Nathan’s Lemon Cake

I’m a sucker for anything lemon.  Lemon cake, lemon cookies, lemon/honey glaze on chicken.  It’s bright and tangy and makes me happy.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, May 2008.

No substitutions were made.

Lemon Cake 1

Nathan’s Lemon Cake

Cake:
2 tblsp all-purpose flour
2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 c nonfat buttermilk
2 tblsp finely grated elmon rind
2 tblsp fresh lemon juice

Icing:
3 c powdered sugar
1/4 c unsalted butter, melted
1 tblsp lemon rind
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
Lemon Rind Strips (optional)

Lemon Cake Collage

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To prepare cake, coat 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms of pans with wax paper.  Coat wax paper with cooking spray.  Dust pans with 2 tblsp flour, and set aside.

Lightly spoon 2 c flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife.  Combine 2 c flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, stirring with a whisk.

Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes).  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat in lemon rind and juice.

Pour batter into prepared pans; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles.  Bake at 350 for 32 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans.  Cool completely on wire rack; remove wax paper from cake layers.

To prepare icing, combine all ingredients in a large bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth.  Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread half of icing on top of the first layer.  Top with second cake layer.  Spread remaining half of icing over the top of the cake.  Garnish with lemon rind strips, if desired.  Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator.  Yield 16 servings.

Lemon Cake 2

cartoon-strawberry-9Anybody out there a fan of Starbucks Lemon Loaf Cake?  You know how their cake is moist in an ‘oily’ sort of way?  This cake is on par for taste of Stbux Lemon Loaf, but is moist and light and not oily, and it has TWO LAYERS.  It’s probably my favorite lemon cake to date.  (I’m contemplating making another one tonight…)

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Lemon Cake Pie

I have a confession, I’m a perfectionist.  I hate it when I try something new and it doesn’t turn out.  In the past I  have let this fear hold me back, but I’m doing my best to get over it.  Then the night of the ‘Lemon Cake Pie’ came, and it made me want to give into my perfectionism and only cook or bake things that I KNOW will turn out wonderfully.

This recipe is from Ladies Home Journal – March 2012

I did not make my own crust, used the Pillsbury ready crust instead.

I made this recipe two nights in a row.

The first try was at our Julie & Julia night.  The blasted thing was in the oven for over an hour and REFUSED to set up.  And I tried to think of all the things we may have done wrong.  Should I have used a glass pan instead of my pampered chef pan?  Should we have beaten the egg whites first so that the milk and lemon juice weren’t just sitting there ruining each other?  Should I have tented with foil earlier?  Should we have mixed everything together more?  I just don’t know.  But here is the beauty of our efforts…

lemon cake pie 1

Burnt and gooey? Takes talent to make that happen.

The second night I was on my own and determined to make this thing work.  I beat the egg whites to a frenzy.  I kept the milk and lemon juice separate until everything was ready to be mixed together.  I used a glass pan, just like the picture.  I tented with foil early on, so nothing would be burnt.  I tired to correct any mistakes we may  have made the night before.

lemon cake pie 2

The dent in the middle is where the foil stuck…

It’s a whole lot prettier than the night before – BUT – it still just wouldn’t set up.

FRUSTRATION.

After about 45/50 minutes, I cried “Uncle” and pulled it out of the oven to cool.

Lemon Cake Pie

Crust
3 c all-purpose flour
1 c shortening

Filling
3 tlbsp all-purpose flour
1 c sugar
4 tblsp unsalted butter, melted
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 c lemon juice – If you’re sqeezing fresh, it takes about 1 1/2 lemons
2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 c milk

To prepare the crust:  In a food processor or with a pastry blender, mix flour and shortening until mixture is the consistency of cornmeal, about 10 pulses.  Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water to form dough.  Divide dough in half.  On a floured surface roll one half into a 12 inch circle and line a 9 inch pie pan; chill in refrigerator.  Freeze remaining dough for later use.

Heat oven to 450 degrees with wire rack in the lower third.  Stir together flour, sugar, butter zest, lemon juice, egg yolks and milk.  In a separate bowl beat egg whites to stiff peaks and fold into lemon mixture.

Pour mixture into crust and bake 10 min.  Reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake until a knife inserted comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  If top of pie gets too dark, tent with foil.

lemon cake pie 3

cartoon-strawberry-9The first night, we all took a spoon to the middle, just to get a taste.  It was TART (lip puckering tart).  The second night, the taste was much milder.  But in the end, the thought of cake and pie having a happy yummy marriage is much sweeter than the actual result.  I’m going to keep trying new things, but this recipe will be put in the ‘Do NOT attempt again’ file.