When Ashley asked me if I’d make her wedding cake, my initial answer was no. No way. Wedding cakes make me nervous. The one time I unmolding a large genoise cake base for a wedding cake, I cracked the whole thing. But I paused. Maybe I was up for the challenge, as long as the challenge didn’t involve fondant or tiers.
I checked with Ashley: “How traditional do you want this cake to be? Tiers? Fondant?” I asked.
“It can be anything you want,” she said.
“What about a table full of Bundt cakes?”
And that’s how I came to bake cakes for a California wedding in late June.
Because Ashley loves citrus, I focused on lemon cakes. Our family friend, Sandyrecommended a few recipes from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I decided to give the cake a try, leaving out the poppy seeds to save the teeth of wedding goers.
If you’re accustomed to starting pound cakes by beating butter with sugar until creamy, the method for this cake will sound unusual. Beranbaum creams the butter and some of the sour cream with the flour and sugar, and then adds the eggs and remaining sour cream. The technique results in a light cake with a tender crumb.
It’s easiest to scale ingredients for this cake with a kitchen scale. I poured the flours and sugar directly into the Kitchen Aid mixing bowl. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, soak them in a bowl of warm tap water.
Lemon Bundt Cake Fit for a Wedding
Adapted from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, by Rose Levy Beranbaum
Makes 1 cake
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 200 grams / 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 15 grams / 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 200 grams / 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 50 grams / 1/3 cup cake flour
- 250 grams / 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 7 grams / 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 grams / 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 grams / 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Zest from 2 lemons
- 200 grams / 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 112 grams / 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 95 grams / 3 fluid ounces lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 10-cup Bundt pan and dust with flour (Wondra flour works well), shaking out the excess.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolk, 1/4 cup of the sour cream, and vanilla.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter and remaining sour cream and mix on low speed until the ingredients are moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes until creamy. Add the egg mixture and mix for 30 seconds to incorporate.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth out the top. Bake for 50 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Meanwhile, make the lemon glaze.
5. To make the lemon glaze: In a saucepan over low heat, dissolve the sugar into the lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, whisk, remove from heat, and cover until needed.
6. Cool the cake for 10 minutes. Unmold the cake onto a 9-inch cardboard round or a serving plate. Brush a couple of layers of glaze over the cake. Once cool, you can serve the cake or wrap it and freeze for future use. The cake defrosts at room temperature in a few hours.