My friend Arina celebrated her birthday last week. She asked that I use my new found interest in baking to bake her a birthday cake, giving me an opportunity to try out a more indulgent recipe than my usual low carb, gluten free adventures. When I asked Arina what kinds of flavours she likes in her desserts, she mentioned citrus and anything with a fruit topping. She had also highlighted her love for cheesecakes. I decided that instead of just doing a classic, New York style cheesecake, I wanted to attempt a dessert that would incorporate all of these ideas. I made a lemon layer cake with cream cheese frosting and a wild blueberry sauce. It was a bit of a process, but the combination of citrus, the tangy cream cheese flavour, and the subtle hint of sweetness from the sauce was worth the effort.
I used this recipe from Cinnamon Spice And Everything Nice to make the lemon cake layers. I found that the original recipe did not yield enough for all three layers, so I ended up halving it to make a third layer. The cakes were perfectly lemon-y and moist, with plenty of fresh lemon juice and zest
Cream cheese frosting is so addictive. I tried out this recipe for the cream cheese frosting, which just barely yielded enough to frost the entire cake and to create cream cheese layers between the lemon cake layers. I loved the result of the recipe as is (as did Arina and her family) and could not resist sneaking in a spoonful (possibly two) before I started frosting the cake. As you can see, I’m not necessarily the neatest froster out there, but I am hoping that more of my friends request cakes for presents so that I can develop the skill further. Is that weird?
If you want a thicker coating on the outside and a sweeter frosting, I would recommend making another cup and adding maybe one or two extra cups of powdered sugar.
I still haven’t completely gotten over my feeling for fruit-filled products, but luckily my aversion to those types of textures did not affect my attempt at this wild blueberry sauce. Fresh blueberries are quite expensive at this time of the year, so I used frozen blueberries and upped the sugar to one cup. I was surprised at how easy it was, and even more pleased when Arina and her family said it was actually good. I tried some myself and have to say that it really was the cherry (well, blueberry) on top of this cake. This experience has definitely encouraged me to attempt other sauces down the road.
I didn’t have my DSLR with me when I delivered the cake to Arina’s, but I snapped some photos with my iPhone so you could see the cake with the sauce (you can take a guess as to who drizzled it and who slathered it all over). Happy Birthday, Arina!