Thursday, May 30, 2013

La La La La Lemon

Do you know that song? If you have a kid you should, because the Barenaked Ladies are pretty much the perfect kids band. It gets stuck in my head all the time.  

All that is besides the point of course. This post is about cake. Lemon cake. The perfect cake for summer birthdays, potlucks, and parties of any kind. Lemon just screams summer, and this cake is light and sweet and so so good. My mother has been making this layer cake forever, and I decided to make it for Memorial Day weekend. In the spirit of sentimentality, I made this cake exactly as my mother does, which you'll see from the recipe is full of shortcuts. If you're feeling ambitious and don't have twelve other dishes to prep for your party, go nuts and make the lemon curd from scratch. Me? I skipped it. I did however, switch up the frosting, which my mom always makes with straight Crisco and lemon extract. This frosting turned out fantastic, but don't tell my mom.

Suzy's Lemon Layer Cake
3 c. Jiffy Baking Mix
1.5 c. sugar
2 eggs
4 Tbls. oil
1 1/3 c. milk
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 box of My T Fine lemon pudding and pie filling prepared according to the box instructions
(Yes, it must be this brand, or else make your own lemon curd. Trust me.)
2 sticks of butter at room temperature
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 lb. powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbls. heavy cream
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9 inch cake pans.
In a large bowl, sift Jiffy Mix and sugar. Add eggs, oil, milk, and lemon extract and beat for two minutes or until smooth. Pour into pans and bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pans before removing to cool completely on wire racks.

For the frosting, beat butter and shortening until fluffy. Add sugar 1 cup at a time, beating to incorporate and scraping the bowl as needed. Once you have reached your desired sweetness and consistency (it is always less than a full pound for my taste!), add lemon juice, zest, cream, and salt. Taste and adjust if you'd like more lemon flavor, then beat until fluffy again, about 3-4 minutes.

Slice each cake layer in half and place one on your cake plate. Top with 1/3 cup of prepared lemon filling, spreading from the center and leaving a 1/4 inch border. Top with another layer and repeat twice. Top with the fourth layer and frost. If you're like me and couldn't be bothered with real cake decorating, go with fresh flowers. They always look gorgeous!

No comments: