Meyer Lemon and Raspberry Cake

meyer lemon and raspberry cake | apt 2b baking co
meyer lemon and raspberry cake | apt 2b baking co
meyer lemon and raspberry cake | apt 2b baking co
meyer lemon and raspberry cake | apt 2b baking co
meyer lemon and raspberry cake | apt 2b baking co
meyer lemon and raspberry cake | apt 2b baking co
meyer lemon and raspberry cake | apt 2b baking co

This is a cake so good I had to make it twice. The first time was because I had this idea that covering a cake in little meringues would be an easy and fun way to finish a cake, and it was - did you watch the video?! Then, a couple of days later I made it a second time because a friend asked me to make a cake for a baby shower and this one was so freaking delicious I knew it would be a hit - minus the meringues because I was out, but plus some delicious meyer lemon cream so win/win. 

I used Sarah's wonderful Yellow Cake recipe from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book for both iterations. The first time I filled it with a quick jam made from a bag of frozen raspberries, sugar, and lemon - the second time it got a little fancy upgrade in the filling department and I added a swipe of Meyer lemon cream made using the recipe in the first Tartine book. The second cake got also a thicker coat of swoops of the pink raspberry buttercream rather than the meringue treatment to finish, but they were equally delicious, and pretty if I do say so myself.

The secret to the perfectly pink raspberry frosting is some pulverized dehydrated raspberries, so cool! I saw that Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen had made strawberry powdered sugar to dust a batch of beignets and it seemed like the perfect all natural way to add a little something extra to my frosting. I'll definitely be using this technique again!

Meyer Lemon and Raspberry Cake

This cake is a perfect Spring celebration treat. There are quite a few steps, but you can spread them out over the course of a couple of days to make the process easier on yourself. The jam can be made up to a week in advance and stored in the fridge, and the Meyer lemon cream will last for about 5 days in the fridge too. Make the cake layers and frosting the day before you plan to decorate the cake. The cake and frosting can be left, well wrapped at room temperature overnight - any longer and the cake and frosting can be stored in the freezer just make sure to bring the frosting all of the way to room temperature and give it a quick spin in the mixer before you use it.

Also! I used perfectly pink raspberry flavored meringues from my friends at Brooklyn Cookie Company to decorate this cake - the meringues will soften over time so do this step right before you serve the cake for the crunchiest meringue experience. Meyer lemon cream recipe can be found here. Dehydrated raspberries can be found at natural foods stores and Trader Joe's. Phew, I think that's it. Go forth and bake cake!

Yellow Cake from the Vanilla Bean Baking Book

(makes 2 8-inch layers)

3 large eggs, at room temperature

2 large egg yolks, at room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature

1/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

1 teaspoon meyer lemon zest

2 cups (260g) all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Butter 2, 8-inch pans and line them with parchment paper. Butter the paper then dust the pans with flour.

In a large measuring cup whisk together eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract, sour cream, buttermilk, and lemon zest. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low speed until combined. Keep the mixer on its lowest setting and the butter one piece at a time, beating until the mixture resembles coarse sand. With the mixer still on its lowest setting, slowly add half the wet ingredients. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Turn back the mixer to its lowest setting and add the rest of the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat for another 20 seconds — at this point, the batter may still look a little bumpy, but that's okay! Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and mix the batter a few more time.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans and use an offset spatula to smooth the tops. Tap the pans gently on the counter 2 times each to help release any large air bubbles. Bake 12-18 minutes, until the cakes are golden brown and pull slightly away from the sides of the pan. A wooden skewer inserted into the center of each cake should come out clean.

Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn the cakes out onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, and let cool completely before frosting.

Quick Raspberry Jam

makes about 1 1/2 cups

1, 12-ounce (340g) bag of frozen raspberries

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

juice of one lemon

Add all of the ingredients to a heavy bottomed, non-reactive pan and stir to combine. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the raspberries thaw and start to release their juices. Crank the heat up to high and boil the jam until thickened enough to pass the wrinkle test, about 7 minutes. Press the jam through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds if desired. Chill completely before using.

Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

makes about 3 cups, enough for one 8-inch, 4 layer cake with a bit left over

1 ounce (30g) freeze dried raspberries

4 egg whites

1 cup (200g) sugar

1 pound (450g) butter at room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces

pinch salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a high speed blender or food processor, pulverize the raspberries into powder. Sift the powder to remove any large seeds.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk continuously until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch, 5-7min.

Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture until stiff glossy peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 10min.

Switch to the paddle attachment and reduce the speed to low. Add the salt then add butter a few pieces at a time and beat the frosting until smooth. During this step it is very likely that the frosting will "break" and you will think you messed up. Good news! You didn't! Mine breaks sometimes too. All you have to do is turn up the speed on your mixer for a few seconds and the frosting comes back together. Continue until all of the butter is incorporated then add in the vanilla and raspberry powder. 

To Assemble the Cake

Peel the parchment paper from the layers and trim the cakes so the tops are flat, then split each cake horizontally in half, making 4 total cake layers.

