Baker Sweet Maker - Shirl Gard
Lemon Chiffon Mousse Cake
Author: Shirl Gard
The first thing you will need to do to make this cake is make a batch of Lemon Curd, which is a separate recipe. Since my Lemon Curd recipe gives a version for a large quantity (as well as smaller batches), why not make a big batch so you will have some left for other purposes? You will also need to make these three other components, with separate recipes, ahead of time: Lemon Mascarpone Mousse, Buttercream, and Lemon Curd Glaze. The Lemon Chiffon Sheet Cake recipe is given below. I know it sounds like a lot of things to make, but if you do it over several days and have everything prepped and ready, the cakes will come together easily at the end and will be totally worth it. You will have two beautiful cakes, which are wonderful for any special event, especially a Spring event, because the bright yellow Lemon Curd Glaze on top of the cakes just seems to shout "Spring". Also check your cake pans: I use a technique where the cakes are assembled in two 6" x 3" (15 cm x 7.5 cm) cake pans and frozen.

  • 300 grams LEMON CURD: (See separate recipe)
  • - Make this recipe first, any size recipe of Lemon Curd you want, and use the balance for other purposes; it is great to have on hand. Keeps in the refrigerator 2 -3 weeks or in the freezer up to a year.
  • - Lemon Curd is used in the cake layers along with the mousse, scaled into 6 - 50g (2½ oz) portions / 3 portions per cake when ready to assemble the cake.
  • - Note that the Lemon Mascarpone Mousse and the Lemon Curd Glaze recipes also require Lemon Curd as an ingredient.
  • 600 grams LEMON MASCARPONE MOUSSE: (See separate recipe)
  • - Make one recipe up to three days ahead of time and refrigerate
  • - Net Weight of one recipe = 1100g (2# 8 oz)
  • - Mousse scaled into 6 - 100g (3½ oz) portions / 3 portions per cake when ready to assemble the cake
  • 1000 grams BUTTERCREAM: (See separate recipe)
  • - Make one recipe with a yield of 2 quarts (about 1200g - 2# 10 oz)
  • - The quantity given is approximate: use what you need and save the balance for another use
  • - Buttercream is used to pipe "dams" around the outside edge of each layer + frost the outside of the cakes.
  • 150 grams LEMON CURD GLAZE: (See separate recipe)
  • - Make a small recipe and scale two portions at 75g (2½ oz) each. This is for the tops of the cakes.
  • NET WEIGHT OF BATTER = 1650g (3# 10 oz)
  • 335 grams cake flour (2½ cups)
  • 20 grams baking powder (4 teaspoons)
  • 10 grams fine sea salt (2 teaspoons)
  • 160 grams egg yolks (8 large)
  • 30 grams egg whites (1 large)
  • 250 grams granulated sugar (1¼ cups)
  • 160 grams canola oil (3/4 cup)
  • 20 grams freshly grated lemon zest (zest of 4 extra-large lemons)
  • 15 grams vanilla extract (1 Tablespoon)
  • 160 grams lemon juice, freshly squeezed (2/3 cup)
  • 40 grams water (2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons)
  • 290 grams egg whites
  • 1¼ teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 290 grams granulated sugar (1½ cups minus 1 Tablespoon)
  • 1780 grams = Total 62 oz (3# 14 oz)
  1. PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 350° F (175° C).
  2. PREP SHEET PANS: Spray two half-sheet pans lightly with Pam. Have ready two half sheets of parchment. When ready to spread batter, press the parchment into pans and spray the parchment with Pam (with flour). (Note: Doing this ahead of time will cause the parchment to form wrinkles, giving the cake a wrinkled surface.)
  3. MIX THE EGG YOLK BATTER: SIFT dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
  4. PLACE yolks and 30g of whites in bowl of Kitchen Aid mixer. With the whisk, beat on high speed for 3 M until starting to thicken. Turn the speed down to medium and gradually add the sugar, a little at a time, over a period of 2 minutes. Continue whipping, back on high speed, until very thick and pale, another 2 minutes.
