Saturday, December 10, 2011

lemon cake

lemon cake brings a little sunshine to a cold, winter's afternoon

We have a 'flavor love affair' with lemon in this family.  Lemon slices in water, lemon ice, lemonade, lemon bars, limonata, lemon chicken, ... and our secretly simple lemon cake.  This recipe comes from a little gem, Coffee Cakes and Quick Breads, by Renny Darling.  It is out of print, but I found my copy on Amazon.

Although I've come to baking later in my life - I must admit that baked goods are now the most rewarding thing to offer my family.  They love breads, muffins, cakes - like nothing else I put in front of them.  And my boys are more easily persuaded to help when it involves something sweet from the kitchen.  I'm excited to share this with you.  Look for the little tip at the end about dressing it up for company.

Lemon Cake
adapted from Coffee Cakes & Quick Breads

this juicer is a great gadget!
found mine at Williams Sonoma

1 8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened (you can use a reduced-fat version here if needed)
1 stick of butter, softened (1/2 c)
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 c flour
1 T baking powder


1. Beat together the cream cheese and butter, till fluffy. (approximately 2 minutes)

2. Add the sugar until blended.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, until blended.  Beat in the lemon zest and juice.

3. Combine the dry ingredients (I often do this in advance.) and incorporate gradually to the wet batter.  Do not over beat. (I used my KitchenAid mixer for this recipe. You could use a handheld mixer, too.)
batter is thick
used a spatula to spread

4.  Pour into your prepared pan.  Although it is a thick batter, (I used a wide rubber spatula to spread it out in my pan.) it is very versatile.  The original recipe calls for a 10" tube pan or bundt.  I've used a 9x13" (like today), a muffin tin or a mini-bundt pan for special occasions.

5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Use a cake tester in the center - it will come out clean when ready.

6.  My children like this plain or with whipped cream.  A glaze would make it company-worthy. While it is cooling combine: 1 T cream, 2 t lemon zest & 1/2 c powdered sugar.  Use a spoon to drape this creamy glaze over your cake(s).

santa gave us our cake tester

mini-bundt pan
fancy for company

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