Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Luscious Lemon Cake

I've adapted this recipe from one I found in Good Housekeeping in March of 2006. It's from a restaurant in Belfast, Maine, called the Gothic Cafe. They make it into a bundt and don't include the lemon curd. They also use too little frosting (in my humble opinion) so I've increased it by one half. I will include the original instructions at the end if you want to make it that way. But I personally love my variation.

You can buy lemon curd pre-made at the grocery store. You'll find it either with the jams or with the pie fillings. I made mine with Martha Stewart's recipe. It makes a lot and you won't use it all, but it's dang delicious. I am going to seriously miss our lemon tree when we move!

adapted from Lemon Bundt Cake at Gothic Cafe

3 lemons
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup butter milk*
1/2 cup lemon curd

3 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two 8 or 9-inch cake pans. Trace bottom of pans on wax paper, cut out circles, and place in bottom of pans (this makes it easier to remove the cake from the pan).

From lemons, grate 2 Tbsp. peel and squeeze 3 Tbsp. juice (reserving another 3 Tbsp. juice for frosting). In a bowl, with mixer on low speed, blend sugar and butter. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Beat in flour, salt, and baking soda alternately with buttermilk. Fold in peel and juice; spoon evenly into pans. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and remove cake from pans.

Using a large serrated knife, cut off tops of cakes to make them level; discard. Spread lemon curd on bottom half and top with other cake.

To make frosting: In a bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter and cream cheese until combined. Beat in vanilla and powdered sugar, one cup at at time. Beat in juice. Spread over cake. Keep refrigerated until serving.

For bundt variation: Grease and flour a 12-inch bundt pan. Pour batter into pan and bake for 60 - 70 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack to cool completely. Frost.

*buttermilk substitute: pour 1 Tbsp. lemon juice or white vinegar into bottom of liquid measuring cup. Pour in milk until it measures 1 cup. Let stand for 10 minutes before using.

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