Over the past few months, life has been so delightfully crazy at House Morell that I took a bit of a break from blogging. All good stuff – a new house and travel and showers and graduations and a wedding and a new job. Honestly (as my family will confirm), I’ve barely been cooking, much less creating or tweaking new recipes and photographing them. I have been very grateful for the folks at the local Chipotle, Cafe Rio and Chop’t establishments for keeping my family fed.
Quite possibly, the element that has kept me busiest over the past few weeks is the new job. After a year off from teaching, I’ve been asked to return to my school as one of the media specialists/school librarians. If you read this blog often you know that I’m obsessed with children’s books to the point of getting lost in the children’s section of bookstores imagining I’m Kathleen Kelly from You’ve Got Mail, so this is a dream job for me. But it does have a huge learning curve. I’ve been inhaling the latest in children’s literature for weeks, and learning the back-end logistics of running school libraries. Life is good.
But I have missed the blog. During a particularly soggy 4th of July afternoon, I started to draft a number of recipe/post ideas that have been swirling around my brain while on hiatus. As always, I have a stack of cookbooks and magazines piled up in my kitchen with sticky notes marking recipes to try… and have found inspiration from dishes I’ve eaten all over the country. I have a lot of ideas.
As I was organizing these drafts, I came across this gorgeous cake recipe from last summer. My friend Denise shared it with me to celebrate the birthday of our friend Shannon. I baked it not once but twice… photographed it and shared it with friends, but somehow I never got around to publishing the post. Until today. This dense lemon and blueberry cake, filled with lemon curd, frosted with a divine lemon cream cheese frosting and topped with more blueberries couldn’t be more perfect for a summer gathering.
So this is an easy one to share. I off to contemplate: Should we expand the cookbook selection in the school library?
- For the cake:
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 2⅓ cups flour
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 4 eggs
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 heaping tablespoon lemon peel, zested
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- ½ cup (or more) prepared lemon curd
- 18 - 24 ounces of fresh blueberries
- For the Frosting:
- 16 ounces cream cheese (2 packages)
- 1 stick softened butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- the juice and zest from 1 lemon
- For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour two 9 inch cake pans. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With the beater on low, slowly add one egg at a time. In a small bowl, combine vanilla, lemon juice, milk, and lemon peel and mix until combined. in a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- With beater on low, slowly alternate adding liquid and flour mixtures into the egg/butter mixture until combined.
- Toss 1½ - 2 cups of fresh blueberries with flour before stirring into the mixture by hand. pour half of the mixture into each pan and bake for 28 - 32 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. remove from oven and let cool on wire racks.
- Once cooled, remove pan and plate one cake (rounded side down) on a cake stand. spread a generous amount of lemon curd, followed by frosting, and
- more fresh blueberries. place other cake on top (rounded side up). again, spread on lemon curd and frosting. Top with fresh blueberries.
- Frosting Directions:
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and softened butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar and lemon juice + zest and mix until well combined.