Triple-Layer White Cake with Orange Curd Filling

My father has always been the baker in the family. (Mom claims she baked plenty of cakes for us growing up, but since it has been more than 20 years since we all left home, none of us remember and we just have to take her word for it.) Family gatherings such as the one we just had this Easter weekend are the perfect excuse for dad to do his thing, bake some over-the-top, takes-days-to-make, several-trips-to-the-store-for-forgotten-ingredients wondrous dessert. This triple-layer white cake with an orange curd filling is one of his favorite recipes (from Bon Appétit). It’s a little dense, but really good. You have to make the orange curd a day ahead of time, so factor that into your planning if you try it out.

Ingredients

Orange curd

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 9 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons grated orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Cake: Dry ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cake: Wet ingredients

  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cake: Egg white ingredients

  • 6 large egg whites (see note on separating eggs, start with room temperature egg whites)
  • Pinch salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

Frosting ingredients

  • 10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups powdered sugar

Method

Orange Curd

1 Place lemon juice in small bowl or custard cup. Sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand 15 minutes.

2 Whisk sugar, orange juice, yolks, orange peel, and lemon peel in heavy large saucepan to blend. Add butter. Whisk over medium heat until curd thickens and bubbles begin to appear at edges, about 9 minutes. Remove from heat. Add gelatin mixture. Whisk until gelatin dissolves. Transfer curd to small bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface of curd. Chill overnight.

Cake

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Sift the flour, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl.

2 Whisk the oil and egg yolks in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in the sour cream, then the milk, orange peel, and vanilla. Whisk in the dry ingredients in 3 additions.

3 Using electric mixer, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 2/3 cup sugar, while beating on hight speed until you have stiff peaks.

4 Gently fold the egg whites into the batter in 4 additions. (Do not overmix!)

5 Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake cakes until the center is just golden, a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, and the cake pulls away very slightly from pan, about 20 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 5 minutes. Cut around pan sides. Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely.

6 Place one cake layer, flat side up, on 8-inch tart pan bottom or platter. Spread 1 cup of the orange curd over the cake. Top with the second cake layer, flat side down. Spread 1 cup of the curd over the layer. Top with the third cake layer, flat side down. Cover and refrigerate the assembled cake.

Frosting

1 Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in medium bowl until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar, then 3/4 cup orange curd.

2 Spread frosting over cake. (Can be made a day ahead. Cover with cake dome; refrigerate.)

Main Ingredients

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