My favorite (and only) daughter-in-law wanted a light cake with spring berries for her birthday cake this year. Guests were invited to a barbecue in her honor, and since it was to be the only dessert, her cake needed to be a real showstopper. Putting some of our family’s favorite flavors together, I developed Megan’s Lemon Berry Birthday Cake, and it drew raves not only from her, but also the guests at her party; there wasn’t a crumb left. What they didn’t know was that the base of the cake was an easy Quick Mix Sponge Cake layered with a microwave version of luscious Lemon Curd, along with whipped cream and fresh berries. The cake layers were soaked in a fresh lemon syrup, also cooked in the microwave. No one had to spend hours in the kitchen.
While this cake looks and tastes complicated, it can be made easily and doesn’t take any advanced cooking skills. The cake layers, as well as the lemon curd, can be made a day or two ahead. Once the components are made, the birthday cake takes only 15-20 minutes to assemble. If you’re looking for a great spring dessert or a birthday cake for someone special, this is the one. It will draw raves from friends and family, along with requests for the recipe.
2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup softened butter
6 large eggs
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup butter
3 cups whipping cream whipped to stiff peaks with 1/2 cup powdered sugar
6 cups fresh berries, sliced strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc.
Fresh mint, for garnish
- Cake: Preheat oven to 325°; Spray 2 9" round cake pans with non-stick spray; line with parchment and spray the parchment.
- Measure the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a fine strainer over a mixing bowl; shake the mixture through.
- Add the butter and eggs; beat for 3 minutes, scraping the sides down when necessary.
- Divide the batter (it is quite thick) between the prepared pans and smooth the top.
- Bake 30-35 minutes or until the cake pulls from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove to cooling racks, let cool 5 minutes, run a knife around the edges, and invert onto the cooling racks.
- Syrup: Measure the lemon juice and sugar in a large microwaveable container; microwave 2-3 minutes or until boiling.
- Remove from the microwave and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved; pour half of the mixture evenly over each of the cake layers.
- Lemon Curd: Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, salt, lemon juice, and butter; microwave 2 minutes; whisk until smooth.
- Microwave an additional 2-3 minutes or until boiling; whisk to smooth. If necessary, pass the mixture through a fine strainer to remove any lumps.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd and refrigerate until chilled.
- Assembly: Place one of the cake layers on a serving platter or tray.
- Spread half of the lemon curd on top.
- Spread a cup of the whipped cream over the lemon curd; top with half of the berries.
- Place the second layer on top of the berries, spread with the remaining lemon curd.
- Frost the cake with the whipped cream and spoon the remaining berries in the center of the cake.
- Refrigerate 2-3 hours or up to a day; garnish with mint.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 532 Calories from Fat 310
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 58% Protein 5% Carb. 37%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 34 g
Saturated Fat 20 g
Cholesterol 231 mg
Sodium 452 mg
Total Carbohydrate 49 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 27 g
Protein 6 g
Vitamin A 28% Vitamin C 64% Calcium 0% Iron 5%