This beautiful and easy-to-make cake features the flavors of lemon and honey and is swathed with a cloud-like blanket of honey meringue. It then is crowned with masses of sugared edible flowers.
Or serve a family-friendly Raspberry-Lemon Trifle. Our individual trifles are made from angel food cake cubes and fresh berries layered with whipped cream and lemon curd (look for it alongside the jams and jellies at the grocer).
For the cake:
2 cups sugar
1 cup honey
Zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, melted and cooled
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups ginger ale
For the filling:
1 cup water
1 bag Earl Grey tea
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 eggs yolks (reserve the whites for the frosting)
2 tablespoons butter
For the honey meringue frosting:
1/2 cup honey
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
For the sugared flowers:
1 egg white
Pinch of salt
Edible flowers or petals
Heat oven to 325 F. Coat three 9-inch cake pans with baking spray, then line bottom of each with a round of parchment paper.
To make cakes, in a large bowl use an electric mixer to combine sugar, honey, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and salt. Beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add butter and beat again. In another bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.
With mixer on, beat ginger ale and flour into the honey-sugar mixture in 2 additions, alternating. Divide batter between prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
To make filling, in a small saucepan over medium-high, combine water, tea bag, lemon juice and honey. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat and steep for 3 minutes. Discard tea bag.
In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 3 egg yolks. While whisking, add a small amount of hot lemon water to egg yolks. Continue to whisk while adding small amounts of liquid until half the lemon water is incorporated. Pour yolk mixture into pan and whisk to combine. Continue to cook until mixture returns to a simmer and thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Transfer mixture to a bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate until cold.
Once cakes and filling have cooled, assemble layers. Use a large, serrated knife to carefully slice the top dome off each layer horizontally to create 3 level layers of cake. Be sure to remove parchment paper from bottom of cakes. Place one layer of cake on a serving platter, then spread half of the filling over the cake. Add a second layer and repeat with filling. Top with the third layer of cake, overturning final layer so the bottom is up. Set aside.
To make meringue, in a small saucepan over medium, heat honey until simmering. In a large bowl use an electric mixer to beat 4 egg whites and cream of tartar until very foamy. Slowly add hot honey while continuing to beat. Continue to beat whites until they form stiff, glossy peaks. Frost cake with the meringue, swirling it with the back of a spoon.
To sugar flowers, in a small bowl beat egg white and salt until frothy. Using a small, clean paintbrush, paint flowers with the egg white. Sprinkle with sugar. Decorate cake with flowers.
Half (about 7 ounces) of a store-bought angel food cake
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
10-ounce jar lemon curd (3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 pint fresh raspberries (2 cups)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Fresh mint sprigs, to garnish
Using a wet serrated knife, cut angel food cake into 3/4-inch cubes. Set aside. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. In a small bowl, stir together lemon curd and orange juice.
In another small bowl, toss raspberries with granulated sugar. Slightly crush raspberries to release a bit of juice.
To assemble trifles, divide cake cubes, whipped cream, lemon curd and raspberries evenly, layering them (starting with cake cubes on the bottom) in 6 large glass goblets or tall sundae glasses. They can be refrigerated for up to 6 hours. Garnish with mint just before serving.