This cake was not very hard to make, the directions were very easy to follow. I actually own the cookbook and have enjoyed the recipes from this cookbook very much.
My variations to the cake were the following: I used my home-made strawberry jam and I kept the lemon-flavored cake. I decided against buttercream because here in Italy desserts are not very sweet and buttercream can be overwhelmingly sweet. I chose instead to use very lightly sweetened whipped cream which gave just enough moisture to the cake layers. I did sprinkle a tiny bit of coconut on the top of the cake but not much as hubby's not a fan.
I found the cutting of the layers to be the main reason the layers aren't as pretty as they could be. I was lazy, did not go looking for the dental floss (which of course indicates the fact I am not obsessed with flossing!). Had I used the floss it might have been a more even cut.
My one "complaint" and it really is not a complaint is that the crumb of the cake is quite dense - maybe it should have been more light and airy? I did whip the cake a LOT, so I can't imagine it wasn't whipped enough. It was very tasty and the lemon flavor was perfect.
All in all this cake received a lot of compliments from guests and I was glad to have made a successful challenge after my bowling ball experience with the bread last month! Thanks for the great challenge!!!