins). Divide equally into the 2 cake pans.
Bake about 30 – 35 mins in a 350 degree oven until done. How do you know it’s done? Take a toothpick and jab it into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean & dry, it’s done. If it has cake batter on it, well then it isn’t done now is it?
Cool cakes on a cake rack. Cut each cake in half once they’re cool. No not down the middle! You don’t need 4 half circles now do you? Cut them horizontally, so you’ll have 4 layers for your cake.
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
- 2/3 cup of confectioner’s sugar (that powdered sugar)
- 16 oz of mascarpone cheese (at room temp)
- 8 oz of cream cheese (at room temp)
- 1 ¼ cups of lemon curd (that the first thing you made, just use it all)
Place a large mixing bowl and wire whip beaters in the freezer for 10 minutes. Really this makes the whip cream come out better. Beat the cream until stiff. How do you know when it’s still? Pull out the whisk. There should be a “peak” of whip cream off the end. Does it sag? If not, then it’s stiff.
Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until stiff again. It doesn’t take long.
In a separate bowl beat the mascarpone cheese & cream cheese together until smooth. NO LUMPS! Add the lemon curd and beat some more until that’s smooth. Now add this to the whipped cream mixture and beat until smooth.
Assemble the Cake:
Place the first layer of cake, cut side up on a plate. Pour Limoncello onto the cake, sparingly you lush! You want an even coverage but not have it sopping wet.
Slap on a layer of frosting. Only on the top, don’t bother with the sides yet. Repeat until you’ve done this with all the layers. Once you’ve got the top layer on, now you can frost the sides.
Cake is best if you refrigerate it for several hours before serving.