The party favors might be gone (in just under an hour all 100 notepads were spoken for!) but I’ve still got plenty of delicious goodies to share.
The centerpiece of our little party was this ruffled green layer cake and matching cupcakes. Light and airy lemon chiffon, filled with a rich and delicious lemon poppyseed curd, and frosted with a lemon curd-spiked buttercream, dyed a lovely shade of lime green. The ruffles really aren’t as hard as they look. Just ask Martha. Although a solid 20 minutes of squeezing left my right hand a little shaky. The result was worth it, though.
Is it just me or does it look awfully dinosaur-esque when cut?
For the cake itself, I adapted a Lemon Chiffon Cake recipe from my favorite cake book, adding olive oil and using meyer lemon instead of regular lemon. I was completely paranoid of ending up with an oozy filling, so I opted to add a bit of gelatin to the curd to help it firm up. That, paired with a dash of poppy seeds, made for an incredible filling. Even for non lemon lovers like me (and you know my preferred cake includes chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate, so that’s saying a lot).
The chiffon cake is much lighter than your typical butter cake, due to the egg white and oil base. You can’t actually taste the olive oil, however, except for maybe a slight underlying fruitiness that compliments the lemon quite nicely.
Meyer Lemon and Olive Oil Chiffon Cake with Lemon Poppyseed Curd
Simply halve this recipe for a 6-inch layer cake, or a more reasonable 30 cupcakes.
8 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon meyer lemon zest
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon meyer lemon juice
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon meyer lemon zest
4 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon poppyseeds
4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottoms of three 9-inch-round cake pans with parchment paper.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and water.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium speed until light and frothy. Slowly add 1/4 cup of sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
Sift the flour, remaining sugar, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk gently to combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the egg yolk mixture and mix to create a smooth paste. Add one-fourth of the egg whites and fold in to lighten the batter. Fold in the remaining egg whites until evenly incorporated. Divide among perpared pans.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Transfer to wire racks. Once cool, run a knife around the cakes to release, then invert onto wire racks. Cakes should come out cleanly. At this point the cake layers can be frozen, wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap and bagged, for up to a month. Freezing the cakes also makes them easier to work with later.
To prepare curd, place 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over top. Let sit at least 5 minutes or until evenly moistened.
Whisk together the whole eggs, yolks, sugar, remaining 1/3 cup lemon juice, and lemon zest together in a medium heat-proof bowl. Place bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until the curd thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (it should reach approximately 165ºF), about 5 to 7 minutes. Do not let it boil. Whisk in gelatin mixture and cook for one minute more.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Stir in the butter until melted and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap onto the surface of the curd. This will prevent a skin from forming on the top of the curd. Refrigerate until set and thoroughly chilled, at least 3 hours.
To prepare frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until very pale and creamy, about 8 minutes. Add powdered sugar, a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add 1/4 cup of curd and mix until smooth. Add cream, a little at a time as needed, and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in food coloring, if desired. Add more cream or powdered sugar as needed to acheive desired consistency.
Stir poppyseeds in to remaining curd.
To assemble, level each cake layer by cutting of the domed top with a long serrated knife. Place one layer, flat side down, on a cake stand or serving platter. Spread 1/4 cup of curd evenly on top. Position second layer on top and press to adhere. Repeat with another 1/4 cup of curd, and final cake layer, flat side up. Since the curd is slippery, it may help at this point to insert a dowel in the center of the cake to keep things in place.
Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of buttercream. This “crumb coat” will make frosting the cake easier. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to allow this crumb coat to set. Remove cake from refrigerator and frost with remaining buttercream.
*To use this recipe for cupcakes, fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely. Using a small pairing knife, cut out a cone shaped piece from the top of each cupcake, approximately 1-inch in diameter, and set aside. Place approximately 1 teaspoon of filling into each hole, then replace tops. Press to adhere. Frost with buttercream, taking care to cover the seams.
Adapted from Sky High Cakes.All images and text © Lindsay Landis / Love & Olive Oil
Did you make this recipe?
Let us know what you think!
Leave a Comment below or share a photo and tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #loveandoliveoil.
