…feeling almost as wicked as Arya. – George R. R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
Even before HBO immortalized Lemon Cakes, Lamprey Pie, Horse Hearts, and even the mysterious Bowl of Brown, A Song of Ice and Fire (yes, that’s the actual name of the series) never disappointed with its enticing, pornographic food imagery!
Lemon cakes are the delectable dessert Sansa obsesses over nearly as much as romanticized dealings of court life. It is a delicacy widely eaten by the nobility of Westeros.
This is one of my interpretations of the famous cake, but with a slight twist. The base for this cake is a fluffy white cake laden with lemon zest and lemon juice. Inside is a burst of lemon curd touched with Limoncello liquor―eat responsibly if you’re over 21!
Topped on each cake is a swirl of almond mascarpone frosting and a candied lemon slice. This recipe feeds 8, but you can double or triple the recipe if you need to feed a larger crowd.
I dare you to serve this during your Game of Thrones viewing party! You’ll go to bed “feeling almost as wicked as Arya” – George R. R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
Sansa’s Lemon Cakes
For the Cake
- 1 (45g) Egg White room temperature
- ¼ Cup plus 2 tbsp (80g) Milk room temperature
- ½ tsp (2g) Vanilla Extract
- 5 tbsp (75g) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- Zest and Juice of 3 Lemons
- 1 Cup (100g) Cake Flour
- ½ Cup (100g) Granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp (6g) Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp (1g) Sea Salt
- Simple Sugar Syrup for brushing
- ¼ Cup (60g) Lemon Curd for filling
- Optional: 1-2 tbsp (15-30ml) Limoncello
For the Candied Lemon Slices
- ¼ Cup (60g) Sugar
- ¼ Cup (60ml) Water
- 8 Fresh Lemon Slices
- Note: You can always purchase candied lemon peel as a substitution!
For the Cake Icing
- ½ Cup (125g) Heavy Cream
- 1 tsp (5g) Almond Extract or Vanilla Extract
- 4 ounces (125g) Mascarpone Cheese
- 2 tbsp (30g) Powdered Sugar
If Making the Candied Lemon Peel (Make a day ahead)
Neatly cut 8 lemon slices about ¼ inch thick and remove all of the seeds.
In a sauce pot, boil the lemon slices for 5 minutes. Discard the water and boil the lemon slices again with fresh clean water. Repeat two more times until they are soft and slightly translucent. Take them off the heat. Do not skip this step; if you do, the candied slices will be too bitter.
In a separate medium skillet, bring the sugar and water to a simmer and stir until all of the granules disappear. Place the slices of lemon into the syrup, and let them simmer on low to medium heat for 15 minutes. Turn the lemon slices over and cook for another 15 minutes or until translucent and slightly brown and caramelized.
Carefully take the lemon slices out of the syrup and let them rest and dry on a plate generously dusted with granulated sugar for at least 4 hours. Coat them in the sugar and keep them in an airtight container until ready to use.
Make the Cake
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C)
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter and beat until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is incorporated.
In a separate medium bowl, beat together the milk, egg whites, and vanilla extract until very foamy, but not at soft peaks.
A third at a time, pour the egg white mixture into the flour and butter mixture while beating on medium speed. Increase the speed for 30 seconds to fully incorporate the ingredients.
Prepare a cupcake mold with 8 standard sized baking cups and fill them approximately 2/3 of the way up. Evenly distribute any remaining batter.
Bake the cupcakes for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly brown at the edges and a toothpick comes out clean when probed into the cake. Evenly brush each cupcake with the simple sugar syrup.
Let the cake cool down completely before icing.
Make the Icing
In a large mixing bowl, beat the whipped cream and extract until stiff peaks form.
Add the mascarpone and powdered sugar and whip on the lowest setting until all of the ingredients are just combined. Do not over mix or else the frosting will become too soft and collapse on itself.
Assemble the Lemon Cakes
Mix the lemon curd and Limoncello together.
With the end of a spoon, poke deep holes into each cupcake. Fill each hole with the lemon curd.
With a 2D star tip, pipe a rosette on top of each cupcake with the mascarpone icing. If you don’t have a star tip, simple slather the icing with a spatula.
Top each cupcake with a candied lemon slice. Serve at your next Game of Thrones Party! Or simply eat them because you feel like it! 😉
This is definitely a small batch, so feel free to double the recipe if you need to serve more people.
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