Making a Stella Cake
This cake. It’s inspired by the citrus cake Apollina whipped up as an homage to a Stella McCartney dress print circa 2011. It was no picnic to make. Not because of the recipe, but because I generally suck at making cakes. The frosting ended up being too runny and I had to refrigerate in between the frosting application. I didn’t want an overpowering taste of lemon so I made a yellow cake with a cream cheese frosting that you sandwich with some lemon curd or your favorite jam.
I want to say thanks to those who dropped messages into my inbox. I’ll get to them soon and I really appreciate the kind words and your patience :)
For now, let’s eat some cake!
[ 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature + 1 1/2 cup sugar + 3 eggs + 2 1/4 cup flour + 1 teaspoon salt + 3 1/2 teaspoon baking powder + 1 1/4 cups milk + 1 teaspoon vanilla ]
Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare two 9-inch round pans by greasing them generously with butter. Sprinkle a little flour over them and then tilt and shake the pans to distribute the flour evenly. Tap out excess flour over the sink.
Using a mixer, beat the softened butter and sugar until fluffy and light. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until fully incorporated. Beat in flour, salt, baking powder, milk and vanilla. Beat together on low speed for 30 seconds, then at high for 3 minutes.
Immediately pour into the prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes. After the cake is done, cool on a wiring rack until cooled completely. Meanwhile, make the frosting.
WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
[ 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened + 1 cup sugar + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream + a pinch of salt ]
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add in the heavy cream and beat until the mixture becomes stiff. Cover with cling film and refrigerate until needed.
[ 2 9-inch cakes + whipped cream cheese frosting + jam of your favorite flavor or a jar of lemon curd + slices of lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit + mint or basil leaves ]
You can choose to make a 2 layer or a 4 layer cake (I went with the latter by cutting the cake in half). Whichever one you choose, spread a thin layer of frosting on one cake and top with lemon curd or jam.
Place another layer of cake on top and refrigerate (if you’re going with 2 layers) or repeat the frosting step (if you’re going for 4 layers). Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the citrus fruits into slices and lay them on paper towels to get the excess moisture out. Frost the cake all over with the remaining frosting and arrange the citrus slices and basil or mint leaves all over the cake.