We love all things lemon and since joining Pinterest (that site is worse then Facebook for stealing time, I love it!!!) I've had the pleasure of running across oodles of lemon recipes. But you don't want to read about a project that is an endless parade of lemon cake after lemon cake, do you?
So I decided to combine two cake recipes into one, hopefully selecting the best parts of each and then move on to a new flavor (Tres Leche, maybe). This flies in the face of my most hard and fast cooking rule, Make it is as written the first time. No exceptions.
Eh, let's live life on the edge and make an exception... just this once.
The recipes I pulled from are Lemonade Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting by Cookies and Cups (love her recipes!) and Lemonade Layer Cake from My Recipes (originally from Cooking Light). The first one looked great but used a bought cake mix as the base and I try not to do that too much with 52 Cakes. The second one had a from-scratch recipe but lacked the awesome glaze that soaks into the cake before frosting.
I also made my own frosting. We like our frosting light and fluffy, like soft whipped cream. So if you prefer you frosting so sweet it makes your teeth ache, please don't use my recipe. It won't make you happy. If you look at the picture below, you can see air bubbles - it's that fluffy. We also don't use a lot of food color in our house. The kids were very shocked that I added SO MUCH YELLOW!!!
I know, it's so garish you need sunglasses to look at it. *sarcasm*
As you can see, the cake is very moist. Perhaps a little too moist to have added a glaze too... but it had incredible texture and flavor. It's also dense, not heavy but dense. A lot of scratch cakes are more substantial then boxed mixes, that's both their glory and their strangeness.
My only true complaint is that it was very sweet. I prefer tart lemon to sweet lemon flavor. I've noticed that most "light" cakes tend to be overly sweet. I think that's why I prefer the full-fat kind. Cakes are so finicky that I'd need to have a lot of spare time on my hands to make it over and over until I could reduce the sugar without messing up the structure. That's not going to happen.
For the cake:
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons thawed lemonade concentrate
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes).
Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; stir well with a whisk.
Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat well after each addition.
Pour batter into 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cooking Light , APRIL 2002
For the Glaze (this is the bit I adapted from the Cookies and Cups cake):
2-4 TBL Lemonade from concentrate
1 cup powdered sugar
1 TBL water
Cool cakes for about 10-20 minutes and then mix up your glaze. We used twice as much lemonade concentrate as called for because we like things sour. I'd say add 2 TBLs, taste the glaze and add more if you'd like.
Poke holes all over your cake with a fork and then spread the half of the glaze over each cake. If your cake had a crown above the pan, you can trim off the crown and then poke the holes.
Cover with waxed paper and let cool completely.
1 8oz package of softened 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 stick of softened butter (1/4 Cup)
approximately 4.5 Cups of powdered sugar
6TBL lemonade concentrate or to taste
yellow food color if desired
Whip butter and cream cheese until very light.
Add 3 TBL of lemonade, mix in.
Add sugar one cup at a time until mixed in.
Add food coloring and remaining lemonade to taste and desired consistency.
*Note: This is a very soft, not-too-sweet frosting. It cannot be piped or manipulated much but it's full of flavor and light as air. If you like a stiffer frosting, add more powdered sugar.
To make frosting the cake easier, apply a very thin layer over the whole cake (a crumb coat) and then pop it in the freezer for a half an hour or so. When you frost it with the "real" layer it will stick beautifully, you won't have crumbs messing things up and the cake won't tear. All good things.
(don't mind the bicycle etc. behind his head *sigh*. We're painting the bathroom it's contents is in the front room and my bicycle is indoors so I can attempt using the trainer while my foot heals. Classy, I know)
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