(Recipe adapted from PAULA DEEN and LIFE IS GREAT).
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups sifted self-rising flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 lemons zest
1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 egg whites
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 3 lemons, zest grated and juiced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.
To make the cake: Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Zest 2 lemons and mix it into the batter. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4-inches above counter, then dropping flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks. Cool completely.
To make the frosting: Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
To make the filling: Place the ingredients in the double boiler over boiling water. Don't let top pan touch the water. Cook and stir until mixture begins to gel or thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
To assemble, add 1 tablespoon of filling to the cake pedestal. Run hands along the side of the cake to remove excess crumbs. Place the cake layers on the pedestal, spreading filling between the layers and on top. Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining filling. Frost top and sides of cake with frosting. (I took a blow torch to the frosting to harden it and keep it from sliding off the cake. I also liked the look it created. It reminded me of roasted marshmallows with a light brown crisp).
To make your triangle banner you will need these items:
Draw triangles onto the paper with a pencil. Cut the triangles out. Glue two triangles together with the string in between the triangles (I made six triangle flags, but it may vary depending on the size of your triangles and the size of your cake), then tie each end of the string onto the skewers.
Once your banner is complete top it onto your cake. This is a fun way to spruce up a birthday cake or to impress your guests with what you made for dessert.