Monday, May 2, 2011

Cake # 14: Lemon Cake with Lemon Syrup

Lemon Cake with Lemon Syrup

My Avery loves anything made with lemon. We all do, but he's just mad for them. I buy five pound bags of lemons at Costco and they rarely make it the week. On Saturday he ran a half-marathon with his Dad (the one he and I have trained for since October) and I was too sick to go and cheer him on. It nearly broke my heart not to be there so I made him a cake to celebrate his awesome accomplishment. 

This cake is straightforward enough but I think it should definitely be put in the "intermediate" category for difficulty. I chose it because I've been wanting to try a cake where you whip egg whites to stiff peaks, and then fold them into the yolks and flour mixture to leaven the cake. It just sounds so hardcore and more authentic then throwing in a tsp of baking powder. I know, I'm weird.

While I was jumping on one foot, with a fever, beating egg whites this is is what my near and dear were up to:

After all that running, my guys needed some cake!

You'll notice there are only pictures once I could sit down - trying to food blog on crutches is tough!

Lemon Cake with Lemon Syrup, slightly adapted from Giada De Laurentiis recipe for lemon mint cake on Food Network.

Butter, for greasing
Flour, for dusting

3 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan. * I used a buttered and floured spring form pan - much simpler.

For the cake: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks. * It was dumping snow on us and we're at high elevation so I had to add a pinch of cream of tartar to get my eggs to whip.

In a separate large bowl, beat the vegetable oil, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Add the egg yolks 1 at a time. Add lemon juice and lemon zest. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Set aside.

Slowly add 1/2 of the egg white mixture into the oil mixture. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold in the remaining egg white mixture. Spread the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and allow to cool before slicing.

For the syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, lemon juice, and lemon zest over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes. * This stuff is AWESOME! We used it in lemonade and added it to everything all weekend. Yum!

To serve:
Spoon some of the syrup onto each small plate.

Lay a slice of cake on top.
Drizzle the cake with additional syrup.

Here's my half-marathoners enjoying their celebration cake:

I had to laugh at this picture as it's a mess but it's so us. Chris is surrounded by some individual cherry pies I made between cake steps, a cooling rack of Oatmeal Breakfast Bars, he brought home a caesar salad from Kneaders and there's homeopathic pain reliever at his elbow and medals on the table. In the background are lots of scrapbooks and novels... it's just so "Maki".

This cake is absolutely delicious, kind of like a cross between a pound cake and an angel food cake if that's even possible. I love how it's unfrosted and the syrup is divine. My small complaint is that I found it a bit too sweet, but as long as I served nice small slices that wasn't an issue. My family liked huge pieces and thought it was perfect.

P.S. You can find all my 52 Cakes posts here.


Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Yeah for your runners!

I get hungry for just plain cake. That looks so good!

Meaghan Luby said...

this looks AWESOME! glad you're keeping the cake challenge going. thanks for sharing! i adore this :)