Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Lemon Blueberry Naked Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Spring is almost here (hopefully, the snow is melting at a rapid pace now as long as it stays that way), and what better flavors to welcome in Spring than lemon and blueberry? This cake is soft, packed with flavor and perfect for people who don't like a massive amount of frosting, hence the "Naked" part of the title.


2 sticks butter, softened
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 Tbs. lemon zest
4 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk
Juice from 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
2 c. fresh blueberries
1 Tbs. flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 9 inch round cake pans with Pam (with flour) and set aside. In an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar and lemon zest until everything is well mixed. Add in the eggs and vanilla, beating for around two minutes and then scrape down the bowl. With the mixer off, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix on low speed until just combined. Add the buttermilk and lemon juice, stirring by hand until the batter is a smooth and silky consistency.

In a small bowl, toss the blueberries and the flour together. Add the blueberries to the cake batter and gently fold them in (try not to break them because then the batter will change color!). Pour the batter evenly into the three prepared pans and smooth out. I like to tap the pans gently on the counter to get all of the air bubbles out. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans until ready to assemble.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:

12 oz. cream cheese (1 1/2 blocks), softened
1 stick butter, softened
4 1/2 c. powdered sugar
Zest of one large lemon
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. heavy cream

Beat the cream cheese and butter together for about 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar on low speed until everything starts mixing together, and then add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Increase the spread to medium and slowly add in the heavy cream. Whip for another 2-3 minutes.

To assemble the cake, place the bottom layer on your work surface (I like to put a paper liner underneath so that the cake is easily transported). Fill a piping bag with a large tip and pipe a thin layer of frosting on top, starting with the outsides and then making a zigzag pattern towards the middle. Smooth out with an icing spatula. Place the second layer on and repeat those steps. Finally, place the top layer on and pipe a layer of frosting like before. Using the icing spatula, smooth out the top. Then frost the sides of the cake making sure to push the frosting between the layers so that there are no cracks. Turn the cake, pressing down with the icing spatula, to remove excess frosting. Smooth the top of the cake out once more so that the icing is in an even layer.

To decorate the cake, I added a tan bow using wrapping paper ribbon. I also made a mound in the center of the top of the cake out of raspberries and extra blueberries, and then place a few crystallized sugared roses (edible) on top.

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