Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lemon Cake, Lemon Frosting

Summer is coming and these cakes have the taste of warmth and sunshine. We used a special pan to make a bunch of mini-cakes and lavished them with this creamy frosting, sweet with just that perfect hint of lemon. If you have not picked up one of these pans yet just use the loaf pans as directed.

1/2 lb unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar (2 1/2 cups original recipe)
4 extra large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (1 tsp. original recipe)

Light lemon cake with a creamy, sweet yet citrusy frosting.

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
2 Grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pans.
3 Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
4 With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, and the lemon zest.
5 Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
6 In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla.
7 Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour.
8 Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
9 Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves and makes a syrup.
10 When the cakes are done, let them cool for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a rack set over a tray, and spoon the lemon syrup over the cakes.
11 Allow the cakes to cool completely.

The multi-squared baking pan.

Creamy Lemon Frosting

1/2 cup butter at room temperature (one stick)
1 pound sifted confectioners sugar (roughly 3-1/2 cups sifted)
1 teaspoon slat
1-1/2 teaspoon real lemon flavoring
zest of two lemons
Up to 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 egg white

After sifting the confectioner's sugar, set aside temporarily.
Put butter into mixing bowl and start beating till smooth.
Add salt and lemon zest.
Add sugar slowly about one cup at a time to avoid the feared sugar cloud.
Add egg white and two tablespoons of lemon juice to bowl. Continue mixing till very smooth.
Check consistency of frosting. If still too stiff, continue to add one tablespoon of lemon juice at a time until the right consistency is achieved. Some people like a stiffer frosting as others prefer a looser type.
Spread on your favorite just baked and cooled down cake.
You can substitute Orange for the lemon.

We also tried, for the first time, the new cooking spray with flour to see how it worked and the verdict is: perfect. We were skeptical but now there will be no more messy greasing and flouring of our bake pans.

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