For those who emailed about the notepads, if you got an email in to me before 11:20 central time, chances are good a notepad will show up in your mailbox in the very near future. I’ve got a lot of envelope stuffing to do, but am hoping to get those out shortly! Thanks to everyone for playing along and for the lovely birthday wishes. <3
Hi, Lindsay, I just made this cake and I’ve definitely fallen in love with it! It was love at first sight (when I found it on your blog) and it just turned into an everlasting love :) Thank you very much for the recipe and for inspiring and keep up the good work! (y) <3
I love this COLOR! I am in the process of making royal iced cookies and I *need* this *glowing* green/yellow… I have tried everything and can’t seem to find a way to create it. Can you tell me what coloring you used and perhaps where you found it? Thank you!!!!
You know I honestly can’t remember. I think I had a box of liquid food coloring in Neon colors that had a lime green in it, and that’s what I used? May be worth some googling as you’re right, it’s a hard color to reproduce!
This cake is absolutely fantastic! It takes quite a bit of time to make with all the different elements but it is all worth it. The lemon curd works fantastically with the cake and the frosting just balances out all the flavours. I would definitely recommend this cake to anyone. :)
Finally made this a few weeks ago for my sister-in-law’s birthday. We had dinner at a Brazilian restaurant, and the lemon and olive oil combination was SO refreshing after all that meat! Plus, it was super soft and the poppy seeds in the middle was a great texture combination. I would definitely make this again!
Yum. Can’t talk now I am eating! Delicious. To me the cake texture resembles something of a pound cake. It has a nice Meyer lemon taste and I do love the buttery frosting. The poppyseeds are divine. Would go great with a hot cup of coffee or tea. My mother enjoyed her cake as did my son. Excellent.
Ok so I started this cake yesterday and I am still working on it for my mother’s 79th birthday! This cake is quite a bit of work. Or maybe I am just not used to it? Between the zesting and the juicing and the whipping and the thickening and the refrigerating… lol. We shall see how it ends up. I forgot to add the butter to the curd so I had to take it out of the frig and do that. (next time I will print the recipe out instead of scrolling up and down on my computer). The frosting seems a little thick so I kept adding cream and a drop of water. There is a LOT of butter in the frosting! So I just finished frosting it with little yellow-green flowers all over it and it looks good. I put it in the refrigerator. I LOVE the ruffles but didn’t have the right tools to do it? So I am gonna take a deep breath and relax a few minutes before I slice into it. I will let you know how it turns out. I did refrigerate the cake layers (in the freezer over night) and let the curd get a good chill on as well. I am very optimistic!
I just popped my layers in the freezer to frost tomorrow – the top was a bit sticky, but that just meant I ended up with a taste before I cut into it. I’ll admit I was worried by the olive oil, but the lemon really shines through! My 3 6″ layers baked in 15 minutes exactly, and slid out very nicely with just the parchment in the pan. Can’t wait to layer it up. Thanks for the already dairy free recipe; birthdays for the lactose intolerant can be challenging…
Congratulations on hitting the 5 year mark – your blog is a great read!
That frosting is making me swoon! Perfect for summer isn’t it…colour and all?!
I recently discovered a Mousseline buttercream from The Kitchn and fell hard for it after using it on a birthday cake…now I’m adding this one along with that.
Absolutely gorgeous cake!
This is so pretty and I’m sure that it tastes amazing!
Your piping is simply stunning and what gorgeous flavour. I am, as always, bowled over by your baking ability :-)
Love, Love, Love the icing technique!!! & the color. Beautiful!!
This cake looks fantastic! Yum!
I’m on a huge citrus/sour kick with baby. This sounds and looks incredible! Too funny at the dinosaur comment, definitely see it! :)
Such a gorgeous cake!
Oh geez, this looks absolutely beautiful! How did you even cut into that thing? I’d have wanted to frame it!
firstly congrats on 5 years! i love your blog its one of my favorites! secondly this cake looks amazing! both tart and luxurious!!
Lovely cake! I can’t wait to make it! Just to clarify the recipe as written is for 3- 9 inch pan? The yield indicates that, but the directions say to use 6 inch pans.
Hehe, I agree, the slice of cake did remind me of T-Rex :P :D :P
Happy blog anniversary too!
