Lemon Layer Cake with Speculoos Buttercream Frosting

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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)

Ingredients 

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) 

 Method 

  1. 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. 
  2. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt. Set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter, sugar, & lemon juice together until light & fluffy, probably 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Add the eggs one at a time to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition. 
  5. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with additions of the milk & the lemon juice. 
  6. 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. 
  7. Now, the buttercream frosting. Beat the butter in a large bowl until light & fluffy, 2-3 minutes. 
  8. Add the Speculoos Spread until thoroughly combined. 
  9. Gradually beat in the icing sugar (I added mine by the cupfuls), beating well after each addition. 
  10. 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. 



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