Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summertime Dessert Series: Lemon-Lime Sponge Cake with Lime Seven Minute Frosting

Ah, summer.  I just love summertime desserts.  They are cool and refreshing and a great way to forget about the heat.  At least for a little while.  And here in the California Bay Area, have we ever got some summer heat!  After a cold and rainy Spring, Summer has come on and brought us temperatures in the 90s and 100s. Perfect weather for a nice, cool dessert.  I'm going to try to post a cool summertime dessert every week and this week I'm starting with this Lemon-Lime Sponge cake with cool lime Seven Minute Frosting.

I started with a recipe for a daffodil cake from the now out of print Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook. It's a hand me down from my mom, and one of my favorites.  There is a color picture index with a picture for EVERY recipe.  Some of the recipes are a little outdated (Eggs En Gelee or Fish Mousse, anyone?)  But there are some great classic recipes and it's one of the first places I usually look.

So, the Daffodil cake recipe is an orange lemon flavored cake, topped with an orange lemon icing.  I decided to go a different way with the cake and made a lemon lime sponge cake and topped it with seven minute frosting, one of my favorites, a fluffy cooked frosting.

Lemon-Lime Sponge Cake
1 1/4 cup egg whites
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract (instead of extract here, I scraped one vanilla bean)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cake flour
4 egg yolks
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp lime zest

If you look REALLY closely here, you can see the vanilla bean flecks

Preheat oven to 375F.  In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla and salt on high speed until soft peaks form.   Sprinkle in sugar, two tablespoons at a time, while continuing to beat at high speed, until sugar dissolves and stiff glossy peaks form.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add flour gradually, beating until just blended.  

In a separate bowl, beat yolks at high speed until thick and lemon colored.  Fold in half of the egg white mixture, along with the lemon and lime zest.  Drop alternating spoonfuls into a 10 inch tube pan.  Bake 35-40 minutes.

After removing fro the oven, invert cake and cool in pan for 1 hour. Placing it upside down on a wine or beer bottle works well for this.  While the cake cools, it's time to move on to the frosting.

I've seen several recipes for seven minute frosting, but this is the one that I used for this cake.  It is from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book, another of my favorite cookbooks.  "Seven Minute" is a misnomer, though, as it takes a bit longer to make.

Lime Seven Minute Frosting
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
pinch of salt
2 egg whites
1/4 cup cold water
2 tsp vanilla extract
zest and juice of 1 small lime

Combine all ingredients except vanilla in either a large, heat resistant mixing bowl, or the top of a large double boiler.  Set over simmering, but not boiling, water on low heat, making sure that  the bowl does not touch the water.

Beat with an electric beater until the frosting stands in peaks. This should take 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat and continue to beat for a few more minutes, until frosting stiffens and stands in smooth, fluffy peaks.  Beat in vanilla, along with lime juice.  After frosting cake, sprinkle zest on top of cake.

I took this to a dinner at a friend's house and it got great reviews.  The hint of lemon and lime was perfect.

This post is linked at Sweets for a Saturday


  1. Yum! Good idea with using lime instead of orange - very refreshing and summery. This sounds delicious!

  2. Mmm, sounds delish. I have a sweet treat linky party on my blog every Friday afternoon till Monday and I'd love it if you'd come by and link your cake up.

  3. I have yet to make a seven minute frosting I am not sure how that is possible. The cake looks awesome.

  4. Citrus desserts are just perfect for summer. It sounds so yummy with the vanilla flecks. Every week I host a recipe swap and I'd love for you to stop by and show off a recipe. Have a good day :)