Lemon Curd Matcha Cake

Y’all must know by now how I can’t resist helping with parties, especially showers. Last month Cheryl and I threw a joint baby shower for two of our friends expecting within a month of each other, and it turned out to be simple get-together sharing small bites among good company. Cheryl’s DIY decorations were a lovely touch for the relaxed event, and she’s posted tips on making floral arrangements like the ones seen here.

Originally I planned on purchasing all the food for the shower, but my hands itched to make something, and I gave in. I based this cake off a recipe I found on the back of a box of cake flour my mother-in-law gave me to try, and the lemon and matcha pairing was inspired by the mothers-to-be. Both May and Tina love matcha flavored desserts, and Tina is a huge fan of the color yellow. Remember her sunny bridal shower? Can’t believe that was already two years ago!

So how did the cake turn out? I’m typically extremely critical of my own baked goods, but this cake I loved. Between its fluffy texture and the marriage of flavors, it’s a definite keeper of a recipe. Well, except for the chunky frosting (notes on the frosting below say that it will appear curdled if there’s not enough butter), the cake still tasted great.

Congratulations to all our friends having babies! Among our friends, it feels like we’ve been averaging a birth a week! It’s such an exciting time, and it’s so much fun seeing your families grow. Keep ’em coming! 😉

p.s. And Happy Anniversary to my dear husband Tim. Four years ago, we shared a matcha cake similar to this one, and to this date, that day is still the best day of my life. I love you!

Lemon Curd and Matcha Cake
adapted from recipe on Swans Down Cake Flour box

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
3 cups sifted cake flour
4 eggs
1 cup milk (whole or low fat)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons matcha
lemon curd (recipe below)
buttercream frosting (recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Butter and lightly flour 2-8 inch layer pans. Sift cake flour, then ligthly spoon 3 cups cake flour into measuring cup.
2. Cream butter in large bowl. Gradually add sugar, creaming until light and fluffy. Sift the already sifted cake flour with baking powder, matcha, and salt. Add eggs one at a time to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture alternatively with milk and flavorings, blending after each addition until smooth. (Do not overbeat as this will yield a dry cake.) Pour into prepared pans.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tester inserted into cake comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans and finish cooling on racks.
4. To assemble cake, use a serrated knife to even cake layers, spread lemon curd in between cake layers, and frost with buttercream frosting.

Lemon Curd
3 large egg yolks, strained
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

1. Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine. Set over medium heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, making sure to stir sides and bottom of pan. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat back of wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter, one piece at a time, stirring with the wooden spoon until consistency is smooth.
3. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to avoid a skin from forming; wrap tightly. Let cool; refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 1 hour.

Buttercream Frosting
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch table salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened, cut into quarters

1. Combine eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in bowl of standing mixer; place bowl over pan of simmering water. Whisking gently but constantly, heat until mixture becomes thin and foamy.
2. Beat egg mixture on medium-high speed with whisk attachment until light, airy, and cooled to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add butter, one piece at a time. (After adding half the butter, buttercream may look curdled; it will smooth with additional butter.) Once all butter is added, increase speed to high and beat 1 minute until light, fluffy, and thoroughly combined.

Matcha Loaf

When I start to bake with matcha, I keep going. I did a Matcha Month series a few years ago, and I continue to think up more ways to incorporate matcha into my baking. I wasn’t intending this month to be a repeat of that series, but after last week’s cake, I wanted to try again for a moist matcha cake. Unfortunately, this loaf turned out just as dry as last’s week cake!

I’m posting the recipe as I baked it, but if I were to try again, I would go the easy route by melting the butter, mixing all the wet ingredients all at once, and then dumping the dry ingredients into that. And maybe replace the milk with some yogurt or sour cream. So there’s my disclaimer, and maybe next week you’ll see yet another matcha cake post.

Matcha Loaf

6 Tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1 Tablespoon matcha
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Butter and flour a 9″ loaf pan.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar.
5. Add in eggs, one at a time, and beat on low until incorporated.
6. Use a few teaspoons of milk to the matcha to make a paste. Add matcha paste and vanilla to the butter mixture, and beat on low for about 30 seconds.
8. Add in half of flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat on low until flour disappears.
9. Add in rest of milk and beat on low until just absorbed. Then add in rest of flour mixture and beat on low until just mixed in.
10. Pour batter into prepared loaf and bake in oven for 50-60 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.