Lemon Elderflower Cake

May 19, 2018: The Royal Wedding Day of HRH Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle

Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their wedding day! Ever since Kensington Palace announced that Chef Claire Ptak would make their wedding cake, we have been curious about the recipe for lemon elderflower cake. According to the official announcement, the cake would “incorporate the bright flavors of spring…(and)…be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.”

There are many recipe versions of lemon elderflower cake but we tried the one published in People magazine. Their version is heavy and dense, unlike the light and fluffy cakes that we are used to. It is both rich and refreshing, which is befitting for a royal dessert. We also thinned down the basic buttercream recipe with elderflower liqueur but the floral flavor is faint.  We could not find fresh elderflowers to decorate the cake, so we used silk spring flowers with yellow centers instead to indicate the lemon flavor with this color. Lastly we topped our simple, rustic-style cake with a tiara to add some “Markle sparkle”.

Make a mini lemon elderflower wedding cake to celebrate the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan. Best wishes to them and to all the other couples getting married today!

Recipe

(Adapted from People magazine)

For the lemon cake

  • 4 cups flour (all purpose)
  • 3 teapoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups sour cream, room temperature
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed (about 3 lemons)

Directions

Line two 6- and 8-inch round cake pans with waxed paper. Mist the bottom and sides with cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a mixer, beat the butter until creamy.

Gradually add the sugar and lemon zest. Add the eggs one at a time. Stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then add half of the sour cream. Continue to alternate the flour and sour cream mixture until well combined and the cake batter is smooth.

Mix in the lemon juice. Divide the batter into the prepared pans, filling them halfway. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Brush away any crumbs.

For the elderflower buttercream frosting

  • 8 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 (1 pound) boxes powdered sugar
  • ½ cup (+/-) elderflower liqueur

Directions

In a mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar.  Thin to a spreadable consistency with elderflower liqueur. Spread a little frosting onto a cake board to act as a “glue” for the bottom layer of the cake.

 

 For the lemon elderflower liquid

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • ¼ cup elderflower liqueur

Directions

In a small bowl, dissolved the sugar in lemon juice and elderflower liqueur. Stir well. Brush this liquid onto the cut layers of the cooled cakes before icing them with elderflower buttercream frosting.

Continue with each cake layer, brushing with lemon elderflower liquid and then frosting it with the elderflower buttercream. Frost the top and sides of the cake.

Decorate as desired. Top with a tiara and add spring flowers. Place on a cake pedestal. Serve and celebrate!

Notes

  • We used two 10-inch round pans for this recipe and sliced the layers in half. The People magazine recipe uses 6- and 8-inch rounds. For our final food photo above, the latter are cake dummies with the bottom 10-inch cake being the real one. Many couples use cake dummies to add height to their wedding cake, cut a real one for photos and serve sheet cakes from the back kitchen to save money.
  • Fruitcake is traditionally served at British weddings. This lemon elderflower cake is a contemporary confection honoring American bride Meghan Markle.
  • Search our blog for more royal-inspired recipes.

 

Battenberg Cake

battenbergcake

April 30, 1884: The Wedding Day of Princess Victoria and Prince Louis of Battenberg

As marriage sponsors at church, we are always intrigued with foods related to weddings. Battenberg Cake, with its distinctive checkered pattern and quilt-like markings, has a royal wedding history. It was reputedly created in honor of the German Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse-Darmstadt when they were married on April 30, 1884. The princess is the granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England. Though the royal groom was born in Austria and raised in Germany, the family name eventually became Anglicized from Battenburg (Battenberg) to Mountbatten to disassociate with the Nazis during the World War. The cake itself seems to represent the alliance (marriage) between Germany and England with the two colors!

Battenberg Cake is a terrific teatime treat. Try this royal recipe for bridal showers, nuptial celebrations and the anniversary of the Prince and Princess of Battenberg.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 box pound cake mix (we used Betty Crocker brand)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • red food coloring
  • yellow food coloring
  • apricot jam
  • 2 packages marzipan

Directions

Prepare the pound cake mix according to the directions on the box. In a mixing bowl, combine the pound cake mix with the butter, eggs and milk. Add the almond extract.

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Mix until the batter is smooth. Divide the batter equally in two bowls. Tint one with red food coloring and stir until the batter is pink. Tint the other with yellow food coloring and mix well. Pour each into two separate, same-sized greased loaf pans.

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Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 35-45 minutes, testing the cakes for doneness. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Trim off the brown edges from the four sides of the cake.

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Level out the tops. Stack one cake on top of the other. Slice down the middle to create long, rectangular strips of cake.

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Stir the apricot jam in a small bowl until smooth. Generously spread the jam on one side of the cake strip. Attach an opposite colored cake strip to the side. Brush more jam on the top of the two cake strips. Repeat with the other cake strips, topping them with opposite colors. Brush all crumbs away and spread more jam on the sides, including the top and bottom of the cake.

