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(b)limey

Recipe: lime cake

I had originally planned to make petits fours with a full sheet of the chiffon cake yesterday, but after the first half made me so bloody crazy, I bailed on the idea of more petits fours. Instead, I looked at the leftover cake, the leftover buttercream, leftover lime syrup, pulled a jar of opened lemon curd from the refrigerator (thanks Sam!) and threw together a lime-lemon cake of sorts. I’m playing out the different permutations of cake, buttercream, syrup, and jam/curds and writing up the successful combinations in my quadrille notebook. It’s nice to be able to experiment instead of trying something new whenever we entertain – that’s just a little more stress than I need in a day.

I assembled the cake last night and thought about garnishing. I’ve candied lemon slices before and they are beautiful and delicious. Not so with lime slices. The lovely green becomes a most unappealing brownish green when candied. I shouldn’t care, but… the OCD color-loving parrot in me can’t do with brown-green. Sleep on it, right? I did and I thought a flash dip in hard crack stage sugar might work. Instead, I got a green-brown lime slice that fell out of it’s candy shell and dripped lime juice everywhere. Amidst my mess of wax paper, cooling racks, crystalizing sugar, and slaughtered limes, I just settled on raw slices and some spun sugar (about all that could be salvaged from the sugar).


creamy and puckery at the same time

if only limes would hold their color like their cousins



I think I tend toward simple and edible garnishes on pastries because I 1) suck at making anything with icing 2) have no patience and 3) think most molded icings taste horrible. Plus, with all of the parts and pieces that go into various desserts, I really don’t want to have to spend much more time on the extra pretties. Call me lazy, it’s okay.

The cake itself is vanilla chiffon soaked in lime syrup, spread with lemon curd, lime buttercream, and so on for three tiers and topped off with a fourth cake layer. Crumb coat with buttercream then frost. I sprinkled extra lime zest around the cake and topped it off with lime slices and what little spun sugar I could coax from my pot o’ sugary mess. The cake, syrup, and buttercream recipes can be found here. The lemon curd I used is from my beloved Trader Joes (which the state of Colorado has not a one *whimper*).


a slice of limey

every geologist loves her cross sections



What I like about this cake is that it is fresh and deceptively light. People always tell you “it’s so light and refreshing” while you recall the pound of butter that went into the frosting. My friend Kelley calls it delicious air. The combination of flavors is pleasing to me. I took a bite of one slice and then sent Jeremy off to the neighbors’ houses with the rest of the cake.

6 nibbles at “(b)limey”

  1. Sarah C. says:

    Its nice to see another blogger who loves playing in the dirt!
    This cake looks awesome! You have inspired me to make the effort to call my apartment manager and get him over to level my oven so I can make something as pretty as this.
    I completely sympathize with your lack of trader joes. :(
    You happen to have the recipe for this amazing cake?

  2. jenyu says:

    sarah, i have to level my oven too, but usually i get away with trimming my layers because i’m too lazy.

    the recipes can be found on the previous entry (since i used the leftovers from the petits fours):
    http://userealbutter.com/2007/09/01/lime-raspberry-petits-fours/

    good luck!

  3. Lori says:

    I so want to make this. I think maybe Mothers day maybe the day!

  4. jenyu says:

    Lori – I hope it works for you. I love the citrusy flavor to this cake!

  5. Luney says:

    I was thinking of candying some limes for Christmas but wow, WOW thanks for the head’s up about the brown limes. I’m sure they’re still delicious but when you’re handing them off to relatives who last year got truffles, I think there will be some disappointment.

    We have a bag of limes in the fridge (they were on sale) and I’ve got Thanksgiving Break coming up so I’ll definitely give this a try. I love lime-flavored anything, and I’ve never tried chiffon cake before. Maybe I’ll also go see and figure out WHY my cakes back with one side higher than the other.

    Thank you for all the effort you put in to these beautiful blog entries!

    And I routinely go near about THREE Trader Joe’s (wait, FOUR if I count the one near State Bros). I should appreciate them more.

  6. Adelina says:

    …..then you sent the “Rest of the cake” to the neighbor?!!! Geez…..Where do you live?!!! I need to be one of your neighbors!!!

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