Lemon Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate

Cake will always be my number 1. I won’t turn down a cookie or have a glass of milkshake or cheesecake even but cake is my ultimate. If there is cake in the vicinity, rest assured, I’ll be all up in it. I love making them, I love eating them. Move over, best brownie in the world. I won’t even look at you gigantic, chocolatey cookie because my eyes are on the prize. Which is why, choosing a cake for any occasion is a very crucial decision. It involves a ton of pinning (no complaints), some short listing and then some more agonising.  Tough life.

For my dad’s birthday this year, I pinned a ton of ideas. Ruffles, Ombres – you name it. The idea that really stuck though, as a theme for the aesthetic appeal and flavor profile was simplicity. I wanted the overall look to be simple, elegant and reflect in the flavors too – no over-the-top exotic things. Just beautiful, simple and most importantly, delicious. Cue the universe, where my Pinterest feed was flooded with naked cakes. I love the way the universe works sometimes (as a side note, I discovered this awesome website which sends you daily emails from the “universe” with a message. Really cool!). Since my dad isn’t a fan of chocolate, it had to be something fruity or at least in that vein. I found a lemon I bought recently and took that as a sign. This cake is all kinds of delicious. The lemon flavor was perfectly proportionate – zesty, sweet and so, so refreshing. The vanilla supported it perfectly and the white chocolate glaze brought it all together in a neat little bow. I made the cake in two 6″ pans which is why I made a small batch of white chocolate ganache for the centre. If you like, you skip the ganache entirely, make this in an 8″ cake tin and just coat it with white chocolate glaze. I also loved using ground almonds in place of additional flour. It’s a tip that I’ve tucked away to use in all future cakes. It is the perfect summer cake. You’ll be doubly convinced if you try it.

Lemon-Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate

Source: Cake adapted from Loveandoliveoil, ganache and glaze is The Vanilla Bean original

Yields: two 6″ cake layers or one 8″ single layer

For the cake:

1 cup (120 g) all purpose flour

1/4 cup almond meal/ground almonds

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 cup (240 ml) whole milk (can be substituted with soy milk)

1 tbs white distilled vinegar

3/4 cup (150 g) caster sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Zest of a whole lemon

1. Preheat the oven to 175 deg C. Line a cookie tray with a silicon mat and butter and flour two 6″ cake tins.

2. In a measuring cup, add milk and vinegar. Let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes till curdled and thick.

3. In a large bowl, add caster sugar and lemon zest. Rub the zest and sugar together with your fingers till moist and fragrant – do not skip this step. Then whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and almond meal into the mixture.

4. Add the milk + vinegar mixture, oil and vanilla extract. Fold in with a spatula and pour into cake tins. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes till a skewer inserted comes out clean with no crumbs attached. Set aside to cool completely.

For the white chocolate ganache centre:

54 g (three 18g Milkybars) white chocolate, broken roughly

2 tbs Amul fresh cream (double cream)

1. In a heat-proof bowl, add chocolate and double cream. Heat in the microwave for 10 second bursts till melted. Mix together with a spoon till completely smooth. White chocolate tends to burn easily so be careful. Set aside to cool.

For the white chocolate glaze:

54 g (three 18g Milkybars) white chocolate, broken roughly

1 – 2 tbs milk

1. In a heat-proof bowl, add white chocolate and heat in the microwave for 10 second bursts till melted. Then, add a splash of milk into the hot white chocolate and keep whisking till smooth and runny. Keep adding more milk if needed. The glaze should be of pouring consistency.

For assembly:

1. Using the base of a cake tin, trace out the circle onto a piece of card paper and cut along the traced line.

2. Place a cookie tray or a sheet of parchment under a cooling rack and place the cut-out circle onto it.


3. Place one layer of cake onto the cut-out circle. Spread white chocolate using an offset spatula evenly. Place remaining layer of cake onto the ganache. Press down gently. Then, working quickly, pour ganache over the cake letting the excess drip onto the cookie tray. Garnish with raspberries or some lemon zest strands and serve!


NOTE: Because of the delicate nature of the cake, I would not recommend refrigerating it. You can bake the cake up to 2 days in advance, storing the cooled cakes by wrapping them tightly in clingfilm and another layer of aluminum foil. I tend to use my oven for this – it helps the cake maintain a consistent temperature and keeps well, provided you wrap them well. Obviously the oven has to be completely cool. Also you can assemble the cake just before serving. The warm ganache and glaze heighten the flavors immensely. If not, then assemble the cake up to 2 – 4 hours in advance, place on a cake stand and cover with a dome. Garnish with raspberries just before serving as they tend to bleed out.  

2 responses to “Lemon Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate

  1. Pingback: Spiced Cake with Rum Kissed Apples | The Vanilla Bean·

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