Lemon Poke Cake
Light, fluffy and airy lemon cake filled with homemade lemon curd and topped with mascarpone whipped cream frosting! It's so dreamy, creamy and full of zesty lemon flavour! Perfect for springtime!
FOR THE LEMON CAKE
- 260 g (2 cups) Plain flour/all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 g (1 1/2 tsp) Baking powder
- 1/4 tsp Baking soda
- 1 tbsp Lemon zest (from 3 medium lemons)
- 3 tbsp Fresh lemon juice
- 250 g (1 1/4 cup) Caster or superfine sugar
- 3 Eggs ( UK medium-sized) weight without shell = 165 g
- 70 g (1/3 cup) Vegetable oil
- 85 g (1/3 cup) Unsalted butter, softened
- 80 ml (1/3 cup) Full fat Milk/whole milk
- 80 g (1/3 cup) Plain Yogurt
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
FOR THE LEMON CURD
- 4-6 tbsp homemade or store-bought
FOR MASCARPONE WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING
- 250 g (1 cup) Whipping cream/double cream/heavy cream, Chilled
- 125 g Mascarpone cheese, cold
- 45 g (1/3 cup) Icing sugar/powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- First we'll make the Lemon sugar! This step is very important because most of the flavour in a lemon comes from the very outside of the zest so when lemon oil in the zest is mixed with sugar, it enhances the flavour. Using a zester, zest a whole lemon. Don’t go too far while zesting the lemon. Rotate the fruit while grating the lemon as you don’t need the white part of the lemon since it's bitter. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and lemon zest. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar (about 1 minute). Lemon zest-infused sugar is ready. Set aside to infuse completely for about 5 minutes.
- Grease a 9x9 inch square pan with butter, line it with baking paper leaving it to overhang on two sides. It’s important because it is easy to remove the cake safely from the pan. Preheat the Fan oven to 155C/311F (for conventional oven 175C/347F).
- Sift plain flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder into a large bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
- Beat softened butter and lemon sugar for 1-2 minutes. Add in vanilla extract and oil, and beat for 1 minute. Then add eggs (one at a time), and beat after each addition. Make sure to scrape the bowl so the butter gets well mixed in.
- Add in the milk and yoghurt, and whisk again until well incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
- Add in dry ingredients. Beat on low until it is just combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter if you want light and airy crumbs.
- Finally add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and combine until mixed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Tap the pan on the counter to remove the air bubbles.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and Let it rest for 30-40 minutes before removing it from the pan. Then remove from the pan using overhang baking paper and place on the wire rack to cool completely before filling and frosting (for about 1-2 hours).
MASCARPONE WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING
- Chill the mixing bowl. Pour chilled whipping cream into the chilled bowl, then add icing sugar and whip on medium until soft peaks form.
- Take out the cold Mascarpone cheese straight from the fridge. Give it a good mix in a bowl with vanilla extract before adding to the whipped cream.
- Now add the mascarpone cheese to the whipped cream and whip until stiff peaks form (A stiff peak means if you turn your bowl upside down, it won't fall out). It will happen quickly, so keep an eye on it. It is ready to use. Use it right away. You can pipe it as well to make flowers with any nozzle of your choice.
- Once the cake has cooled completely, use the baking paper overhangs to place it over a serving board.
- Poke holes on the top of the cake using a wooden stick or the back of a wooden spoon. Fill a piping bag with lemon curd and pipe the lemon curd into the holes of the cake.
- Frost the top of the cake with a thick layer of mascarpone whipped cream frosting, using an offset spatula. Drop dollops of cooled lemon curd a few inches apart on the top of the frosting and make swirls, using the back of a spoon. Decorate the top with lemon zest and a few lemon pieces.
- Make 9 or 16 slices, using a sharp knife. It is best served when cold, pop it in the fridge before serving.