World's Best Cake

What do you bake for your mother on her birthday? Out of all the recipes in your multiple recipe books, favourite blogs, magazines, and Pinterest board... which is the one that is good enough for the woman who brought you into this world? I thought long and hard about this, and finally decided to try Sweet Paul's "World's Best Cake", as it seemed like nothing less could possibly be worthy of the world's best woman. I'm sure most people out there would say the same of their mother, but in this world, in mine, Dayang Norjanah is the holder of that title.

So let's get to this World's Best Cake... An excerpt from Sweet Paul's website:

"This cake was awarded the title of Norway’s National Cake a few years back. It’s called verdens beste in Norwegian, and I agree that it just might be the world’s best. You may be skeptical of its superiority, since it isn’t iced as are many American cakes."

In fact, the reason I decided to go with this recipe is because it's not iced, or frosted, or whatever you like to call the action of putting rich sugary butter/cream cheese based beautifiers over a cake. My mum's not a fan of frosting, and while I find it terribly frustrating that she scrapes the stuff off whatever cake I make, I have to say that personally... I find it a little too much as well. So a cake that has a crispy pavlova-like meringue to act as a frosting seemed like just the way to go!

The first time I tried the recipe, I followed the instructions to a T and was not quite fond of the outcome. The cake was a bit too dense, and it lacked a certain something to just cut across the meringue layer. Not to say it wasn't wonderful, but just in our house, we like it slightly different. So I hope I'm not committing a sacrilegious act by changing the recipe and sequence a wee bit, but the instructions in this post are the ones I use at home. For those who would like to try the original, you may find it here.

World's Best Cake - the lemony version
Adapted from Sweet Paul Eat & Make
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 egg yolks + 1 full egg
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C, grease and line 2 6" round springform pans
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, then add in the 4 egg yolks and 1 egg and beat until fully incorporated
  3. Combine the flour and baking powder, then add half to the butter mixture. Add all the milk and lemon juice, beat until combined, then beat in the rest of the flour mixture
  4. Divide the batter between the two pans 
  5. Whisk the egg whites and caster sugar until soft peaks form, then fold in 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Spread the whites over each layer of the cake and bake for 35 minutes 
  6. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing onto a wire rack to cool completely. Whisk the cream and vanilla bean paste until stiff peaks form, then dump the whole thing onto one layer of the cake and top with the second layer. Chill in the fridge for up to an hour before serving 

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