For Lemon Curd (Use 1 jar lemon curd or use our lemon curd recipe below)
½cupfresh lemon juice
zest of 3 lemons
For Lemon Cheesecake Filling
28 ounce blocks cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1cupsweetened condensed milk
¼cuplemon juiceabout 2 lemons
zest of 3 lemons
For Lemon Buttercream frosting
1cupsolid vegetable shortening
1cup2 sticks butter
8-cupssifted confectioner’spowdered sugar
¼cupmilk or cream
¼cupfresh squeezed lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
1. Prepare 3 (6-inch round cake pans) by lightly wiping pan with shortening then placing cut-to-fit rounds of parchment paper inside each pan.
Place all ingredients in a medium-large size mixing bowl. Mix at slow speed for 2 minutes to combine ingredients. Then mix 2 more minutes at medium speed to mix well.Distribute cake batter evenly between each pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes or until cake springs back and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
For Lemon Curd
1. Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, and sugar for 2 minutes until the mixture is pale yellow. 2. Whisk in cornstarch and salt, making sure there are no lumps. 3. Whisk in lemon juice, water, and lemon zest until fully incorporated. 4. In a mixing bowl set over pan of water (like a double boiler) OR heavy sauce pan, pour mixture in and place over medium heat. Whisk mixture continuously for 7 minutes, scraping down the sides every 30 seconds or so. The mixture should deepen in color and become very thick. Cut butter in small pieces and let it melt into mixture. 5. Remove from heat and whisk for 1 minute more. Pour in bowl; wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 1 hour.
For lemon cheesecake filling
Place cream cheese in large mixing bowl and beat 1-2 minutes to soften.Slowly add sweetened condensed milk to cream cheese and continue beating 1-2 minutes.
Add lemon juice and lemon zest and beat until light and fluffy.Place in covered bowl in refrigerator until ready to use.
For Lemon Buttercream Frosting
In a large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla & almond extract.
Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
To assemble cake
Spread a layer of lemon curd, then a layer of lemon cheesecake over first and second layers.
Place third layer on cake, then poke 3 skewers or straws through cake from top to bottom to keep layers from sliding. Trim top edges of straws/skewers even with top of cake. Chill cake at least 4 hours in refrigerator before frosting.
After chilling, spread lemon buttercream frosting on top and then frost sides of cake.
Scrape sides of cake with a cake scraper or spatula to reveal layers and make a “naked cake.”
For ¼ sheet cake (9 x 13 inch pan)
Follow directions for cake above. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch pan. Pour batter in cake pan and smooth evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes.
When cooled, spread the following layers over cake in this order: cake, lemon curd, lemon cheesecake filling, lemon butter cream over top. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting with a thin, sharp knife.
Chill cake at least 4 hours in refrigerator before frosting so the cheesecake filling can set up. Cut cake while very cold with a long, thin, sharp knife.
You can make a two layer cake by using 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Frost first layer with lemon curd and lemon cheesecake, then frost top and sides of cake with lemon butter cream.