Very Lemon, Lemon Cake

My brother’s birthday was not too long ago, and he asked me to bake him a lemon cake. His request was simple – but in reality, I didn’t know where to begin!

Lemon cakes are not as popular as vanilla or chocolate cakes mostly because if they aren’t made properly they can taste either sickening sweet or horribly acidic. Neither was what I wanted for my brother’s lemon cake.

So what did I do? I used real lemons. Lots of freshly squeezed juice and zest made a real difference. The cake turned out beautiful and moist, and my brother was very pleased.

Very Lemon, Lemon Cake


2 3/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature

1. Heat oven to 350F. Butter and flour two nine-inch cake pan rounds.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
3. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Beat in vanilla and lemon zest.
4. Reduce speed to low and beat in 1/3 the flour mixture. Beat in half the milk. Repeat until all are incorporated.
5. Give the batter a final stir with a rubber spatula and make sure everything is combined. Pour into pans. Bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool.

Lemon Curd Filling

7 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Whisk egg yolks and whole eggs together in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Whisk in the granulated sugar until combined, then whisk in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt. Add remaining 4 tablespoons butter and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixtures thickens slightly and is 170 degrees. Strain mixture immediately into a nonreactive bowl and stir in the cream.

Fluffy Lemon Buttercream Frosting

  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick) softened
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 T lemon zest (the rind of a lemon)
  • 2 T lemon juice

  • mix the butter, lemon zest and vanilla together, making sure all the lumps are gone.
  • add the milk, and quickly cream it into the butter mixture.
  • by the 1/2 cup, mix in the sugar.
  • once the sugar is all in the bowl, cream on “high” for two minutes. (I use this time to clean up)
  • mix in lemon juice.
  • spread heartily on cupcakes, and enjoy

xoxo Rachel


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