  5. TURN speed down to medium and pour in the canola oil in a slow steady stream with the mixer running. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract and whip 1 minute longer. Turn off mixer and scrape down sides.
  6. ON LOWEST SPEED, add the dry ingredients alternately with the liquid, dividing the flour into 3 parts and liquid into 2 parts, starting and ending with flour.
  7. SCRAPE down the sides and scrape up the bottom of the bowl. Mix in and beat for 10 seconds longer.
  8. TRANSFER batter to large stainless steel bowl. If you have two Kitchen Aid bowls, this is a good time to use both: one for the batter and on for the meringue. If not, wash the mixer bowl and whisk in hot soapy water. To be certain that there is no fat left on the bowl or whisk, clean with vinegar and salt.
  9. MAKE THE MERINGUE: Whip the whites on medium speed until frothy, about 2 minutes. Add cream of tartar and continue whipping until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Gradually add the sugar or a period of about 5 minutes and whip to stiff glossy peaks. The meringue should stand straight up when tested with your finger.
  10. FOLD ⅓ of the meringue into the Egg Yolk Batter, using a whisk. Then add balance of meringue and fold in very gently with a rubber spatula.
  11. DIVIDE THE CHIFFON CAKE BATTER INTO TWO PORTIONS SCALED AT 820g per half-sheet pan. At this point, place parchment paper in the sheet pans and spray with Pam (with flour). Spread to an even thickness in the pans and make sure the batter goes into the corners. Don't allow the batter to be thicker in the center of he pan. This quantity will yield cake that is ¾" thick for layer cakes. Each half-sheet pan will yield four 6" rounds.
  12. BAKE @ 350° F (175° C) for 20 - 23 minutes until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center and is starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. The cakes should be a light golden brown when done.
  13. COOL sheet cakes in the pans.
  14. FREEZE before cutting cake rounds, preferably overnight.
  15. CUT four 6" (15 cm) rounds from each half-sheet pan, using a cake board or the bottom of a removable-bottom cake pan as a template.
  16. TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKES: PREP two 6" x 3" (15 cm x 7.5 cm) cake pans (I like the ones with removable bottoms) or springform pans. If you have cake pans without removable bottoms, line the pans with large pieces of plastic wrap so that it will be easy to lift out the finished cakes. This is not necessary for cake pans with removable bottoms or for springform pans. Place 6" (15 cm) cake boards in the bottom of the pans. Line the cake pans with a 4" (10 cm)wide strip of acetate cake band about 22" (56 cm). If you only have 3" (7.5 cm) acetate, tape 2 strips together.
  17. STACK the layers of cake and filling the this order (for both pans). 1) Cake layer 2) Pipe a "dam" of Buttercream in a circle around the outside edge of the cake layer, using a ½" large pastry tip (Ateco#7). 3) Spread 100g (3½") Lemon Mascarpone Mousse in the center of the Buttercream "dam". 4) Spread 50g (2½ oz) Lemon Curd on top of the mousse. 5) REPEAT these layers two more times, then place the fourth cake layer on top and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. FREEZE the cakes in the pans, preferably overnight.
  18. FINISH CAKES THE NEXT DAY: Remove cakes from the pans and remove the acetate bands. Leave the cake boards intact. On a cake stand, frost the cakes with room temperature Buttercream: 72 - 74° F (22 - 23° C). Decorate as desired, using Lemon Curd Glaze on top of the cakes.
  19. PLACE finished cakes on platters or cake stands and allow to come to room temperature. Cut each cake into 8 wedges. For clean slices, hold your knife under running hot water and clean after each slice.
Recipe Ancestry Notes:
The Lemon Chiffon Sheet Cake is adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle (2006). The Lemon Curd recipe is adapted from a recipe by Nick Malgieri from Peter Kump's New York Cooking School, now the Institute of Culinary Education. The Lemon Mascarpone Mousse was inspired by a recipe I've had for a long time, given to me by a pastry chef I worked for at Wheatleigh, Lesley Iaccobacci. She got it from Chef Morand Dare, who she had previously worked for. The Lemon Curd Glaze is an original recipe by Shirl Gard as is the design for this cake.
Recipe by ShirlGard at