A big cake to have fun or for a great occasion: the Layer cake lemon poppy has everything to please you… A soft base of lemon cake, a creamy lemon curd and a mascarpone icing. We love its lovely tangy flavor and its crunchy side with poppy seeds.
If you've never made a layer cake before, don't be afraid of the task at hand. You can do it in advance and do it several times if necessary. For the decoration of the layer cake, it is not necessary to have a perfect icing. Let your desires run free!
What you'll love about this lemon poppy layer cake recipe
flavors : if you like lemon cakes in general, then this layer cake is for you! Inside the lemon poppy layer cake, there is lemon juice and zest. The poppy seeds bring a little nutty side that goes very well with the lemon.
The lemon curd also brings a little tangy touch in this recipe. It is placed between the layers of cakes at the time of assembly.
The icing made from mascarpone whipped cream is slightly vanilla, to counterbalance the tangy effect of the lemon.
Texture : the cake itself is soft but dense enough to stand well in layer cake format. It is essential otherwise everything collapses! The lemon curd and the icing are very smooth. The mascarpone added to the whipped cream helps to freeze it a little more, which facilitates the decoration.
Difficulty level : I would say average level! Once you have the appropriate molds, a pastry bag, a spatula, I think you have everything in hand to successfully assemble your layer cake.
How to make this lemon poppy layer cake?
We start with the lemon cake. This step can possibly be done in advance (1 or 2 days). If necessary, the 3 cake discs surrounded by cling film are kept until assembly.
We whisk the powdered sugar and the butter, then add the eggs. Then the fermented milk (bought or made yourself) and the dry ingredients are alternately poured. Then add the lemon juice and zest with the poppy seeds. The dough is divided equally between 3 molds 15cm in diameter before being placed in the oven.
Secondly, we tackle the lemon curd (lemon cream). This step can also be done in advance. In a saucepan, we whisk the butter and sugar before adding the lemon juice and the eggs. The lemon curd should be cooked over very low heat and without stopping stirring.
Last step vanilla icing : we whip the cream and the icing sugar into whipped cream. We incorporate mascarpone and vanilla. It's ready !
For assembly, all parts must be well cooled. Place the first cake disc on the serving dish, sticking it with a knob of icing. Then with a pastry bag, we mark out a circle of icing all around: this makes it possible to garnish the inside with lemon curd. We coat the lemon curd with vanilla icing then we place the second cake and so on ...
Finally, just cover the entire layer cake with icing. You can use a pastry bag with a decorative tip or a spatula for this.
How to properly store your lemon poppy layer cake
Once decorated, and before tasting it, it is best to put it on approximately 30 minutes in the refrigerator to facilitate cutting.
The lemon poppy layer cake can be stored in the fridge for about 2/3 days. Beyond that, its icing would lose its flavor.
It is possible for you to freeze it. Cake discs can be frozen (without frosting). Once decorated, the lemon poppy layer cake can also be frozen. To do this, cut small portions and store them in airtight boxes before freezing them.
Other recipes to try
If you like this kind of big cakes / layer cakes, then I urge you to take a look at these other recipes from the blog: the Oreo layer cake version, Layer cake gingerbread, Chocolate layer cake, Raspberry coconut layer cake, Carrot cake layer cake version, Raffaello layer cake version.
If you make this recipe, don't hesitate to tag @liliebakery on Instagram so I can see your beautiful cakes!
Layer Cake Lemon Poppy (Mascarpone Icing)
- 250 ml of milk
- 1 tablespoons of white vinegar
- 250 g powdered sugar
- 250 g soft butter
- 3 eggs
- 300 g of flour
- 1 cc of baking powder
- 1 cc of baking soda
- 2 small lemons juice + a little zest (optional)
- 1,5 tbsp poppy seeds
Lemon curd / lemon cream
- 30 g soft butter
- 40 g powdered sugar
- 2 lemons
- 2 eggs
- 20 cl full liquid cream
- 130 g icing sugar
- 500 g of mascarpone
- 1 tsp liquid vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180 ° C traditional heat. Prepare the homemade fermented milk, by mixing the milk and white vinegar and let stand 15 minutes.
- In the bowl of the food processor, whisk the powdered sugar and softened unsalted butter. Incorporate the eggs one by one, beaten with a fork. Then alternately add the dry ingredients and the fermented milk.
- Then pour in the lemon juice, incorporate well and finish with the poppy seeds. Pour the dough into 3 buttered / floured molds 15cm in diameter and bake for 30 minutes.
Lemon curd / lemon cream
- In a saucepan, whisk together the soft butter and powdered sugar. Add the juice of the 2 lemons. Separately, relax whole eggs with a fork and add them to the pan.
- Heat over low heat, and do not stop stirring (do not stop, otherwise the cream will cook!). The consistency obtained should be comparable to heavy cream. Remove from heat and cool the pot in cold water to stop cooking.
- Whip the whole liquid cream with the icing sugar into firm whipped cream (in a food processor). Add the mascarpone and whisk until a firm consistency is obtained. Finish with the vanilla. Refrigerate until assembly.
Assembly of the layer cake
- Place a 15cm cardboard support on your cake pan (which will be used for the service). Secure it with a little icing. Ideally, take a turntable to put under your cake pan, the icing will be easier to achieve.
- Take the 1st cake, fix it on the cardboard support using a knob of icing. Using a pastry bag fitted with a round tip, make the outline of the cake with the vanilla icing (this will prevent the filling from overflowing) then fill the center with lemon curd and vanilla icing then place the 2nd cake and start over.
- Place a thin layer of icing on top of the last cake and spread over the layer cake using a spatula to cover it completely. Be careful, this layer must be very thin, you can see the cakes through. This layer is called "crumb-coat", it is essential because it avoids having cake crumbs in its final icing! Put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Finally, make the final decoration by first covering the layer cake with a good layer of icing on the top and sides and smooth with a spatula. Decorate the rest with a pastry bag and sprinkle with small colored sugars or other decorations of your choice.