Last year I made this macaron baby shower cake for my friend Irene, and while I was at the baby shower I met her good friend Sharon. Almost a year later later, Sharon's friend Jennie contacted me about making a cake for her husband's surprise 50th birthday party! It's always so exciting for me to hear that friends of friends like my work, so I of course was super excited to make this cake!
Jennie and I went back and forth with several cake designs, and in the end we chose to do a rustic naked cake decorated with fresh lemon slices, inspired by a cake made by Knead To Make. To continue with the lemon theme on the inside of the cake, we decided to go with a vanilla cake filled with lemon whipped cream and fresh blueberries.
For the vanilla cake, I made two batches of my favorite vanilla batter (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!) and baked it in two 10-inch round cake pan. Once cooled, I sliced each cake in half horizontally, giving me four layers. Then I whipped up a large batch of whipped cream, which I lightly sweetened with powdered sugar, and flavored it with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest to give a nice lemony tang. Each cake layer was then filled with a heavy dose of lemon whipped cream and a layer of fresh blueberries.
Once the cake was assembled, I whipped up a batch of vanilla buttercream frosting and covered the top and sides of the cake with it.
I did my best at smoothing out the frosting while still keeping the "naked cake" effect, allowing some of the cake layers to peek out from the frosting.
I let the cake chill in the fridge overnight, and the next morning I started prepping my fresh lemon slices. Since I wanted the prettiest, biggest lemon slices (cut from only the middle of the lemon), I ended up using seven lemons while looking for the perfect slice! I blotted each slice with paper towel, and then dusted each one with powdered sugar to help keep them looking glossy.
The frosting had set nicely by now, so I piped a bit of frosting on the back of each lemon slice to attach them to the cake.
The final touch was a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, which I secured with toothpicks.
I loved the end result! The combination of the vibrant colors, graphic shapes, and "striped" effect of the naked cake was just what we were going for!
Jennie ended up topping the cake with lots of candles and sparklers, and while I don't have a picture of it or the inside of the cake, she informed me that the cake was a hit, and even people who normally don't like cake came back for a second slice! That just made my day.
Happy Birthday, Jennie's husband! :)