This Seaside Cake transports you to crisp clear waters and breezy salty air! The enlivening flavors of lemon and blueberry are paired with a blueberry filling. Coated with a graham cracker buttercream complete the ultimate beach dessert!
Lemon and blueberry evoke summer months; humid with heat and heavy with harvested berries. This Seaside Cake was inspired more by the concept of the sea, rather than the seasonality of it’s ingredients. The sharp blue tones of this cake mirror those B-roll travel posters of Greece. Hilly crescent shaped bays, vividly speckled with blue roofed white houses.
Can flavors arouse feelings? I’m certain of the latter correlation. Fresh levity and biting saltiness evoke seaside settings. Here the saltiness is not a dehydrating salt bomb. Rather, the salt from the graham cracker buttercream delivers a sophisticated level of salt, balancing the sweetness from the blueberry swirl and blueberry buttercream.
I need to mention and reiterate the crazy amazing flavors of this Graham Cracker Buttercream. Pureeing the Graham crackers with heavy cream smooth the texture without compromising the taste. Essentially the frosting tastes like the crust of a cheesecake. Buttery and with that killer twin combo of salty and sweet. There is no getting sick or bored of this flavor!
Smooth and slick, the Seaside Cake embodies Bobby Darin’s version of Beyond the Sea. This Seaside Cake encapsulates that picturesque experience you never had with childhood beach vacations. Children crammed in the back of a car, impatience mounting. Folding chairs blocking the rear windshield. The packed bloated car, barreling down narrow state and county roads.
A true seaside drive vacation—bought to you by we’re not going to Disney World and foreign countries are dangerous. It is the vacation instigated by a father still adamant about QUALITY TIME. And it’s a quality time that is not quelled with technology. The vacation is the experience of being together. Together and flustered. Kids amuse themselves by counting telephone poles and hitting their sibling to break up the icy silence between both parents. Mom read the map wrong, and dad is gripping the steering wheel to prevent a a spousal misdemeanor.
Okay I digress with a tangential fake situation, but the cake conjures up so many different scenarios!
To put it short, this Seaside Cake is everything we ever wanted in a beach experience. Fresh, crispy, and inviting the next and proceeding bites.
- For the Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cake:
- 3 cups cake flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 ¼ cup whole milk, room temperature
- 7 egg whites, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 8 ounces blueberry jam
- blue food gel
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and brought to room temperature
- For the Graham Cracker Paste:
- 4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup milk powder
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon fine salt
- ½ cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
- ½ to 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 to 1 1/3 cup whole milk
- For the Graham Cracker Frosting:
- 1 ½ cups (3 ticks, 12 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 ½ pounds powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- Graham Cracker Paste (recipe precedes), brought to room temperature
- For the Blueberry Frosting:
- 1/2 cup (1 sticks, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 6 tablespoons blueberry jam
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 tablespoon milk or cream
- blue food gel
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch cake pans with baking spray, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together into the bowl.
- Whisk milk, egg whites, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon zest into a separate bowl.
- Beat the dry ingredients on low for 30 seconds. Slowly add butter, a few cubes at a time, mixing until crumbs are moistened and look like wet sand. Scrape the bowl as needed.
- Add ½ of the wet mixture, raise speed to medium-high, and beat for 4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn mixer to low, add the other ½ of wet mixture, raise speed to medium, beating for 3 more minutes.
- Remove 1 cup of batter and fold the jam and blue gel into this 1 cup of batter.
- Divide remaining batter into prepared pans. Dollop spoonfuls of blueberry batter. Use a butter knife to swirl blue with white batter.
- Bake for 23 to 28 minutes, rotating halfway. A toothpick inserted should come with cleaned with a few moist crumbs. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes before inverting cakes onto wire racks to cool completely.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl.
- In another bowl, whisk butter and cream together. Using a food processor blend the dry with the wet. Gradually drizzle in milk until a smooth paste forms, scrape the sides of the processor to get everything incorporated. The paste will have a consistency of brownie batter. Pour into a container, refrigerating until it hardens, about 1 to 2 hours.
- with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat butter on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. On low speed add brown sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Raise speed to medium-high, beating until pale in color and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add in room temperature Graham Cracker Paste, raise speed back to medium-high, beating for 3 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth and fluffy, about 2 to 5 minutes. Add cream cheese and beat until fully combined and smooth.
- Add 1 cup powdered sugar and beat to fully combine. Add 1 Tablespoon of blueberry jam and beat until fully incorporated as well. Continue this process with the remaining powdered sugar and blueberry jam.
- Add vanilla, salt, and milk, beating until smooth and fluffy. Add several drops of gel blue food coloring. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
- Apply a spoonful of frosting onto a cake board. Secure the first cake layer. Pipe on the blueberry frosting, secure the second layer, add blueberry frosting, and finally top with the third layer.
- Do a crumb coat with the Graham Cracker Frosting, refrigerate for 15 minutes. With a petal tip, apply vertical ruffles onto the side of the cake. Decorate top with Remaining Graham Cracker and Blueberry frostings. Garnish with seahorse chocolates.