Whether you call her mom or mum, make sure you make her a special cake this mother’s day.
I now that Mother’s day is on a different date depending on where you are in the world, but in the UK its this coming Sunday. Make sure you’ve got all the ingredients in and show your mom how much you love her in cake form.
The cake isn’t just any cake, its a lemon velvet cake. It’s perfect for this recipe (and for spring in general). It’s packed with a lemon-y punch and finished with vanilla buttercream, it might not sound like it but these work really well.
You have 3 layers of lemon velvet cake, brushed with a lemon simple syrup and then finished with a ombre vanilla buttercream coloured in 3 shades of purple – the colours are customisable to suit you better!
To start, you’ll want to make the macarons. These are normally something that can be difficult to make but if you use the method I have provided, you will find them easier. Into a large bowl add in the egg whites and the colouring paste of choice, then give it all a good mix until well incorporated. Into a separate bowl sift together the ground almonds and icing sugar a few times, this is to remove any big lumps that may be in the ground almonds. Once you’ve sifted them together, you can then add the dry mix to the coloured egg whites and give it all a good mix until everything is combined, set aside until needed later on.
Into a small saucepan, place the water and sugar and place a medium-high heat, until it achieves 118c/. Into a clean mixing bowl (I opted to use my stand mixer bowl), place the egg whites and whisk them up until they are frothy, then add the sugar and whisk until its incorporated and has reached soft peaks. After that pour in the sugar/water mixture (make sure you turn your mixer speed down to the lowest setting, getting this mixture on your skin would result in a burn, so be extra careful. Pour the hot mixture down the side of your bowl, avoiding contact with the whisk). On wall of the hot mixture is in the egg whites, crank the speed up to high and whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy and the bottom of the bowl will be cool enough to touch.
Now that you’ve got your meringue mixture and coloured almond mixture, you can combine the two. Simply spoon about 1/3 of the meringue mixture in and fold it in until it’s fully incorporated, then repeat with the remaining 2/3 of meringue. The mixture will change in colour and consistency, this is normal, it’s a sign that the ingredients are combined. Give the bowl a good scrape down, just to incorporate any bits that may not have been fully worked in from earlier on. The place the macaron batter into a piping bag.
Make sure all of your baking trays are lined with greaseproof/parchment, the. You can snip the end off of the piping bag and start to pipe out the macarons, i recommend you download a free template offline and print it off, unless you’re confident. Pipe out however many you can get on your tray, then tap the tray on the countertop, this will bring any air bubbles to the surface, then leave these for 30-60!minutes, or until a skin has formed on top of the, macarons (simply touch the top and if mixture sticks to your finger, it’s not ready). While you wait for them to dry, preheat your oven to 180˚c/350˚f.
Once the macarons are ready, you can place them in the oven and bake them off for around 12 minutes (give or take a few minutes, they shouldn’t colour very much). Once out of oven, you can take the parchment/greaseproof off the baking tray an allow them to cool fully before removing from the greaseproof/parchment.
Now that the macarons are made, it’s time to start on the cake. This isn’t your typical lemon cake, it’s a lemon velvet cake – if you like a strong lemon flavour, this is the cake for you.
Do some prep work before you start baking. Weigh up your ingredients, preheat your oven and prepare your cake tins if they need it.
To start on the cake, you’ll want to get yourself a large mixing bowl and place in the butter and sugar, then beat them together until they are well combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl, this is just to help incorporate any bits that may no have been fully worked in earlier on. The next stage is to add the eggs in, one at a time beating well in-between each addition, try not to add more than one at a time, otherwise you may scramble the mixture and this isn’t ideal (if you do happen to scramble the mixture, it’s not the end of the world. Simply add a tablespoon of the flour you’ve already weighed out).
Next you’ll want to add the colouring and flavourings, for me this is lemon yellow by Wilton and I’m flavouring my cakes with lemon zest, add these into the mixture and beat them until they are fully incorporated. Give your bowl another good scraping down.
Now you can start adding your dry and wet ingredients, don’t forget to start and finish with the dry ingredients, once they are all fully incorporated, give your bowl a final good scrape down. Then you can add in the bicarbonate of soda and then pour over the vinegar and allow to fizzle, then give it one last mix, just to work in the raising agent.
Take your cake batter and weigh it, the take this amount and divide by 3 and then weigh that exact amount into each cake tin. This is my preferred method of dividing the cake batter but feel free to eyeball it and guess how much is in each tin. Bake in your preheated oven for 25-27 minutes (or until a tester comes out clean).
While your cakes are in the oven baking, this is the ideal time to make your buttercream and simple syrup. To make the buttercream, place your butter into a mixing bowl and beat for a couple minutes until its softer and more spreadable, then scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add in your first half of icing sugar then give it a good mix for a few minutes, then scrape down the bowl again and repeat with the remaining icing sugar. Once the second half of icing sugar is added and fully incorporated, add in the vanilla extract and mix until fully mixed in, set aside until needed later on.
For the simple syrup place the water, lemon juice and sugar into a small-medium saucepan and place on a medium-high heat and allow to come to a boil, then leave to cool down fully before use.
Once the cakes are fully baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool down fully.
Once the cakes are fully cooled down, you can then level the top off each cake and give them all a generous brushing of the lemon simple syrup (using lemon will only enhance the lemon flavour, great if you like a strong lemon flavour). You can then layer the cakes together with a good amount of the vanilla buttercream, once layered/stacked you can then give the cake a crumb coat, this is just a thin layer of buttercream that will lock in the crumbs and not ruin your final layer of buttercream. Chill in the fridge for 30-45 minutes or until firm to the touch.
To finish the cake, colour your buttercream into 3 colours. I opted to go with 3 different shades of purple, I start with the lightest at the bottom and finish with the darkest on top, pipe equals amounts of each onto the cake, then smooth it all out as best I can with my cake scraper, you may need to scrape the excess buttercream onto some greaseproof paper and if there are any gaps/spaces, fill them in and smooth them off until you’re happy.
You can finish the cake however you like but i piped rosettes on top (and topped them with macarons) and a white chocolate drip, the drip is optional. For the chocolate drip, I place my double cream into a saucepan and place a low-medium heat just until it’s almost boiled. Pour the hot cream over your white chcolate, allow it to sit for 1 minute, then stir until its smooth, transfer into a piping bag and use from there.
150g Ground almonds.
150g Icing sugar.
55g Egg whites.
150g Granulated sugar.
55g Egg whites.
10g Granulated sugar.
Lemon Velvet Cake:
225g Granulated sugar.
Zest of 3-4 lemons.
Yellow food paste.
220g Plain flour.
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda.
2 tbsp White vinegar.
200ml Lemon juice.
300ml granulated sugar.
1kg Icing sugar.
Whiter Chocolate Drip:
25ml Double cream.
25g White chocolate.