Happy 1st Birthday Little Blog!

Wow! A whole year has gone by since little Fork Tender was born!!!! What better way to celebrate a birthday than with a delicious and adorable cake? This slice is for you little blog… Happy 1st Birthday!

Big thanks to all you wonderful folks out there that read my blog and give me the drive to keep on cooking and sharing recipes. It has been a truly amazing year filled with lots of happy moments and tasty treats. I look forward to little blog’s 2nd birthday and many more after that!

Ok, now let’s talk about the cake. Luscious lemon layer cake with a meyer lemon curd filling, topped with meyer lemon buttercream frosting and gummy candies! Want a slice? Yea, I thought so. This cake was soooo good! Light, fluffy and full of flavor, the lemon peel really elevated the lemon flavor without overpowering the yellow cake or buttercream frosting. As you sunk your folk in for a big bite, the lemon curd offered a nice tang and creamy texture that complimented the cake’s butteriness perfectly!

While the cake was delicious, the topping was the real winner. Gum drops and skittles transformed this ordinary buttercream beauty into a whimsical dessert. The green “stems” of the flowers are actually just green gum drops that I smushed and stretched into long strips.

Happy Birthday Fork Tender!

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the pans
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Lemon Curd
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Lemon Frosting
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 pound confectioners’ sugar (about 3 3/4 cups), sifted
pinch kosher salt

For the cake

Heat oven to 350°F.

Butter two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment, butter again, and dust with flour, tapping out the excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix).

Transfer the batter to the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes for 8-inch pans and 22 to 25 minutes for 9-inch pans. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

Transfer one of the cooled cakes to a plate and spread with 1 cup of the lemon curd. Top with the remaining cake and refrigerate to set, 30 minutes. Spread the top and sides with the frosting. Using the palm of your hand, gently press the pistachios into the sides of the cake and top with the candied lemon slices.

For the curd

In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and salt. Add the butter. Set the bowl over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of mayonnaise, 12 to 15 minutes.

Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper directly on the surface of the lemon curd and refrigerate until completely cool, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

For the frosting

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and lemon zest on high until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the sugar, then the salt, and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.