Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Strawberry Lemonade Cake, OR Pink and White Checkerboard Cake with Lemon Curd Filling

This cake is made using strawberry and white or  lemon cake mixes, and is filled with lemon curd, with buttercream frosting.  Checkerboard cakes are very simple to make, and I love to hear the gasps when the cake is sliced and served.   

1 Box Strawberry Cake mix
1 Box White or Lemon Cake mix

Prepare and bake cakes as directed, using two 9 inch rounds for each mix. Remove cakes from pans, and allow to cool.  Wrap with plastic wrap, and freeze for 1-3 hours for easier handling. 
Use household items to cut cocentric rings in each cake (ie the lid to a sour cream carton, 
a small bowl for the next ring, and a tablespoon turned upside down for the final inner ring).  
Carefully take each layer apart and re-assemble cake rounds, alternating rings. 
Layer rounds, and fill each layer with lemon curd.  Crumb coat with curd and freeze prior to decorating if desired. 
 I used Ina Garten's Lemon Curd recipe - as follows: 
3 lemons
1.5 c. sugar
1 stick butter - room temperature
4 large eggs
1/2 c. lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
1/8 t. kosher salt

Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons, avoid the white pith. Place in a food processor, along with sugar, and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar. 
Cream the butter, and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt.  Mix until combined. 

Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken just below a simmer.  Remove from heat and cool or refrigerate.
Frost and decorate with Decorator's Buttercream Frosting

1/2 c. vegetable shortening
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
4 c. powdered (confectioner's) sugar
2 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
Assorted food colors

Cream shortening and butter together.  Mix in vanilla.  Slowly add in powdered sugar, then add milk or additional powdered sugar as needed. Mix colors as needed. 

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