Adapted from the Betty Crocker Cookbook
Prep time: 1 hour
- 1 cup cake flour, sifted
- ¾ cup plus two tablespoons sugar
- 12 egg whites
- 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- 6 drops yellow food coloring
(the almond and lemon flavors complement, rather than fight with, each other)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine flour and the ¾ cup plus two tablespoons sugar and put aside for now.
- Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt medium high speed until frothy.
- Add additional ¾ cup of sugar, a tablespoon at a time, moving mixer to high speed until the egg mixture forms stiff peaks.
- Add lemon extract, vanilla and food coloring.
(I liked the idea of having a color contrast between the frosting and the cake, so I added yellow food coloring.)
- Add flour and sugar mixture to bowl, ¼ cup at a time, and fold in gently.
- Put batter into ungreased baking tube pan or springform pan.
- Bake 35 minutes (do not underbake or the center will be sticky like cotton candy).
- Allow cake to cool.
Lemon Meringue Frosting
Prep time: 20 minutes
Serves: covers one layer cake
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 egg whites
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ teaspoon lemon extract
- In a sauce pan or double boiler, mix sugar, corn starch and water.
- Cover and heat to a boil, not stirring.
- Heat to 242 degrees on a candy thermometer.
- While mixture is boiling, beat egg whites until stiff.
- Pour hot syrup mixture in a thin stream into the beaten egg whites, continuing to beat them as you pour.
- Beat on high until stiff peaks form, adding vanilla and lemon extract at the last minute of beating.
- Spread on cake immediately.
- The frosting should have a nice weight and shine to it.
For the flower garnish:
- If you don’t have a tube pan, you can use a fluted champagne glass to cut a hole in the middle of the cake, just as you would use a cookie cutter to cut out a piece of dough.
- Take a small bunch of flowers and arrange so that the heads are all roughly the same height.
- Fasten them together with a rubber band, just under the heads of the flower blossoms.
- Trim stems and place flowers into the center of the cake for an (inedible) garnish.