I could have SWORN Spring was here. The calendar says so, the Farmers Almanac says so, the fact that I had (key word…had) pretty Hyacinths blooming said so. But obviously God and Mother Nature are a wee bit confused. That or they were bored and figured playing a practical joke on all of us would be a good way to pass the time. I guess eating chocolate and watching reruns of House aren’t popular up there when you’re bored. Here in Kentucky, we had to cover all our budding fruit trees and plants in the hopes that the low temps of mid twenties we are supposed to get tonight won’t kill them. My Hyacinths were a lost cause though. The cold of last night already got them *sobs*
I was all prepared for warm weather baking however. Yes, I know that many of you think baking is insane in warmer weather but 1) I’m kind of warped that way and 2) it’s kind of my job… I can’t go on hiatus from April till October 😛 So I still bake… I just change the theme. Pumpkin goes away (well, off the blog anyway. I love it so I still use it here at home), cranberries stay in the freezer and citrus, fresh herbs, and lighter foods (relatively speaking… I’m still me, after all) get made. So I had my mind set on lemon and I’ll be darned if I change it because God didn’t want to watch House or maybe play Rummy with Gabriel.
This is one yummy cake. The recipe in it’s original form comes from a Better Homes And Garden magazine I have. I didn’t change much, just added vanilla, almond and lemon extracts to both the cake and two of those to the frosting, used my own lemon curd recipe (theirs called for a cornstarch custard and to me, that’s just not the same) and didn’t do the caramelized lemons they called for. I just used sugared lemons. Easier, still deliciously edible if one swings that way and did I mention easier?
You know the drill…. 🙂
Lemon Layer Cake With Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 batch of Lemon Curd or one cup of store bought lemon curd (but I’ll cry if you use store bought. There is NO comparison.)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 4 eggs
- 2 1/3 cups flour
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Boyajian Lemon Oil (or an equivalent amount of lemon extract)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 8 ounces softened cream cheese
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 4 to 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Boyajian Lemon Oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Garnish (optional)-
- 2 thinly sliced lemons
- 1 cup sugar (you won’t use it all, but it clumps from the moisture of the lemons so you need extra. The leftovers go great in tea.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 9 inch cake pans. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add in the sugar, extracts, lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat until well combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Alternate adding in the flour and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour (flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour), beating just until combined after each addition. Divide the batter between the 3 prepared pans.
- Bake at 350 for 25 to 28 minutes. The tops should be golden brown and spring back when touched. Cool in the pans for ten minutes, then carefully loosen with a butter knife and invert onto a rack to cool completely.
- While cake cools, make frosting- Combine the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat well until smooth and creamy, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the extracts and beat until combined. Add in the powdered sugar, a cup at a time (unless you fancy looking like you just drove through a sand storm), beating well after each addition. Add just enough to get a good spreading consistency. When done, stir in the lemon zest.
- To assemble, lay one cake layer on your serving plate. Spread it with 1/2 cup of the lemon curd. Top with another layer; again spread with 1/2 cup of curd. Carefully place the top layer on, pressing down LIGHTLY to hold them together. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the frosting.
- For the garnish, JUST before serving (the sugar starts to melt and drip after while, so don’t do it until ready to serve), toss the lemon slices with the sugar until lightly coated. Do a few at a time or the sugar clumps and you get too thick of a coating on the lemon slices. Arrange them on the top of the cake. Serve.
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