Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lemon Layer Cake

Lesson #1: Don't try to finish a whole 2 layer cake with just 3 people. 

It is ambitious. 

Here is a delicious lemon cake that can induce multiple sugar comas, so bake away!







As usual, the frosting was the most challenging portion of the cake.  The original recipe calls for a significant amount of lemon juice in the frosting, but in reality, that turns the frosting into a goopy jello mess. It's more "icing" than a thick frosting.  The recipe below will yield much better frosting results!

Recipe (adapted from Serious Eats)

3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice



Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
6-8 cups of confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9 inch cake pans. 

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. 
In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes (you can also use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed). 
Beat in vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. 
Beat in half of the flour mixture. Beat in milk. 
Beat in remaining flour mixture. Beat in lemon juice and lemon zest.

Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake until lightly golden and a cake tester inserted into middle of the cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cake cool in pans for fifteen minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Frosting:
Beat together butter, 6 cups of confectioner's sugar, milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
Beat frosting begins to get fluffy. 
If desired, add remaining two cups of confectioner's sugar in 1/2 cup increments, tasting for preferred sweetness. Continue to beat frosting until thick and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Candied Lemon Decoration:
Thinly slice 1 lemon and simmer in saucepan with 1 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar for 5-7 minutes. Cool for decoration. 

Summertime in the Commons!


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