Place one layer onto a serving platter or pedestal and use an offset spatula to spread about 1/2 cup of frosting on the cake, making it a bit thicker at the edges. Gently spread a few spoonfuls of the jam on top, making sure to stay within the frosting dam at the egdges. (If you’d like to use the lemon cream, raspberry jam instead use a pastry bag to pipe a dam of frosting around the edge then spread the cake with a thin layer of lemon cream followed by the raspberry jam). 

Repeat with remaining cake, frosting, and jam. Place the last layer on top, flat side up so the top of the cake will be flat and crumb free. Cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting (crumbcoat) and refrigerate for about 30min.

Pull the cake out of the fridge and add a second, heavier coat of frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Cover the cake with mini meringues if desired. Serve at room temp. Store any extra frosting in an airtight container in the freezer where it will keep for a few weeks.

meyer lemon and raspberry cake | apt 2b baking co

Light and Fluffy Coconut Cake

light and fluffy coconut cake | apt. 2b baking co.

I don’t always share the recipes from my Food52 column, Project Dessert, here but my post from a few weeks ago is too good not to share again! This light and fluffy coconut cake is one of the best I’ve ever had, and it totally reignited my love for chiffon cakes which are such a great base for all sorts of flavors. I admit that I am late to loving coconut. I used to find the flavor overpowering in an “Am I eating sunscreen?” kind of way, but over time, I have learned to love it in its many forms.

light and fluffy coconut cake | apt 2b baking co.
light and fluffy coconut cake | apt 2b baking co.

I especially like thick, flaked coconut, which adds a little drama and a lot of delicious crispiness to the outside of this cake, which is made from light, sponge cake layers soaked in coconut rum syrup, and topped with Swiss buttercream. The whole thing is soft and squishy in the most comforting way.

In the taxonomy of sponge cakes, this one falls somewhere between a chiffon cake and a Génoise because it uses whole eggs and oil, but no chemical leavener. Instead, its lift comes only from the air incorporated when whole eggs are whipped with sugar.

I have a personal aversion to folding egg whites into cake batter, so unlike most sponge cakes, this method calls for whipping whole, room temperature eggs along with sugar (rather than separating the eggs, then folding the whipped egg whites in at the end)—and to great effect.

light and fluffy coconut cake | apt 2b baking co.

If you have a stand mixer, add the sugar, eggs, and extract to the bowl, crank it up, and walk away for a few minutes. After about 7 minutes of whipping, the mixture will grow so much it will threaten to fly right out of the bowl—that’s when you know it is ready.

If you have a 4 1/2-quart mixer, you may need to transfer the egg mixture into your biggest mixing bowl before folding in the flour. It’s always best to use a big, wide bowl when folding ingredients together to lower your chances of deflating the batter too much.

Putting this cake together is super forgiving because it will eventually be covered in toasty flaked coconut, so you don’t have to worry too much about your frosting technique. Just make sure there is a nice, even-ish coating of frosting all around the sides and cover all of your “mistakes” with crisp coconut.

light and fluffy coconut cake | apt. 2b baking co.

Light and Fluffy Coconut Cake

Makes one 8 or 9-inch, 4-layer cake

An ethereally light cake soaked with coconut and rum syrup, filled with Swiss buttercream, and coated with a generous amount of crisp and nutty toasted coconut flakes. Use 8-inch pans for an impressively tall cake: A 9-inch cake will be just as nice, but a bit shorter in stature. Adapted from Tyler Florence's Towering Coconut Layer Cake.

Cake

10 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup grapeseed oil

1 3/4 cups cake flour, sirfted

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Syrup

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons rum

1/3 cup shredded or flaked coconut

Buttercream

5 egg whites

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 pound unsalted butter, soft but cool

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)

2 1/2 cups flaked coconut, toasted

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter four 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans. Line the pans with parchment rounds, then butter and flour the pans and paper.

In a stand mixer, combine the 10 whole eggs, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Beat on high until the mixture nearly triples in volume, 7 to 10 minutes. Note: This filled the bowl of my kitchen aid mixer, nearly to the top.

With the mixer on, slowly stream in the oil until well mixed. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and salt together.

Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture until well mixed. (You may need to transfer the egg mixture to a large mixing bowl to do this, and it’s always best to use a big, wide bowl when folding ingredients together to lower your chances of deflating the batter too much.)

Divide the batter between the pans and tap them lightly on the counter to remove any large bubbles. Bake the cakes until they are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let the cakes cool in their pans, on a rack, until cool to the touch, then turn them out onto the rack, and remove the parchment. Let cool completely.

For the syrup: Combine the water and 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves then stir in the rum and shredded coconut. Let the mixture cool completely before using.

For the buttercream: Combine the egg whites and 1 1/4 cups sugar in a glass or stainless steel bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the mixture constantly until the sugar dissolves and is hot to the touch. Remove from the heat and whip on high speed until light and fluffy and the meringue has cooled to room temperature.

Turn the mixer down to medium and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until all of the butter is incorporated. If the buttercream curdles at any point, turn the mixer up to high and whip until it emulsifies. Add the extracts and a pinch of salt.

To assemble: Place one cake layer on a serving plate or pedestal. Brush with the syrup and scatter 1/3 of the syrup-moistened coconut over the top. Spread with about 1 cup of frosting, repeat with two more cake layers, then top with the final layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the cake, smooth the top and press the toasted coconut flakes into the sides.