I love refreshing desserts….. who am I kidding….. I like dessert period. I’m also convinced that if it tastes like fruit or citrus it counts as a serving of fruit, so don’t feel bad eating this dessert. It’s almost the same as eating an orange.
I made this recipe a few months ago for my mother-in-laws birthday because I wanted a cake that wasn’t too heavy and I wanted to try a new recipe. With a little tweeking, this cake was the perfect combination of sweet and tangy. The cake was moist, the filling was mild and the frosting was light and fluffy. Something about making a lemon layer cake made me feel like I should be presenting it at a luncheon or high tea. So much more sophisticated than chocolate cake… haha
Anyways…. if you are feeling in the mood for a light end-of-the-summer dessert this is the one. Let’s be honest….. in a few short weeks when the cool weather roll around we will be much more inclined to reach for dark chocolate, pumpkin pie, tarts, fall crumbles and spiced lattes. So take advantage of the fresh summer fruit and get your bake on.
- I cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups white sugar
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6-8 large lemons)
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
Lemon Whipped Cream Frosting:
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 3 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp fine grated lemon rind
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8 inch pans. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, and the lemon zest.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine lemon juice, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- For the syrup, 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. When the cakes are done, allow to cool. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack (place a tray or cookie sheet underneath) and spoon the lemon syrup over them. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
- For the frosting, beat whipping cream on high speed until it begins to thicken and gradually add sugar and lemon juice. Beat until stiff peaks form, then fold in lemon rinds with wooden spoon.
- To construct the cake, place one 8 inch cake on a serving tray. Level the cake with a knife (no need to be perfect). I spooned lemon pudding in between my cakes but you could also use lemon pie filling as well. Then place second 8 inch cake on top and frost entire cake with whipped cream frosting!
When life hands you lemons…… make a cake!