Easter is fast approaching, and it is one of those holidays that usually includes a feast and loads of chocolate. The question of what to serve for dessert after a huge holiday meal often leaves hosts scratching their heads. I can think of many times I’ve slaved over a beautiful rather heavy dessert only to have guests eat a few bites before declaring they’re stuffed. Is the answer not to serve dessert at all? Uh, of course not; but this light and luscious lemon crepe cake is!
This “cake” is a perfect sweet follow-up to a heavy meal. Thin layers of lightly sweet crepes separated with heavenly lemon curd mousse. Oh it’s just as delightful as it sounds. I love all things lemon and the mousse is a glorious combination of tart and sweet. Mmmm, I think I’ll go have another slice now.
I’m happy to be part of another Spring/Easter blog hop, and this week’s theme is Spring Recipes ! Be sure to check out all the other blogs for delicious Easter menus and dessert ideas, scroll down for the links.
Before you start, know that you will need several hours to complete this cake. The mousse requires a total of three hours chilling time at the very least, the crepe batter at least two hours chilling, and the cake one hour. If you can start the mousse and make the batter a day ahead of time you’ll be in good shape.
I found this recipe a bit all over the place when I first made it so I’m going to outline the steps we’ll take to get this baby made and ready for serving:
- Make the crepe batter and refrigerate at least two hours
- Make the lemon curd and refrigerate at least two hours
- Make the mousse and refrigerate at least one hour
- Make the candied lemons
- Make the crepes
- Put the cake together and refrigerate one hour
- Add the whipped cream and candied lemons
- Dazzle your guests
Lemon Crepe Cake – adapted from Martha Stewart
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more, melted, for pan
- Lemon Curd Mousse (recipe below)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
- Candied lemons (recipe below), optional
Lemon Curd Mousse – adapted from Martha Stewart
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 4 large eggs plus 6 large yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 5 to 6 lemons)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
Okay, let’s get down to business! First lets make the crepe batter.
Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually pour milk mixture into flour mixture, whisking until smooth. Whisk in butter. Pour through a fine sieve into an airtight container; discard lumps. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Now it’s time for the lemon curd.
First thing you’re going to do is zest your lemons and juice them. Make sure you zest first since it’s much easier to do on whole lemons. I like to use a Microplane zester to do this, I have a Pampered Chef which is made by Microplane, it makes a nice fine zest, but if you don’t have one go ahead and use the small side of a box grater.
When you’re zesting just get the yellow of the lemon, not the white pith which doesn’t really have much lemon flavor.
Sprinkle gelatin over water; let stand until softened. If you do this before you start your curd it will ready to use by the time the curd is cooked. Whisk together eggs and yolks in a heavy medium saucepan. Whisk in sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
Cook, whisking constantly, over medium-low heat, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. You don’t need to whisk super vigorously, but keep the eggs moving or they will start to scramble. If you do end up with cooked egg bits don’t worry, that gets sieved out shortly.
Remove pan from heat; add gelatin, stirring constantly, until gelatin dissolves and mixture is slightly cool. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, stirring after each addition, until smooth.
Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to remove as much curd as possible; discard any undissolved bits of gelatin and egg. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours or overnight.
Once you’re ready whip up your heavy cream. Stir the curd, and gently fold in whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Stir before using.
Doesn’t this look luscious?? Just try and resist sneaking a few spoonfuls.
Now that your mousse is done, let’s move on to the candied lemons if you’re using them. These are ridiculously easy:
Candied Lemons adapted from Martha Stewart
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 lemons, washed and slice 1/4″ thick
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a large saucepan, and heat until sugar dissolves. Add lemons, and cover surface with parchment (I just put a lid on). Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently until rinds are translucent, about
30 minutes. Let lemons cool in syrup. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lemons to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Let stand to allow excess syrup to drip off.
We’re getting there! Time to make the crepes. Now if you went to check out Martha’s recipe, you’ll notice I doubled the recipe. Ideally you want 15 crepes to make this cake, give or take a few. Unless you’re a master crepe chef you’re probably going to botch a few of these, so it’s a small miracle to get enough crepes with the original recipe. Rather than stress, use my doubled recipe and if you have extra crepes they’re just tasty as can be on their own.
Lightly coat a 6-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet with butter. Heat over medium heat until just starting to smoke. Remove from heat; pour about 2 tablespoons batter into center. Swirl to cover bottom. Reduce heat to medium-low; return pan to heat. Cook until edges are golden and center is dry, about 30 seconds per side.
Slide crepe onto an overturned plate. Repeat with remaining batter, coating pan with butter as needed, and stacking crepes. Let cool.
Now it’s time to put this bad boy together! Place 1 crepe on a flat serving dish. Spread about 1/4 cup lemon curd
mousse onto crepe. Top with 1 crepe. Continue layering crepes and mousse. (Use 15 or so crepes, ending with a crepe on top.) Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Top with whipped cream and lemon slices to garnish.
Isn’t she a ‘beaut?
This cake is so light and airy, and just look at all those layers!
Check out these fabulous blogs for some more Easter menu inspiration!
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