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Knead the marzipan to soften. Roll out on a clean, flat surface to about 1/8 inch thick. Keep rolling until the size is large enough to cover the sides of the cake. Brush apricot jam on the marzipan. Carefully wrap the marzipan around the cake.

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Trim off the excess marzipan. Make a neat seam on the bottom and overlap the edges. Turn the cake around and make light criss-cross markings on the top. Chill until the marzipan and jam are set (around 15-30 minutes). Slice off the ends to make the cake look neat and finished. Cut ¾-inch thick portions and serve during tea time.

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Notes

  • In lieu of the apricot jam, a thin layer of vanilla frosting may be used to “glue” the cake strips together.
  • Search our blog for other royalty-inspired recipes.

Rocky Road Cake

Rocky Road Cake

June 2: National Rocky Road Day

On a hot, summer day, eating Rocky Road ice cream is a cool choice. But lactose intolerant Islander feels it is “safer on her system” to eat a slice of Rocky Road cake because the dairy content in it is less than in Rocky Road ice cream (although there is a little bit of cream used in the chocolate frosting). The cake is also less likely to melt when sharing it with others at summer socials.

Rocky Road cake is easy to make, and the textured topping give this decadent dessert a “wow factor”. Instead of the ice cream flavor, try Rocky Road cake to celebrate the summer season as well as observe National Rocky Road Day.

Recipe

Ingredients

Directions

Bake the chocolate fudge sheet cake in a 9×13” pan. Cool completely. Make the chocolate frosting by melting 10 ounces of chocolate squares, stirring in a half cup of heavy whipping cream and incorporating 1 ½ cups of sliced butter pieces until smooth and well blended.

Rocky Road Cake

Allow the frosting to cool for a spreadable consistency (several hours at room temperature or 15-30 minutes in the refrigerator). Stir before spreading on the top and sides of the cake. Pipe decorative shell borders on the top and bottom edges of the cake (optional).

Rocky Road Cake

Sprinkle mini marshmallows randomly on top of the cake. Chop the walnuts roughly and toast them in a small skillet over medium high heat for about five minutes, being careful not to burn the nuts. Cool and scatter them on top of the cake, filling in the gaps between the marshmallows.

Rocky Road Cake

Melt chocolate candy wafers/chips. Put the melted chocolate in a piping bag with a small round tip (or fill a plastic zipper top bag and cut a small hole). Drizzle over the top of the cake. Let set. Slice the cake into 24 squares and serve.

Rocky Road Cake

Notes

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

June 16: National Fudge Day

We have lived in the Lone Star State since 2008 and we get a taste of Tex-Mex meals and cowboy-country cooking all around town, whether at food festivals, restaurants or informal get-togethers. We especially enjoy the down-home desserts, such as cobblers and cookies, pies and puddings and custards (flan) and cakes.

Sometimes we see a sweet and simple chocolate cake at social events. What looks like a giant fudge brownie is known as a “Texas sheet cake.” And since “everything is bigger in Texas,” the flavor of this rich, moist dessert is even more pronounced—irresistably chocolaty and fudgy!

Texas fudge sheet cake is considered a comfort food. The ingredients are basic and the recipe is straightforward. The completed cake can be ready in less than an hour! It is sturdy enough to transport to potlucks and can be served straight out of the pan in which it was baked. Mmmmm…fudgy, not fussy!

Try this Texas fudge sheet cake for National Fudge Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from the Pioneer Woman)

For the fudge sheet cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • ¼ cup cocoa (we used Nestle brand)
  • 1 cup water, boiling
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Set aside. In a pan, melt the butter. Stir in the cocoa, then the boiling water. Boil for another 30 seconds.

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

Pour the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture and stir. In a small bowl, mix the buttermilk with the eggs and baking soda.

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

Add the vanilla to the buttermilk mixture. Pour this into the flour-chocolate batter and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour into a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking pan.

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from the oven. Cool completely. The cake may be frosted in the pan itself. Or it may be inverted onto a cake board or platter and then frosted.

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

For the fudge frosting

(Adapted from About.com – Desserts/Baking)

  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3+ cup milk

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, sift the cocoa with the sugar to remove any lumps. In a separate microwave-safe bowl, place the stick of butter, cover with plastic film/wrap and microwave until melted. Remove the melted butter from the microwave and stir in the vanilla.

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

Pour the butter-vanilla mixture into the cocoa-sugar and stir to combine. Add 1/3 cup milk and blend with a hand-mixer until smooth. Add a tablespoon of milk at a time to achieve the desired spreadable consistency for the frosting.

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

Generously spread the top of the cake with frosting. Make decorative swirls with the spatula on the top and sides of the cake. Let set. Slice and serve.

Texas Fudge Sheet Cake

Notes

  • Howdy, partner! Texas fudge sheet cake pairs well with plain vanilla ice cream.
  • At weddings, the Texas sheet cake recipe gets dressed up as a groom’s cake. Baked in a Texas-shaped pan and decorated with chocolate-dipped strawberries, this fudge cake is a favorite among guests at a Texas BBQ reception!
  •  Search our blog for other chocolate cake recipes.