I had a request to make a birthday cake this week for a woman who loves lemons.
This lemon cake recipe was an absolutely perfect choice. The cake was tender, moist, and tangy. And, drizzing lemon syrup over the cake before frosting ensured that it didn't dry out.
I was hesitant to use the accompanying whipped frosting after reading the reviews, so I settled for a simple lemon buttercream instead. The frosting was almost too sweet for my taste, but was still light enough to not be too overpowering.
Candied lemons make this treat really special. After simmering thinly sliced lemons in syrup for half an hour, they are entirely edible and packed with tart lemony flavor.
This bright, sunny cake is a delicious and light way to celebrate a summer birthday.
We served the cake with some espresso brownie bites. What a wonderful combo!
Happy birthday Marilyn!
Lemon Cake and Candied Lemons Recipe via Martha Stewart1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
- Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack.
- While cakes are baking, bring remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add lemon slices and simmer 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lemon slices to a waxed-paper-lined plate. Stir remaining 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice into syrup.
- Using a toothpick, poke holes in warm cakes on rack. Brush with lemon syrup. Let cool completely. Prepare frosting, substituting 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for vanilla extract. Frost cooled cakes and top with candied lemon slices.
Lemon Frosting Recipe via Food & Wine1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg yolk (optional, I did not use)
1 pound confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream (I only had milk, but I would suggest sticking with the cream)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the butter and egg yolk at medium-high speed until creamy. Beat in the sugar at low speed. Beat in the cream, vanilla and salt, then beat at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 minutes longer. Beat in the lemon zest and juice.
- Spread 1 cup of frosting over a cake layer and top with the second layer; frost the top and sides. Let stand 1 hour; serve.