I had a very difficult time deciding what to make as my birthday cake this year. My husband was more then willing to buy me a cake but I'll be honest, I like the cakes that I make much better then what we can buy in stores around here. I initially decided on a white cake filled with raspberry jam but two days before my birthday I saw THIS amazing cake on Sunny Side Up in San Diego.
I loved the look of the cake and that it was filled with lemon curd. The fruit on top got me thinking that a lighter cake would pair nicely with both the fruit and lemon curd. I immediately thought that an angel food cake would be perfect for this recipe. I've never made a homemade angel food cake before but I was up for the challenge.
It turns out that making an angel food cake is very simple it only requires a lot of beating of the egg whites. I ended up cooking it in a 9 inch round pan. After it cooled I used a biscuit cutter to cut out 3 inch rounds. I then sliced them in half and filled them with lemon curd. Because they were individual size, I couldn't put different types of fruit on top of each, so I put one type of fruit on each.
They ended up looking gorgeous! I think these are probably the best looking cakes I've ever eaten. I liked how light and fluffy the cake was compared to the thickness of the frosting. The fruit was refreshing on top and the lemon curd added a tartness to the cakes.
We had a few friends over for my birthday and we all finished our individual cake and they received rave reviews. I loved these cakes and surprisingly they took less then 2 hours to put together! While my mother wasn't around to taste them, she's already requested them for her next birthday.
Angel Food Cake with Lemon Curd Filling (adapted from Skip to My Lou)
1 c. flour
1 ¼ c. sugar
8 large egg whites (reserve egg yolks for making the lemon curd)
1 ¼ t. cream of tartar
¼ t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch round springform cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Mix at high speed until soft peaks form.
3. Add in 1 cup of the sugar a few tablespoons at a time until stiff peaks form.
4. In a small bowl combine the flour, ¼ cup sugar, and salt. Fold the flour mixture into the egg whites ¼ cup at a time. Once it is combined, fold in the vanilla.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Remove from oven and turn the cake pan on its side on a wire rack to cool.
7. Once completely cooled run a knife around the edges and then release the bottom of the springform pan.
Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Frosting (adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours)
1 c. sugar
4 egg whites
3 sticks butter, softened
1 T. vanilla
1 vanilla bean
1. Place the sugar and egg whites for the frosting in a large heatproof bowl and fit the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until it feels hot to the touch and the sugar is dissolved. Remove the bowl from heat.
2. Pour the sugar mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes or until it is cooled. Add in the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the butter is mixed in, beat the buttercream on high for 8-10 minutes.
3. Gradually add in the vanilla. Scrape the insides out of the vanilla bean and add them as well. The resulting buttercream should be white and shiny.
Assembling the Cake (inspired by Sunny Side Up in San Diego)
1 angel food cake
1 c. lemon curd
2 c. vanilla bean frosting
Assorted fresh fruits (I used cherries, strawberries, kiwi, peaches, and blueberries)
1. Using a 3 inch biscuit cutter, cut 5 rounds from the angel food cake and place on a cutting board. Reserve the scraps of the angel food cake for making a trifle (Use angel food cake in place of vanilla cake is THIS recipe).
2. Using a serrated knife, cut the angel food cake round in half. Gently place the top of each cake above the bottom.
3. Fit a pastry bag with a star tip and fill with vanilla bean frosting. Pipe and edge of frosting around the cut side of each angel food cake. Fill the outline with lemon curd. Carefully place the top of each cake on the lemon curd filling.
4. Still using the star tip, pipe frosting in long stripes from the bottom of the cake to the top, going around the entire cake. Repeat with remaining 4 cakes.
5. Pipe a circle of frosting around the top of each individual cake. Fill the top of the cake with one type of fruit. Glaze with a combination of honey and lemon juice if desired.