This bright lemon cake is frosted with deceptively light Swiss meringue buttercream and filled with homemade lemon curd. It’s perfect for just about any occasion!
Hello friends! Today I’d like to share a couple of things with you that I’m really excited about. The first and perhaps most obvious is this Lemon Syrup Layer Cake. It’s tart with layers of white cake soaked in lemon syrup. It’s a bounty of citrusy goodness and with tangy sweetness and no sourness to speak of. I have a feeling it’s going to be the centerpiece of our dessert buffet at Easter dinner.
Speaking of centerpieces! The cake stand you see here, along with the beautiful dinnerware, flatware, and serveware are all from The Home Depot. Did you know that the nation’s #1 and most trusted home improvement retailer is now expanding their online shopping to include furniture, home accents, kitchenwares and tabletop? Well, now you do! I’m so happy to be working with them to bring you this news, and to show you a few of the items that I tried out personally.
Long-time readers know that I usually only recommend products and services that I can try out or hold in my hands, so I decided to order a few new tabletop pieces for our Easter dinner this year. Everything was shipped quickly and delivery is FREE on all orders over $45.
Here’s a quick review of my purchases, which you can see styled in the pictures above.
Water Hyacinth Placemats: I’ve been itching to get my hands on some of these, and I found the perfect large size (13.5”) set on The Home Depot website. I opted for the round ones that can double as chargers, but I also really like the rectangular setavailable. I found the mats to be well-made and the beautiful braided weave reminds me of an Easter basket, which is perfect for my spring dining plans.
Euro Ceramica Blue Garden Dinnerware: I wanted to switch up my dinnerware for something striking but less formal than my china. I took a chance on this Blue Garden dinnerware set and was not disappointed! Most dish sets these days are embellished with decals, but not this one! I love that each piece is hand-painted. They are also dishwasher and microwave safe, which makes my practical side very happy.
Cambridge Rumbled Brass Flatware Set: I have a few pieces of gold flatware for blog styling props, but hadn’t pulled the trigger on an entire set – until now. This set is sturdy, and so far it’s lived up to its promise of being dishwasher safe and tarnish-resistant. These add a bit of shine to the table without being too fancy for casual dining.
Water Hyacinth Garden Terrace Tray: Since writing this post, I’ve used this server for all kinds of things. It’s a multitasker! Here it’s anchoring together our drinks, but I’ve also lined it with cotton towels to create a cozy nest for freshly baked breads and muffins. I’ve also used it as a make-shift flatware caddy.
White Marble and Wood Cake Stand: This is a beautiful pedestal with a 10-inch marble top. It’s heavy-duty and less than $30! The wooden base was almost the exact same color as the water hyacinth accessories, which looked nice altogether on the table. This will hold most multi-layered 8 or 9-inch cakes. There’s no chance of wobbling which makes its weight an asset.
I expected to return one or more of the items –because, online shopping, right? But, no! I kept everything because I loved the pieces and really needed them. However, I knew up front that if I was unsatisfied with anything, I could return the items hassle-free. The Home Depot backs every purchase with 100% satisfaction guarantee, and they offer free and easy returns at their more than 2,200 stores nationwide.
They also carry bakeware, including cake pans, cooling racks and many other baking essentials!
Now. This cake! I used my favorite scratch-made white wedding cake recipe to make the layers, which were nice and sturdy for soaking up all that lemon syrup. The finished cake is so lush and tastes like it came from a high-end bakery. It’s frosted with deceptively light Swiss meringue buttercream and filled with homemade lemon curd. It’s perfect for just about any occasion!
The veritable fruit bowl arrangement on top is optional, but we had fun picking off pieces and sharing mandarin segments with cake slices.
Here’s a little video we put together of the cake assembly, along with my new beautiful tableware from The Home Depot. I hope it’s helpful and inspires you to give the recipe a try!
Lemon Syrup Cake
White cake layers
- 3 1/2 cups 16.85 oz. cake flour
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk at room temperature
- 1 cup 226g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups 300g granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Lemon syrup and filling
- 1 cup 240ml cold water
- 1 cup 200g granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon extract
- 2-3 drops lemon yellow food color
- 15-20 oz. lemon curd store-bought or my scratch made recipe
Swiss meringue buttercream
- 10 egg whites
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 pounds unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 tbsp. clear vanilla extract
- Lemon yellow gel food color
- 2-3 fresh mandarin oranges with stems and leaves attached
- Lemon halves
- Fresh raspberries
- Key lime halves
- Cara-cara orange halves
- 8-10 lemon wheels halved
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 8-inch cake pans with flour-based baking spray.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together egg whites and milk in a separate bowl.
- Beat the butter in an electric mixer using the paddle attachment until soft and creamy. Add sugar gradually and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla.
- Add flour mixture alternately with the egg white/milk mixture. Begin and end with flour mixture and beat until smooth on medium-low speed after each addition.
- Divide batter between pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cakes spring back when pressed in their centers. Let cool slightly in pan, then turn out and cool completely. Level the cakes using a serrated knife, if needed.
- Make the syrup: Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon extract. Mix in the food color a little at a time. Cover and let stand while you make the frosting.
- Make the Swiss buttercream: Set a saucepan filled one-third full of water over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.
- Whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and salt in a large heatproof bowl (I suggest a stainless bowl). Set over the simmering water and whisk until the mixture is hot to the touch and the sugar has dissolved (120-140 degrees on a candy thermometer, to be sure).
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Increase to medium-high until stiff peaks are formed.
- Continue beating at medium-high speed until the mixture is fluffy and has cooled (the mixing bowl should feel cool to the touch).
- Turn the mixer off and switch from the whisk attachment to the paddle. Turn the mixer on medium-low and add the butter, a few cubes at a time, beating until well incorporated before the next addition. The mixture will deflate and may look curdled at first – this is normal. Keep going. Add the vanilla extract.
- Beat on high speed until the frosting is thick and completely smooth.
- Remove 1/2 cup of the frosting to a bowl and tint with the yellow gel food color. Transfer to a disposable piping bag with the end snipped. Transfer a large portion of the remaining white frosting to a piping bag with 1/2-inch hole snipped.
- Assembly: Pour the lemon syrup into a shallow dish or pan with 2-inch sides. Quickly dip each side of the cake layers into the syrup (do this quickly to avoid soggy cakes). Place one of the layers on a cake stand or cake board. Pipe a large circle of frosting on the top edge of the cake. Fill the center with lemon curd. Top with a second cake layer and repeat the process with the frosting and lemon curd. Place the final cake layer on top.
- Pipe or spread frosting over the entire cake in a thin layer (crumb coat) and refrigerate until firm, about 15-20 minutes. Pipe or spread a second thick layer over the first, spreading the frosting as evenly as possible. Use some of the reserved lemon yellow frosting to dot the sides of the cake. Use a cake smoother or bench scraper to smooth the sides of the cake and to smear the white and yellow frostings together (watercolor technique). Do not smooth the top edges of the cake; rather, leave a rustic top edge. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
- Cover the top of the cake with whole fresh mandarins lemon halves, orange halves, fresh raspberries and key lime halves. Pat the lemon wheel halves dry and line the bottom edge of the cake, cut side-down, so that the lemon halves completely encircle the bottom edge of the cake.
- Serve immediately. Store leftovers under plastic wrap in the refrigerator.
This original recipe and blog post is sponsored by The Home Depot and contains affiliate links. I only recommend products and services that I’ve had the chance to use personally and feel will be beneficial to the readers of Sprinkle Bakes.