Monday, August 24, 2015

Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Butter Frosting

Because why wouldn't I post two lemon cakes this summer?

And you should absolutely make them both. The first was a simple little sheet cake--a butter lemon cake with an interesting and wonderful frosting. This one is a perfectly moist, perfectly textured layer cake (that, P.S., could also be made as a sheet cake if you wanted to), which uses two oils as its fat, and has a smooth lemon butter frosting. I took it to a baby shower and the next day when I went to take a picture, I just had this teeny tiny little piece left. After the pictures, it was not long for this world.

I let my daughter frost this for me, and she did a fabulous job. However, if I knew I was taking this to a group of coconut lovers, I would have sprinkled toasted coconut on the frosting, and I think it would have made for a fabulous compliment to the lemon cake. Another nice addition might be a raspberry drizzle or raspberry filling.

I must tell you that this calls for pure lemon extract, which is not cheap. The cheapskate in me so so badly wanted to skip it, but since this was for a friend, I didn't, and I'm really glad I didn't because I don't think it would have been the same without it. Even adding lemon juice wouldn't have made for a punchy enough lemon flavor, or so I think. Sorry, friends. If I ever find a good substitute, I'll let you know.

Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Butter Frosting
adapted from Rock Recipes
serves: 20 ladies and probably fewer men
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes (then you'll have to cool it before frosting it)
Cost: $4.90 (which is only about $.25/serving depending on whether you're serving ladies, gentlemen, or teenagers)
flour: .30, sugar: .30, oil: .20, coconut oil: .50, extracts: .70, eggs: .30, buttermilk: .40, lemon: .20 powdered sugar: .90 butter: 1.00, other stuff: .10

2 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 C sugar
2/3 C vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/3 C coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp pure lemon extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 C buttermilk
zest of one largish lemon, finely chopped

For the frosting:

4 C powdered sugar
1 C butter
1 tsp pure lemon extract
1 tsp minced lemon zest (optional--this absolutely makes the frosting more lemony; however, it does add tiny bumps in the frosting. That doesn't bother me at all, but if you know it will bother you, don't add it.
2-4 Tbsp milk

Grease and flour 2 nine-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom with circles of parchment paper or wax paper.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

Beat together oil, coconut oil, vanilla, and lemon extract.

Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Mix in lemon zest.

Alternate adding dry ingredients with the buttermilk (so dry ingredients, some buttermilk, dry ingredients, some buttermilk, dry ingredients). Don't overmix this. Beat or mix it just until the ingredients are combined and not lumpy.

Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick (or blade of any variety) comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.

Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out on a rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

Melt the butter, or mostly melt the butter. Beat in sugar, zest, and lemon extract. Now beat in the milk, starting with a couple tablespoons and then adding more if the frosting is too stiff.

When your cake is cool, frost it.

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