This is the cake I've been serving at many Easter dinners and springtime birthdays. It's got lemon and cream cheese...can't get much springier than that! It's great with just simple, smooshed-on frosting but not too hard to pretty up with a fistful of flowers from the yard.
Here's how to make it:
Ingredients for cake:
1 box white cake mix (this is my only cheat...I cannot find a white cake recipe I like yet)
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Zest of one lemon, plus 2 tablespoons juice
Mix up the batter as directed, then add the poppy seeds, zest and juice. Bake in two round pans. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Ingredients for filling:
1 cup lemon curd
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
Beat the curd a bit with a whisk to make it smooth. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold about 1/2 cup of the whipped cream into the bowl of lemon curd, then fold that mixture into the remainder of the whipped cream. Chill for one hour.
Ingredients for frosting:
2 bars of cream cheese (full fat...what else would you expect??) at room temperature
1 stick of butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
About 2 cups powdered sugar
Beat the cream cheese for a few seconds until there are no lumps. Add the butter, lemon juice and vanilla and beat until completely mixed. Add powdered sugar, one cup at first, then 1/2 cup at a time until the frosting is the consistency you'd like. I like mine a bit on the creamy side to make fun icing designs easier (it firms up in the fridge).
Set the frosting out for an hour to soften it so it won't wreck your cake when you spread it on. Cut each cake horizontally until you have four layers. Fill with three layers of the whipped cream, then frost the entire cake with the cream cheese frosting. I used a large star tip to make the design around the border, then pressed some fresh flowers into the top. Refrigerate this cake since it has the whipped cream filling.
Try not to eat it in one sitting.