Nothing says sunny summer day like a bright yellow lemon cake. I am loving these sunny July afternoons in Atlanta. I'm not always thrilled about having to be outside in the heat but I've managed to stay cool in the pool on the really hot days this summer. On the days that I have to be inside cooking, seeing the afternoon sun streaming through my kitchen windows, brings a smile to my face. It's not that I don't appreciate a good rainy day too - I am a gardener, after all. But a sunny days magically put me in a better mood.
I decided to create a cake that would reflect the warm, bright, July sun. My goal was to create a cake that was full of rich lemon flavor. I added lemon zest and lemon extract to my cake batter but I didn't feel like that was enough to give my cake the lemon flavor that I was looking for so I brushed the cooled cake layers with a lemon glaze too. The result ... a super delicious, bright and sunny - lemon velvet cake.
Lemon Velvet Cake1 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup vegetable shortening at room temperature
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
2 tsp pure lemon extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
zest of two small or one large lemons, grated and finely chopped
Sift together both flours, baking soda. baking powder, salt and sugar, Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the vegetable oil, shortening, vanilla and lemon extract. Beat well at high speed with whisk attachment until light and fluffy
Beat the eggs in one at a time.
Fold in the lemon zest.
Fold in the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk.
Pour into the two prepared 9 inch cake pans.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
Combine juice form 2 lemons and 1 Tablespoon of sugar to make a glaze. Brush over cakes.
Place 1 cake layer on a plate. Top with lemon cream cheese frosting.
Repeat with remaining layers.
I added some fresh lemon juice to my cream cheese frosting to give it a bright lemon flavor and a little bit of lemon food coloring to give it the color of the sun. Hoping your day is sunny and bright.