Though this recipe is for a simply delicious lemon cake, I felt it was important to bring it from my old blog. Mistakes happen. I have shared my “foodie fails” on my blog in the past. I can be a perfectionist, who gets frustrated about the slightest problems.
Learning to cook and bake means that I have to embrace the mistakes. The great part about food is that it can often be forgiving. No one cares if your cake is a little messy as long as it tastes good. If it doesn’t taste very good or it’s rendered inedible, you’ll know for the next time you try. The important part is that you don’t give up!
Would you have guessed that one of the layers of this cake fell apart? This isn’t an episode of Chopped. While you may disappointed, no one is going to kick you out of the kitchen. My coworkers enjoyed the tasty cake even with its flaws.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease 2 9-inch baking pans.
To “grease” pans you can use sprays like Pam. I prefer to use butter, then lightly coat the pan with flour, tapping out any excess.
2. Beat together the butter and 2 cups of the sugar. Mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add the lemon zest.
3. Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add the dry ingredients, 1/4 cup lemon juice, buttermilk, and vanilla to the mixer. Mix well.
5. Divide the batter between the pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. While the cake is baking, make the simple syrup. Over medium-high heat, mix 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
Syrups and reductions seem to be one of my weak points. They never seem to get quite thick enough. Fortunately, this will brushed onto the cake so it doesn’t need to be thick like maple syrup.
7. Make the frosting. Beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Mix in vanilla and 1 Tbsp lemon juice.
8. When the cake has finished baking, poke holes in the top. Divide the simple syrup between the two layers and pour over the top.
I kept the cakes in the pans to avoid making a mess. I also brushed the syrup over top to avoid saturating one part of the cake more than another.
9. Once the cakes have cooled COMPLETELY, assemble the cake and frost. Keep refrigerated 1 hour prior to serving.
Okay here’s where the fail happened. Do not rush the cooling process. The simple syrup makes the cake much softer. If it doesn’t cool, well then you end up with this…
With a little magic…
Final Thoughts: See what I was talking about? The first layer came out fine, but the simple syrup moistened the cake and my second layer fell apart. I placed the broken layer on the bottom, piecing it as flat as I could (aided by a layer of frosting to pull everything together). The whole layer went on top. By the time I finished, you couldn’t tell it had broken unless you cut inside! Even better, the cake was delicious. Lemon is one of my favorite flavors. This cake had sweet lemon-y goodness in every bite.