Lemon Layer Cake with Speculoos Buttercream Frosting
Cakes that have several layers are a big deal. They involve more stress, they require more concentration, they take longer to bake (especially if you’re like me & only have one tin of a certain size..), & generally speaking, people expect more from them, that they’ll taste better than your everyday run of the mill single layer cake. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. As a consequence, this is only the second ever cake to be baked & put up on the blog. See what I mean? Layer cakes are a big deal.
So you all remember Part I of The Boyf’s birthday present, right? How anyone could forget the creamy, cinnamoney, spreadable goodness that is Homemade Speculoos Spread is beyond me. (Personally, I reckon I could only ever forget about Speculoos if my brain was taken over by aliens. & the aliens were weirdos who had something against creamy, cinnamoney, spreadable cookie butters. Maybe not even then.) I loved the Speculoos, I knew The Boyf would love it, & so I decided to make Part II of his birthday present also Speculoos flavoured. Presenting Part II of the best ever birthday present: Lemon Layer Cake with Speculoos Buttercream Frosting. I know, I spoil that boy.
This cake took me the whole day to bake. Not because there were a lot of steps involved, but because I insisted on making the cake 7-inches. Now, this was a bit of a problem; I only had one 7-inch baking tin. & instead of doing what any sane person would do, such as buy another 7-inch tin or change to a different size tin, I decided to stick with my one tin. Let me tell you, baking one layer of cake at a time, then letting it cool down in the tin, then washing the tin to cool it completely, & then repeating the whole process twice more takes a whole lot longer than you would think! If I had known, I would have saved myself the stress & splurged on a new baking tin or two. Layer cakes: 1, Vicki: 0.
There was a lot of pressure for this cake to be delicious – it was the only cake for The Boyf’s birthday. & his whole family were going to be eating (& judging) it too. Scary Mary! Alas, the cake did not disappoint. For starters, everyone was wowed by the look of the cake, which was a relief, because I purposely added chocolate shavings to keep things classy. & everyone knows that chocolate shavings are the classiest of classy, way better than chocolate sprinkles & don’t even get me started about the classiness of chocolate chips.
As good as the cake looked, it tasted even better. All of my worries about lemon & Speculoos not actually working well together were completely unnecessary – the lemony flavour of the cake seemed to cut through any heaviness in the Speculoos buttercream. It was a match made in heaven. The cake itself had just the right amount of lemoniness, it was subtle, but certainly there. The Speculoos buttercream frosting was absolutely delicious (if I may say so), I had problems keeping my sister away from the stuff while I was trying to cover the cake!
Am I the best girlfriend ever or what?
Makes one three layer 7-inch cake (Adapted from Desserts for Breakfast)
For the lemon layer cake:
- 1 ¼ cup & 2 tablespoons of plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 8 tablespoons of butter, softened to room temperature
- ¾ cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- ¼ cup & 2 tablespoons of milk
- 2 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice
For the Speculoos Buttercream Frosting:
- 12 tablespoons of butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup of Speculoos Spread (I used homemade)
- 3 cups of icing sugar, sifted
- chocolate shavings, for classiness)
- First, the cake. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C. Grease & line the base of three 7-inch round cake tins, then grease again. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter, sugar, & lemon juice together until light & fluffy, probably 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition.
- Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with additions of the milk & the lemon juice.
- Separate the cake batter into the three baking tins & bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven & allow to cool in the baking tins for 15 minutes before removing them from the tins & allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Now, the buttercream frosting. Beat the butter in a large bowl until light & fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the Speculoos Spread until thoroughly combined.
- Gradually beat in the icing sugar (I added mine by the cupfuls), beating well after each addition.
- Once the cake layers are completely cooled, frost in between the layers & all around the cake*. Decorate the top of the cake with some chocolate shavings.
*Note: if the layers are unevenly baked (or they go up in the centre), level them off before frosting the cake. Some of us didn’t think of this & regretting it upon looking back over the photos.