This weekend I got back into baking gear and finished off summer with a triple layer lemon blueberry cake as a birthday request. It felt good to get back into the kitchen with measuring cups, ingredients and my good ole’ Kitchenaid mixer (how have I lived without that lovely piece of machinery most of my life?). I almost gave in and used a box mix to make the lemon cake but at the last-minute I couldn’t go through with it. I have to make baked goods from scratch… or mostly scratch.
So, picking up a couple of lemons and lemon juice and buttermilk, blueberries and some ingredients for frosting I was ready to get baking! I used this recipe from my Better Homes & Gardens cook book. I was worried it wouldn’t be as good as the box mix for lemon cake advertises but I was surprised at how delicious it really was. As usual, I’m glad I went the homemade route. It really doesn’t take that much more work to do and there’s a great feeling of accomplishment and that you really made something yummy from scratch.
This is a three-tiered cake and I only had two 9 inch square cake pans to work with. I wanted each cake to be as close as possible to the same size so I used three small mixing bowls that I used for prep ingredients to divvy up the batter in equal amounts. I then covered one of the bowls and stored it in the fridge while I poured out the batter into the two pre-greased & floured pans I had set up before I started. After baking the initial two cakes I began the frosting while the third cake baked.
Since I’m not a big fan of cream cheese frosting I searched for an alternative that would work great with lemon and blueberry and found a pudding mix based recipe and decided to give it a chance. I made some alterations to the recipe and it might just be the best frosting I ever made (and tasted).
Super Delicious Pudding Cool Whip Frosting
- 16 oz container of Cool Whip
- 5.1 oz box of Instant Vanilla Pudding mix
- Powdered Sugar
- 1.5 cup Milk
- In a mixer with the whisk attachment whip together the pudding mix and milk until it’s blended well and begins to form a gelatinous like mixture.
- Once pudding and milk are combined add teaspoon of vanilla and a heaping 1/4 c. powdered sugar. Blend with the pudding and milk mixture until combined well.
- Slowly add in spoonfuls of the Cool Whip mixture and mix on a medium speed until combined well.
- Taste it. You know you want to… it’s pretty darn good.
I used the Cool Whip container to add the frosting to store in the fridge while my cakes cooled. This helped set the frosting a bit more and helped solidify it so it frosted nice and thick. This is a perfect amount to frost a 3 tiered cake and have just a little left to lick the bowl clean.
After the cakes have cooled and I brushed off the crumbs I used a square cake stand and spooned a little dollop of frosting onto the surface. This holds the first cake down so it doesn’t slide around. I carefully placed the cake on the stand and scooped frosting onto the top and spread it around as even as I could. I placed the second cake layer down and added a little extra frosting on the corners between the two layers where the cake was a bit thinner. (I have yet to master trimming cake so it’s nice and square). I repeated this for the last tier and then spread the frosting on the sides. I gave it a sloppy frost with a wide knife. I wiped off the excess frosting that got on the cake stand and added lots of blueberries around the edge.
On top of the cake I added some sugared blueberries and a lemon rind curl.
I Googled how to make sugared berries and it all sounded like you needed to let them sit out and harden but I didn’t have time for that. Instead of using egg whites like many recipes suggested (I don’t like the idea of using egg whites that aren’t cooked) I used simple syrup. You can make your own pretty easily but I happened to have a small bottle of it on my bar cart.
I got a small bowl for the simple syrup and a small plate for sugar. In hindsight, using sanding sugar may have been better but I’m using what I have available. So, I dip the blueberries in the simple syrup and use a fork to pull them out and try to drain some of the syrup and drop them in the sugar. I roll them around and pulled them out of the sugar and set them on a piece of parchment paper to dry. I let them dry for 20-30 minutes until I am done frosting the cake. If you let them dry longer the sugar will harden but these had a nice coated with sugar feel without the hard crunch.
To get the lemon curl I cut a lemon slice then put a cut in one part of the rind. Cut out the insides and twist. Makes a pretty garnish on top of this cake as a reminder that it’s also lemon flavored.
This was a fun cake to make and even though I don’t like blueberries I love lemon!