Every year for Easter my mom would make a white cake with lemon filling and a white frosting. She would put coconut tinted green on top and garnish with jelly beans. It was always so moist and reminded me of spring. Unfortunately, I have never been able to find this recipe so I have been trying to recreate it. I think this cake is as close to her recipe as I can get. It takes time to make but it is so worth it when you are finished. It's also so pretty for Easter.
Ingredients (16 servings)
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
- 2 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp rum extract
- 6 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp corn starch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 6 egg yolks, room temperature
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup coconut, tinted green
- 1/2 cup jelly beans
Zest and juice 4 lemons. (Photo B) Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy saucepan. (Photo A) Add the lemon zest and juice and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. (Photo C) Boil for 1 minutes and stir constantly.
Beat the egg yolks and add 1/3 of hot mixture to temper the eggs and continue stirring. Add the egg mixture to the pan and cook, stirring constantly. (Photo D) Cook for at least one minute or until thoroughly heated. Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter. (Photo E) Stir until the butter is melted.
Cool completely in a bowl with plastic wrap set on the lemon mixture to keep a skin from forming. (Photo F) Place in the refrigerator.
Line three 9 in cake pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour the cake pans. (Photo G)
Cream the butter until it is light and fluffy and gradually add the sugar, beating well. (Photo H) Combine the water and milk in a measuring cup and set aside. Combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the milk mixture. Begin and end with the flour mixture. Mix on low speed just until the mixture is blended. Add the rum flavoring. (Photo J)
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. (Photo K) Add the egg whites to the batter and gently fold (Photo L) until mixed. Divide the batter between the 3 prepared cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. (Photo M) Remove from the pans and allow to cool completely.
Combine the sugar, water and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan. (Photo N)Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until clear. Cook without stirring until temperature reaches 240 degree on a candy thermometer. (Photo O)
Beat the 4 egg whites at high speed of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. While continuing to beat the egg whites, slowly add the syrup. (Sorry there is no picture because my hands were full.) Continue beating until stiff peaks form and the frosting is desired consistency. This takes 3 or 4 minutes with a heavy duty mixer in a metal bowl.
Spread the lemon filling between the layers. (Photo P) Spread the fluffy frosting on sides and top of cake. (Photo Q) Sprinkle the tinted coconut on top of the cake and garnish with jelly beans.
(To tint the coconut, put a few drops of green food coloring and water in a mason jar. Add the coconut and shake until the desired color is reached.)