Senzo’s Lemon Vanilla Petit Fours

Recipe by: Senzo Msimango
See more of Senzo’s creations:

Senzo's Lemon Vanilla Petit Fours

Petite Four

1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks; 345g) unsalted butter,
8 ounce (226g) block full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (80g) sour cream, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups (354g) cake flour (spoon & leveled)
1 teaspoon Royal Baking Powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons (45ml) fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1/4 cup raspberry jam

Vanilla Buttercream Filling

3/4 cup (1.5 sticks; 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar
2 Tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream or whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

White Chocolate Topping

Two 4 ounce bars (226g) white chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons canola, vegetable, or coconut oil


  1. Make cake batter: Since the cake will be filled and iced, I reduced the sugar in the original recipe. I also added a little lemon juice to flavor and thin out the batter and a little more baking powder – both produced a less dense crumb and a little more rise.
  2. Bake in a sheet pan: The most important part of this entire recipe is using the correct size baking pan. Use a 12×17 inch half sheet pan. The cake will overflow in small pans and be too thin in larger pans.
  3. Cut in rectangles: As the cake cools, it will shrink a bit. Have no fear, that’s totally normal. Peel the parchment off the bottom of the cake and slice into 6 even rectangles.
  4. Slice rectangles into 2 layers: Slice each rectangle in half. You’ll have 12 even rectangles that you will layer together to make four small 3 layer “cakes.”
  5. Prepare fillings: I used lemon curd in one layer and a thick vanilla buttercream in another layer.
    Fresh, fruity, creamy, and sweet! use lemon buttercream or chocolate buttercream.
  6. Layer with fillings: Spread fillings onto each rectangle, then layer together.
  7. Chill: The layers must chill in the refrigerator prior to cutting into small petit fours.
  8. Cut into squares: Cut each into squares.
  9. Top with white chocolate: More on the topping below.

See all the Sugar Work Challenge recipes: