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May 19, 2008 11:57 AM

All the lemon curd leaked out!

Mr CF had his ACL repaired/replaced and to soothe the savage beast, I made his favorite cake, a white cake with lemon curd.

The cake layers were cooled, the curd was lovely and lemony - all seemed well. I put the bottom layer of the cake on the stand with the flat side up - usually makes a nice flat base for the frosting or curd - slathered on the lemon curd, so that it was about a quarter of an inch from the edge and put the top layer on, flat side down. I started frosting the sides, when things started to go, well, sideways. The top layer started sliding, and the curd started oozing out. 90% of the curd ended up mixed into the frosting (which wasn't a bad thing necessarily, just not what I had intended) and there was almost none in between the layers.

Should I have made the curd thicker?
I was wondering if when the cake came out of the oven, could I have put a plate on the bottom of one layer to make a slight 'dip' for the curd to sit in.
Or should I have cut a little thin rimmed area out of a layer? But I wouldn't want the curd to soak completely into the cake...

I dunno... but I felt kinda bad. Mr CF was a bit disappointed in the cake - tasted great but the lemon curd was missing.

Any ideas?


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  1. Did you make a dam of frosting at the edge of the cake to hold the curd in? It's an important step w/ anything like that, jam, curds, etc. Here are pictures that make it easier than explaining. Frost the layer, make the dam and then add the curd.

    3 Replies
    1. re: chowser


      That looks like what I should have done!

      1. re: chowser

        I've never had this problem (maybe my curd is thicker?), but I love this frosting dam idea. Brilliant!

        1. re: roxlet

          I'm thinking the same thing, roxlet... I should try it before I have an "emergency!"

      2. Maybe the problem is the two flat sides together? You could try slicing off a very thin layer from each cake so that the curd has some texture to grip.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Pia

          I didn't know if all the curd would have soaked into the cake then... but since most of it ended up in the frosting (on the sides), maybe 'in' the cake would have been an improvement! :-)

          1. re: Cookiefiend

            I've never had lemon curd soak into any of my sliced cake tops/bottoms - just be sure they're all very cool (refrigerate the curd first). I've also never needed a dam, but that sounds like a good idea. Good luck next time!

        2. I just made a lemon layer cake with lemon curd and didn't have any problems. Maybe the curd should be thicker - cook to 170 degrees. Also, Martha Stewart suggests the icing dam around the perimeter of the bottom layer, too. You have to let it sit for awhile, also, don't just stack the second layer on right away. Let the icing dam set.

          1. I find that any cake with a "filling" rather than "frosting" benefits from some time in the fridge to firm up AFTER you fill, but before you frost. I have tired to short circuit this step many times, and usually wind up with the exact sitiuation you describe.

            1 Reply
            1. re: danna

              My wife made a lemon curd cake for my birthday last week. It had 3 layers. She let the layers cool on the counter then spread the lemon curd on each one, and popped them in the refrigerator. After 30mins-1hour she pulled them all out, "assembled" the cake and frosted it. The curd stayed put.

              I think the refrigeration was the key, although the frosting dam idea sounds pretty nifty too.