Lemon Frosted Easter Cake

I'm sure when anyone has lost a loved one they feel similar to myself, when trying to deal with the whole grieving process. Events which where once pure joyous occasions, can be met with some bitter-sweet anticipation. My dad passed away before Christmas, and similar to the year when my Mam passed away, the first time to experience everything without them is rather heart-breaking. The first Christmas, the first birthday, the first family get-together and this week will be the first Easter. It's a holiday that, as a family, we always embraced and enjoyed celebrating. Each year my mother's Easter dinner was as impressive as the Christmas dinner. A wonderful spread was put on, with the roast spring lamb being the star of the show. Growing up I wasn't a fan of lamb, due to the many pet lambs occupying the back doorstep, however I did relish in the array of tasty accompaniments. 

Easter 2012 - Tiarnán, Fionn & Millie decorating eggs with their Grandad. 

In recent times I have really valued my Dad's input into my own children's Easter preparations. Each year he would tell tales of his Easter childhood memories, how there were no chocolate eggs in his home in the 1930's, but instead each child would pick their freshly laid egg, from their hen coop, and proceed to paint it. This was then boiled for breakfast on Easter Sunday morning and was always declared as the nicest egg of the year. For the last number of years, in our house, we would dedicate an afternoon of Easter week to egg painting. "Granddad" was always enlisted as the "expert helper" and he genuinely seemed to enjoy this as much as the children. Together they would decorate their fresh eggs and the children would listen intently to stories of old and were always amazed by how within one lifetime so much had changed. This Easter, even though it may sadden the children or me, my Dad's egg painting tradition will carry on. We'll decorate the eggs, tell his stories and most of all appreciate this wonderful man for sharing so much with us and being such an influential part of our lives. Whatever way you celebrate Easter this year I hope it is with the people you cherish and love. Enjoy the celebrations and have a Happy Easter!

Lemon Frosted Easter Cake

I always find that cake is well suited to every occasion. This lemon frosted cake makes a perfect Easter treat, as yellow themed goods seem to fit nicely with an Easter theme. It's basically a madeira cake which is smothered with a creamy lemon topping and filled with lemon curd; perfect to enjoy with a cup of tea anytime.

225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
3 free range eggs
280g self-raising flour, sieved

For Icing
150g full fat cream cheese (Philadelphia)
50g butter, softened
400g icing sugar, sieved
1 tsp lemon extract/essence
drop of yellow food colouring

To assemble/decorate
2/3 tbsp lemon curd
50g mini chocolate eggs

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C(fan)/390°F/gas mark 6.
2. Prepare a two 8 inch tins, by greasing well with some butter.
3. Place the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract into a bowl and cream together until it is a pale yellow colour, which takes about 5-7 minutes.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time with a little flour- to prevent the mixture from curdling. Mix well.
5. Add the remaining flour then combine well.
6. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins.
7. Bake in the oven for 30-35 mins or until golden brown in colour and a skewer comes out dry, when stuck into the centre of each cake. Cool on a wire tray.
8. To make the icing; Put the cream cheese, butter and icing sugar into a bowl and beat together until smooth and creamy. Stir in the lemon extract and add a drop of yellow food colouring.
9. When the cakes have completely cooled place one on a serving plate. Spread 1/3 of the icing over the cake and top with the lemon curd. Place the next cake on top and then add the remaining icing. Smooth using a palette knife and decorate with some mini chocolate eggs.

In other news; The Midlands Gathering Festival is taking place in Moate this weekend. As a part of it I will be doing a cookery demonstration in The Grand Hotel, Moate on Easter Saturday from 4 - 5pm. All are welcome!


From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Oh Nessa, I know how you feel. I can remember when my dad died how a simple cook out made me so sad. Next year will be a little better. The cake is gorgeous and I think I might just make this one for brunch at my sisters. I will be bringing dessert.

Nessa Robins said...

Thank you so much, I know it will be easier too. I hope you enjoy the cake. Have a lovely celebration with your sister and family.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

My cake came out looking good. I can't taste it until I get to my sister's house.

Nessa Robins said...

Fantastic! I hope you had a really lovely day :)

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Nessa, this post brought tears to my eyes. I know exactly how you feel. My dad's been gone 26 years next month. My mom has been gone a year and a half. My heart still aches for both of them. Continuing the tradition and the stories is wonderful for your children, it helps to keep their memories of your parents.

I was so happy my entire family got together this Easter. I'm the oldest of seven, so you can imagine how large the crew was! LOL!!! There were 28 of us for sitdown dinner at my sisters home. Everyone contributes and everyone had a great time the food was amazing!

Happy Easter to you and your family.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Oh, I forgot to tell you, I made a lemon cake too, I'll have to post it! I love lemon cakes for Spring!

Lorette said...

What a lovely tribute to your Dad and family, losing parents is life changing and keeping memories alive for our children is different for every family. Thank God for holidays that allow us to grieve and celebrate at the same time...thank God for our children that help us to put perspective on our lives.
For years I have tried to duplicate my grandmother's yellow cake recipe...I had no idea that it was a Madeira cake! She made her cake from memory and I never got the recipe...and box cakes were all the rage. But I have forever longed to taste a "Madeira" cake.
So when I saw your beautiful cake I decided to make it for my granddaughter...little did I know it would taste just like the memorable cake my Nana used to make me.
I realized after Easter that my gift was finding your blog from Ireland and Madeira cake recipe that allowed me to celebrate Easter, by sharing this delicious memory from my childhood in the 50's and 60's.
I will continue to bake this cake and have it with my tea and lemon curd. It will happily bring back times
gone by. I will forever miss my mom and grandma but now it is a little sweeter!

Nessa Robins said...

Thank you so much, Mary. I understand exactly what you mean, that your heart is still aching. It really is a physical pain. I actually felt that when Dad passed away I was once again grieving my mother.
Your Easter celebration sounded just perfect. What a great crew for dinner; but always made easy when everyone contributes. Have a good week!

Nessa Robins said...

Lorette, that is such a touching story. I'm delighted that you liked the cake but I'm beyond thrilled that it brought back such happy memories. Food can have a wonderful way of doing that! I'm glad that you found my blog, as in turn I can now enjoy yours also. Have a great week!

Brownieville Girl said...

Nessa, I am so sorry for your loss.

What a lovely way to remember your Dad - and such a beautiful cake too.

Nessa Robins said...

Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I hope you're keeping well!

Nessa Robins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ruthlovesfood said...

Nessa this brought a tear to my eye. Children learn so much from their Grandparents and it's wonderful you have traditions and customs passed down to keep his spirit alive in some way.

Nessa Robins said...

Thank you so much Ruth, for your lovely comment. Wishing you & your family a happy Easter.