Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ice Ice Baby

Vanilla IceBox Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting and Candied Lemon Peels

Really - Why do I even try and be cute with the titles.

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pans
  • 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 large egg whites
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-3-inch cake pans. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment on medium speed, cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla seeds until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Sift together flour and baking powder. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients, alternating with milk, starting and ending with flour; scrape down sides twice. Transfer batter to a large bowl.
  3. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites with pinch of salt on low speed until foamy. Increase speed to high, and continue to whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk one-third of the beaten whites into the batter to lighten the mixture. Using a large rubber spatula, fold remaining whites into the lightened batter. Divide the batter equally among the prepared pans. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the cakes comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the pans to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the wire rack to cool completely.
  4. If cakes are not level - go to this post, or use a serrated knife to trim tops off. Carefully slice each cake horizontally into two equal layers, about 3/4 inch thick. (You will have four layers.) To assemble, place one sliced layer on an 8-inch cardboard cake round (or directly on your cake stand that Grandma got you that is really awesome because it is also a punch bowl). Spread with 1/4-inch of frosting. Repeat with remaining layers, placing the final layer bottom-side up. Lightly coat the assembled cake with a thin layer of frosting to protect against crumbs in the frosting. Finish with remaining frosting. Garnish with candied lemon zest. Serve immediately, or keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Candied Lemon Zest

This makes a nice lemon syrup after you strain out the peels. A nice syrup that I have no clue what to use in. Thoughts?

  • 6 lemons, scrubbed
  • 2 cups sugar


  1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel zest from lemons. Use a knife to remove any white pith; cut zest into strips as thinly as possible.
  2. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add zest; blanch for 1 minute, drain, and rinse under cold water.
  3. In another medium saucepan, combine sugar and 2 cups water; bring to a simmer. Cook until sugar dissolves completely, about 2 minutes. Add lemon zest. Simmer until translucent, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat; let zest cool in syrup. When cool, transfer zest and syrup to an airtight plastic container. Store in refrigerator up to 1 month.
Icing (thanks FoodNetwork)
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet butter, soft
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
In an electric mixing bowl place the soft butter and beat it on a low speed while adding powdered sugar. When all the sugar is mixed in, turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the vanilla and salt and let the mixer beat for 5 to 7 minutes on a medium speed.

OK, heres the thing:
My husband is my ultimate taste tester. I demand he is honest, and he is. He ate one of the "scraps" from when I leveled it off, and said it was "eggy". I didn't know eggy was even a word, let alone know what he meant as far as taste. Then I took a bite, and it was, well eggy. There was a distinct egg taste to it. After the cake was frosted and cooled it was not nearly as noticeable, however, I am stumped on this one. Did I not whip the whites enough? Should I have used actual eggs to get the whites instead of egg beaters egg whites? Is the cake supposed to taste that way? I don't know. We ate it, and so did our guests, and Jim actually really liked the eggy-ness. I for one, was not nearly as impressed. I was disappointed I used my not very cheap vanilla beans on this cake.
At least it looked pretty.

1 comment:

Emily said...

YUM YUM YUM! That looks so good. The lemon peel is a nice touch!