It's easy to add wow factor to a simple layer cake using stunning ombré icing, a white chocolate drip and a crown of candy bark.
- Prep time 1 hour & 15 minutes
- Total time 3 hours
- Portion size 16 servings
- 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup liquid egg whites
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon each baking soda and salt
- 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cup liquid egg whites
- 3 cups unsalted butter , cubed
- 1/2 cup liquid honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pink paste food colouring
White Chocolate Drip:
- 1/2 cup good-quality white chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream (35%)
- Faerie Bark (recipe under method)
- mini pastel-coloured candy eggs
Lemon Cake: Grease three 8-inch (1.2 L) round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
In stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter with sugar on medium speed until fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Beat in egg whites.
In separate bowl, whisk together flour, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In liquid measure, stir together buttermilk, lemon extract and vanilla. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture, alternating with buttermilk mixture, making 3 additions of flour and 2 of buttermilk. Scrape batter into prepared pans, smoothing tops.
Bake in 350°F oven until cake tester inserted in centres comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Invert onto racks; peel off parchment paper. Let cool completely.
Ombré Icing: In heatproof bowl set over saucepan of gently simmering (not boiling) water, whisk sugar with egg whites until sugar is dissolved and candy thermometer reads 140°F. Pour mixture into stand mixer with whisk attachment; beat on high speed until stiff peaks form and mixture is cooled completely, about 10 minutes. Switch to paddle attachment; beat in butter, 1 cube at a time, on low speed until blended. Continue beating until mixture is smooth, 10 to 15 minutes; beat in honey, vanilla and salt. Remove 1 tbsp of the icing to small bowl; tint with food colouring.
Assembly: Using serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to level if necessary. Spread dab of icing in centre of cake plate; top with 1 cake layer, cut side up. Slide strips of waxed paper between edge of cake and plate (to keep plate clean). Spread 2/3 cup of the white icing over cut side; cover with second cake layer, cut side down. Spread 2/3 cup of the white icing over top. Cover with final cake layer, cut side down; spread with 1/3 cup of the white icing.
Using offset palette knife, spread thin layer of the white icing all over cake; refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Using palette knife, spread remaining white icing all over cake, smoothing side and top. Place small dots of pink icing around side of cake a few inches apart from middle of cake downward. Using palette knife, smooth pink icing around cake to blend colours for ombré effect. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
White Chocolate Drip: Place chocolate chips in large heatproof bowl. Microwave cream in microwave-safe bowl on high until very hot, about 1 minute. Pour over chocolate; stir until melted and smooth. Let stand at room temperature until cool but still pourable. Spoon chocolate, 1 tbsp at a time, along top edge of cake, letting it drip down side. Spoon remaining chocolate onto middle of top of cake.
Garnish: Stand Faerie Bark (if using) on top of cake to resemble crown. Scatter with mini pastel-coloured eggs (if using). Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Tip from The Test Kitchen: To avoid separating numerous eggs for this recipe, use liquid egg whites. They're available in cartons in the dairy section of grocery stores.
Get the recipe: Faerie Bark
Nutritional facts Per serving: about
- Fibre 1 g
- Sodium 354 mg
- Sugars 71 g
- Protein 6 g
- Calories 851
- Total fat 55 g
- Potassium 120 mg
- Cholesterol 142 mg
- Saturated fat 35 g
- Total carbohydrate 88 g
- Iron 9
- Fibre 0.0
- Folate 17
- Sodium 0.0
- Sugars 0.0
- Calcium 8
- Protein 0.0
- Calories 0.0
- Total fat 0.0
- Vitamin A 8
- Vitamin C 3
- Potassium 0.0
- Cholesterol 0.0
- Saturated fat 0.0
- Total carbohydrate 0.0