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Lemon Curd Layer Cake.. & Scary Food Things

Over the last few years, I’ve excitedly tackled a lot of food projects that have always scared me – breads, complex Persian dishes and even quiche. But I never tried a layered cake – I always imagined needing some sort of Rube Goldberg-esque contraption to make one and a degree in pastry science.

Ahu Eats: Lemon Curd Layer Cake

Lemon Curd Layer Cake

With a glorious weekend of nothing in front of me last week, I decided to finally face my fears. I spent hours reading different recipes (side note: this is probably my favorite part of the cooking/baking process – anybody else with me?) and finally settled on a simple 1-2-3-4 Vanilla cake, lemon curd and swiss buttercream frosting. The result? A good-looking, glorious-tasting layered cake. The cake is not too sweet and the lemon curd gives a beautifully light ‘zing’ in each bite.

Ahu Eats: Lemon Curd Layer Cake

Lemon Curd Layer Cake


Ahu Eats: Lemon Curd Layer Cake Fully Frosted

Lemon Curd Layer Cake: Fully Frosted


Oh not to mention how incredible my apartment smells when the cakes were baking!I discovered that making it actually wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was fun – really fun.

1 2 3 4 Cake base for lemon curd layer cake

1 2 3 4 Cake base


Now I have a massive cake that seems like it could feed 16 people in my fridge – anybody want to come over for a slice?


Ahu Eats: Lemon Curd Layer Cake

Cakes drizzled with lemon curd

A few of the tips that really helped the process: freezing the layers before assembly – making them more manageable  using wax paper underneath the cake while frosting and doing a crumb coat.

Lemon Curd Layer Cake Crumb Coat

The crumb coat is key, to seal in all the crumbs before you shmear it with frosting!

I used Smitten Kitchen’s cake and lemon curd recipe both found here. The frosting is a Swiss Buttercream adapted from a few different recipes – basically this one for the 9-inch cake but only used 2.5 sticks of butter (!!!).


Ahu Eats: Lemon Curd Layer Cake

Lemon Curd Layer Cake

Next on my list? Real sourdough starter.


Lemon Curd Layer Cake Final Cut

Can anybody relate to this moment?

Tell me I’m not alone: what food-fears have you overcome or want to?

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Anonymous August 4, 2014, 6:14 am

    Amazing write-up and pictures!

    My only food fear is that the slices from your masterpiece would be consumed before I get to them! Aside from that, I am brave and can tackle all challenges that come my way.


    • ahu August 4, 2014, 7:36 pm

      Thanks! I’ll make sure to save a slice!

  • lo4a August 4, 2014, 6:18 am

    This cake amd flavor combo looks way too good! Great, geat job.

    • ahu August 4, 2014, 7:36 pm

      Thank you Lola! 🙂

  • Anonymous August 4, 2014, 8:55 am

    Perfectly baked and perfectly sliced.

  • Cocoa and Lavender August 4, 2014, 11:15 am

    Just gorgeous, Ahu! I love how the frosting took ONLY 2.5 sticks of butter. hah!

    Okay, my fears: killing a lobster à la Julia Child with a knife into its head… Boning a whole chicken or duck…. Making homemade croissants (although, having now made puff pastry, I feel I am getting closer)… Making consommé. Those are the top fears at the moment!! ~ David

    • ahu August 4, 2014, 7:38 pm

      I know, right?! The recipe called for more than 3, I just couldn’t do it! It still tasted quite buttery too!

      Funny, croissants are on my list too! Our local culinary center teaches a whole ‘knife skills’ class on butchery – I think we actually talked about it when we met. Next time you’re in NYC we can take it together! 🙂

  • faehdfilms August 4, 2014, 4:28 pm

    So, you got through this one fear, and with flying colors. What is next on your ‘to conquer’ list? 🙂

    • ahu August 4, 2014, 7:38 pm

      Merci Fae jan 🙂 Next is sourdough starter and real sourdough bread. In fact I already began and it’s currently stinking up my bookshelf on day 3 🙂 What about you?

  • Sue/the view from great island August 5, 2014, 10:34 am

    I’m a lemon curd fanatic, Ahu — this cake is a dream come true!

    • ahu August 8, 2014, 6:50 am

      Thank you Sue – isn’t curd a beautiful thing?!

  • Laura Dembowski August 5, 2014, 3:18 pm

    This cake looks incredible! I love making layer cakes. It’s such a rewarding process.

    • ahu August 8, 2014, 6:51 am

      Thank you Laura – I totally agree! So rewarding to have such a beautiful looking cake at the end of this process! 🙂

  • Della Cucina Povera August 8, 2014, 2:14 am

    You did it! And you did it well 🙂

    • ahu August 8, 2014, 6:51 am

      Merci Francesca! 😀

  • Maeghan August 8, 2014, 1:00 pm

    Pies! I’m slowly learning to overcome my fear of pie crust 🙂

  • TheKitchenLioness August 13, 2014, 4:58 pm

    Dear Ahu, a truly wonderful layer cake – I love everything lemon and everything vanilla, so, I would certainly not mind a nice slice with my cup of Earl Grey. – Food fears: well, I am not that much of a bread baker…but I am working on it!

    • Ahu Shahrabani August 13, 2014, 9:55 pm

      Oh that sounds wonderful! I am also an Earl Grey drinker 🙂

      I wasn’t a bread baker… until I tried it! Now it’s addictive! Let me know how it turns out! 🙂

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche August 16, 2014, 11:46 pm

    love a good layer cake.. definitely craving a slice right now. looks delicious!

    • Ahu Shahrabani August 17, 2014, 7:57 am

      Thanks Thalia – I would have gladly shared with you – there was no lack of leftovers 🙂

  • Sara | Belly Rumbles August 17, 2014, 8:08 am

    Any baking, but especially cakes, make the house smell amazing. When you do attempt sourdough, oh the amazing smells that will create.

    • Ahu Shahrabani August 17, 2014, 8:23 am

      I can’t wait! Nothing like the smell of fresh bread… except the taste 🙂

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