Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lemon Lemon Cake


When life hands you lemons — make Lemon Lemon Cake! I made this cake twice last week, and I LOVE it. I am so IN love with it, I will have to MARRY it. Seriously.

Moist lemon cake, covered in rich, lemon cream cheese frosting, and filled with homemade lemon curd.
This cake is moist, with a hint of lemon. When combined with the rich lemon curd, and ultra-rich cream cheese frosting, this cake will rock your world without being overwhelmed by lemon.

What is it with me and lemons lately?

Lemon Lemon Cake
Cake: Based on a recipe by Cooking Light
Lemon Curd: Based on a recipe by Joy of Baking.com


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons thawed lemonade concentrate
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Cooking spray

Lemon Curd
3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
2  8-oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon thawed lemonade concentrate
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups icing sugar 

Lemon Cake: I can't quit you!
Method: Cake
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Prepare two 9" cake pans with cooking spray and lightly dust with flour. Set aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar, lemon zest, lemonade concentrate and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add egg whites one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Add half the buttermilk, mixing well afterwards. Add half the flour, mixing well afterwards. Repeat, ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.
  6. Divide batter equally between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Test with a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake, until it comes out clean.
  7. Cool cake completely before assembling.

Method: Lemon Curd
  1. Place a large mixing bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. To the mixing bowl,  add eggs, sugar and lemon juice. Whisk until combined.
  2. Continue whisking until mixture reaches 160° F on an instant-read thermometer, or reaches the consistency of a thick sauce.
  3. Remove from heat and add butter and lemon zest, stirring until butter is melted.
  4. Cool curd in the refrigerator, with plastic wrap resting on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.

Method: Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese together until fluffy.
  2. Add lemonade concentrate, lemon zest and vanilla. Stir until combined.
  3. Add icing sugar. Mix on low speed until combined. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm up.

Method: Assemble the Cake
  1. Place one cake layer on a plate. Spread about 1/4 cup of frosting on top of first layer. 
  2. Spread about 1/4 cup of lemon curd on top of frosting, spreading almost to the edges of the layer but not quite.
  3. On top of this, add the second cake layer. Press down on top layer gently — not too hard or the lemon curd will squirt out! Spread the rest of the frosting over top and sides of cake, using whatever stylin' makes you smile. 
Store cake in the refrigerator, if it lasts that long. Enjoy!


Linda said...

I love the idea of using lemonade concentrate in the cake and in the frosting. As with most of your recipes, adding it to my bookmarks. ;)

Becs said...

I love the photo top down, I love following the lines to the lemon slice centre!

Cakeaholic said...

What a pretty cake, yummi :)

Mari said...

I found this recipe and blog via Pinterest, after frantically trying to find a solid lemon cake recipe for my mother-in-law's birthday. I made the whole thing as listed with the exception of subbing 1t of vanilla for 1t of lemon extract. It was DELISH and very pretty! Thanks for sharing. I will definitely make this recipe again.

Amberoni said...

This was great. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I made it today for my grandma's 88th birthday and it was a hit!

Anonymous said...

i just made this but it needed much more baking time than 18-20 minutes (more like 35 minutes).
excited to see how it tastes.

Anonymous said...

I just made this cake -- soo lemony!!! However the layers did not rise every much, if at all and the cake has a sticky feel to it. I baked it for 22 minutes and it was browning. Also mine is not a light and fluffy cake. Did I do something wrong? Help!

Lulu said...

@Anonymous: Not sure why your cake didn't rise enough, maybe your baking soda is old? As for the sticky feeling, I think that's OK – mine always feel that way. =)

Anonymous said...

Hi I have a question? I am not sure what icing sugar is. Is it powdered sugar? thanks! I want to make this tomorrow for my dads 60th birthday.

Lulu said...

@Anonymous Yes indeed, icing sugar is also known as powdered sugar or confectioner's sugar!

Anonymous said...

My cake did not rise very well either and is super sticky (I was hoping that meant it would be super moist). I bought my baking soda today. Also, maybe I am missing something here but you said to use 1/4 cup of lemon curd in between cake layers but I still have a ton of lemon curd left, is there more to the directions as far as the lemon curd is concerned???

Lulu said...

The cake does not rise super high – you will see in the photos that the layers are not that big. In my opinion, it's ok that it is sticky. I found it difficult to make smaller batches of lemon curd – so feel free to enjoy any leftovers!

Anonymous said...

just an update, I made this cake for my brother's 40 the birthday bash (he loves all things lemon. People were freaking out about how good it taste. Sticky means super moist!!

Lulu said...

@Christina - I'm so glad you tried it and that you liked it!

Sweet as Coco said...

I was wondering if there was any way to substitute fresh lemon juice for the concentrate? I didn't want to buy an entire container just for a few tablespoons, plus I was trying to avoid high fructose corn syrup. Could I substitute it directly and just add some lemon extract in addition for extra flavor? I wasn't sure how the buttermilk would react to both the baking soda and lemon?

Lulu said...

@Sweet as Coco I've been wondering the same thing – could you successfully substitute the frozen lemonade concentrate with fresh-squeezed lemon juice? I think it would be worth trying. I would start with 3 tablespoons – the same amount of liquid as the concentrate and go from there.

Deb said...

I just made this, and love it that the cake is sooo moist. Very tasty :) I substituted almond milk w apple cider vinegar for the buttermilk, and it works. Just wondering - as I'm also looking for a substitute for the lemonade concentrate - if a mix of lemon juice and agave syrup would work? Just a thought... if anyone wants to try. Thanks for sharing!

Lenna Lemon said...

This cake looks so yummi! I love trying different variations of lemon cake and this one definitely be included in the list of cake recipe experiment.

Sarah Hammond said...

THANK YOU! Just made for my kiddo's 17th birthday - he LOVES lemon and that was his request. I made it exactly as written at it was great, raves all around, even the mother in law!

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to making this cake but I noticed that only 1/4 C of curd is used in the cake. What do you do with the rest of it?

Lulu said...

It's difficult to make a small batch of lemon curd, so you will have some left over. Eat it. On ice cream. Give it away. Make a pound cake and spread it on that. Mix it with cream and freeze it as ice cream.