The sun is shining. I mean, really shining. Summer is here just as the school holidays are about to descend upon us for the next nine weeks. It's been a crazy month where I took on a little too much, really testing my limits. I learned a lot but it's been a pretty exhausting time and I have a few weeks now to kick back and enjoy some time with my best boys. I've been cooking and baking and my patient family haven't even had a taste of most of my creations. So today is all about a sociable cake just for us!
I love Sharon Wee's work - and her blog Wee Love Baking has been enticing me with different recipes of late. I really wanted a summery cake and when I saw her Pink Lemonade Cake, I knew I had to try it. I LOVE pink lemonade. It reminds me of long lunches with friends on warm, summer days. And a Pink Lemondade CAKE - that sounded just heavenly.
This is a lovely lemon cake filled and covered with raspberry swiss meringue buttercream to give the two distinct flavours of pink lemonade - lemon and raspberry. The cake batter tasted absolutely delicious and so lemony, it reminded me of a luscious lemon pud. The batter also contains a significant amount of cornflour which I've never used in a cake before, but is said to give the cake a much lighter and airier texture. I cooked this at the stated temperature for 30 mins (rather than the 40 mins in the original recipe) and the cake was done and probably a little overcooked for my liking. So for a fan oven, I would reduce this to 160 degrees next time and check it after 30 mins again. As the cake was a little drier than I'd like, I soaked the sponge with a lemon syrup to add a little moisture (50g sugar and 50g lemon juice heated until all the sugar is dissolved).
Swiss meringue buttercream is a little fiddlier to make than a traditional buttercream but gives a light and softer coating, much more the meringue the name suggests. I used a slightly different method for making mine using a microwave as opposed to the original recipe's double boiler method. I also always use pasteurised egg whites in my meringue, particularly since I had a pregnant friend sharing the cake with us.
The cake is simple to make and is lovely for the summer. It would be a great addition to lunch or afternoon tea and I just love the gorgeous pink colour, don't you?
Pink Lemonade Cake (recipe by Chath Grinige for Sharon Wee's Wee Love Baking)
- 330G PLAIN FLOUR
- 1 TBSP BAKING POWDER
- 5 TBSP CORNFLOUR (60G)
- ½ TSP SALT
- 230G UNSALTED BUTTER AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
- 270G CASTER SUGAR
- 4 LARGE EGGS AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
- 2 TSP LEMON ZEST
- 1/3 CUP LEMON JUICE
- 250ML BUTTERMILK
- 1TBSP VANILLA EXTRACT
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees (fan) - the original recipe states 180 degrees but this was too hot for my fan oven
- Grease and line two 8 inch baking tins
- Cream together butter and sugar until pale and the sugar is dissolved, scraping down the side of the bowl
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cornflour, salt and baking powder well and set aside
- Add the eggs one at a time, making sure that the previous egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one
- Once all the eggs are added pour in the juice and lemon zest and mix
- Add the vanilla to the cup of buttermilk
- Turn the mixture on the lowest setting and add 1/3 of the buttermilk mixture to the mixer and mix gently
- Add a 1/3 of the flour and mix gently
- Repeat twice more and then when you've added the final flour, use a spatula to stir the mixture rather than the mixer to keep the batter light and airy
- Divide the mixture between the two prepared baking tins and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean - check after 30 minutes
- Cool and turn onto a wire rack
Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 160G LIQUID EGG WHITES (OR 4 EGGS)
- 1 CUP CASTER SUGAR
- 340g BUTTER AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
- PINCH OF SALT
- 200G RASPBERRIES
- My method for making this is different from the original so you may want to revert to that to see which you prefer
- Put the egg whites, sugar and salt in a microwaveable bowl
- Pop this bowl in the microwave and heat it in short bursts until it's 48 degrees
- Whisk the hot mixture in a freestanding mixer for around 8-10 mins until you have medium stiff peaks and the bowl has cooled down when you feel the outside
- Add the softened butter one piece at a time, ensuring that each piece is mixed through before you add the next one - I usually add mine in 100G chunks
- If the meringue starts to look curdled, just keep whipping it on high speed and it will change eventually
- When the mixture becomes smooth, add the raspberries until they are spread out through the buttercream and it's a lovely shade of pink.
- Assemble the cake by filling inbetween the two layers with buttercream and then covering the sides and top
- Although I prefer the cake at room temperature, I have kept it refrigerated as the swiss meringue buttercream softens up a lot especially in the warm kitchen temperatures of the summer
- Pop a few raspberries on the top and enjoy :)