I’m so happy the gelatin worked for you. The cake is gorgeous!
Sky High is my favorite cake book, too. It’s such an inspiring little thing!
Absolutely beautiful. Love the color and the ruffles (you did an excellent job in spite of tiring hands!).
What a beautiful, beautiful cake!!! I love the color too! I love the Meyer lemon as well…yummy! Purdy….
This is so so beautiful, Lindsay. Your creativity and hardwork certainly pays off from the lovely creations that come out of your kitchen!
That is must to bake for Spring…looks super yummy!
Amazing! It’s so pretty and girly! I love your photos, there gorgeous!
I am do impressed with this beautiful cake! The outside is breathtaking but the inside?! Wow! I may have to break my no cake baking rule for this!!!
These sound great, and I agree it looks like a dinosaur when it’s cut. Looking forward to trying these soon!
Beautiful cake, and the flavors sound amazing! What did you put on top of each cupcake? Is that a piece of candy?
This is most gorgeous cake I’ve ever seen! I love anything green and when you add lemon it’s even better. I just made my first recipe with Meyer lemons and am now determined to make as many things as I can with these wonderful little fruits. Think I’ll have to try this in cupcake form because there’s no way I can get my cake frosting to look that good :)
I have no words for quite how stunning this cake is. And I do not doubt that it tastes sensational too. I love love love your cakes.
I’ve never really seen Meyer lemons around here (northern midwest); would you happen to have any tips of where to look?
The only experience I have with chiffon cake was a classic old school recipe from joy of cooking made with vegetable oil and I didn’t love it. It wasn’t bad but I gave myself over to butter after that. But olive oil sounds so interesting and so much better (and I love meyer lemons) that I might need to give this a try.
This is amazing! Do you have instructions for this icing style?
This cake is so pretty!!
Simply gorgeous! I love green and love lemon so this cake is my kind of cake!
This is lovely! I’ve never thought to put poppyseeds in lemon curd, just such a great idea! Yum. :)
Love the color! :)
That is a thing of beauty. Tweeted and pinned as soon as I saw it and I do see what you mean about the dinosaur :)
I love anything lemon and this cake looks and sounds amazing.. Lemon poppyseed curd is just brilliant! Happy (belated) blogiversary :)
eeeeeeeep! i love that frosting color, it’s pretty much the loveliest ever. it’s so spring-esque and happy and friendly!
also, i am crazy for lemon. obsessed. my birthday cake last week was lemon poppyseed with lemon curd mousse and vanilla buttercream…dreamy. i’m posting the recipe next week, so how about you send me a slice of your cake and i’ll send you a slice of mine? sounds fair, right?
hooray for ruffles and celebrations and love & olive oil!
What an absolutely beautiful cake!! and it looks so delicious as well!
Wow such a bright color but it still looks so classy!
love love LOVE the bright color of this cake! absolutely gorgeous :)
I adore the color of this cake. Just stunning!
Olive oil cakes are also one of my favorite. They are so moist.
This is gorgeous. I’m sure it tastes amazing, too!
What an absolutely beautiful cake. It is sooo pretty, and the color is absolutely perfect! I have three daughters, and this would make a beautiful birthday cake!
I was so worried the shot of me holding the cake would be like “big chubby belly”. Surprisingly it’s not!
I loved this cake, thanks for sharing!!
This is just about the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen.
And the colors in it are….amazing!!! I want to bust out my neon pink colors to wear while Im eating it :)
Lovely!! I’ve loved Martha’s pink cake with these ruffles – it’s just so cute! Lemon cakes win me over every time!!
This is seriously so gorgeous. Great job
Wow, that’s some artful icing! Very pretty, and since I love all things green, perfect!
*** Your blog!!! ***
This looks to die for. I do love lemon and I wish I could make this but there are so many ingredients I wouldn’t even know where to find here in Spain! I’ll have to wait til my next trip to the US and try it out! Happy birthday to our blog btw!
So pretty! The cake and cupcakes just scream spring!
The cut of the cake really does look like a dinosaur. Loving the green!
GORGEOUS!!! Both the cake and cupcakes look like works of art! (And I’m sure taste even better!)