My family was in an especially glum mood after hearing how many more people in our local area tested positive for Covid-19. In order to take our minds off this pandemic briefly, I thought baking my homemade lemon layer cake might help to brighten spirits temporarily since it is a family favorite.
I used to buy cake flour to make special cakes, but it has gotten too expensive in my opinion. Therefore, I make my own cake flour just by replacing with the same amount of all-purpose flour and taking out two tablespoons per cup needed in a recipe. Believe it or not, it does work and is economical to produce a lighter, moist cake.
My lemon cake makes two small layers that you could further heighten by making a lemon filling or a cream filling to really compliment the fabulous lemon taste of this cake. I do that at times, but to tell the truth my heart wasn’t into it today despite the happy front that I was trying to project for my family’s sake. However, I am including my usual lemon filling recipe for you as well. I just finished my cake today with a simple lemon icing instead of anything fancy.
This lemon icing is not a creamy butter cream variety, but more of glossy candy-like coating. It is very smooth and delicious just in a different way.
I do have a hint about getting cake layers more easily out of the pans. Cut out two sheets of wax paper to fit inside the well-greased layer cake pans. After you give the cake a few minutes to cool in the pan after removing from the oven, I turn the cake layer over on a plate and easily peel away the wax paper.
Another trick if your layers are uneven is to get unflavored dental floss and use to level off the top of the cake. I do that little trick for special occasion cakes when I need them to be as perfect as I can make them.
If you also are searching for a way to take your mind just for a little while off of our current sad state in regard to this virus, baking can be therapeutic I don’t know what your method is to just lose yourself in something, but I am either writing or cooking and baking something. In fact, this cake recipe might be just what you need to brighten your spirit as well.
This task is also wonderful to get your children involved helping you measure and put this cake together.
Try it because it is feathery light and so moist you feel those bits of lemon cake melting in your mouth. My family calls it the sunshine cake but no one would find that in search so I just called it lemon layer cake.
You also may want to try my lemon sweet rolls, a sweet raised dough with a lemon-sugar coating that is delicious as well. Check my search box because I have plenty of other fantastic pies, breads, desserts, main dishes, etc. using lemon from home-testing in my kitchen.
Lemon Layer Cake Recipe
- ½ cups of shortening butter or margarine (no spread)
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of lemon extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups of sifted cake flour or 2 cups of all-purpose flour minus 4 tablespoons
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder leveled
- 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda leveled
- 1 cup of sour milk or 1 cup of sweet milk + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- Lemon Icing:
- 2-1/4 cups of confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon of sour cream
- 1 tablespoon of neuchatel cheese or cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon of lemon extract
- 1/4 cup of milk minus 2 tablespoons
- Lemon Filling:
- ½ cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 3/4 cup of cold water
- grated peel of 1 lemon
- 1 beaten egg yolk
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons of butter or margarine not spread
To Prepare Cake Batter:
In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening, butter or margarine with the sugar until fluffy and the sugar well dissolved.
Next, add the eggs, vanilla and lemon extract and mix through the creamed butter-sugar mixture.
Slowly, add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the sour milk ending with the liquid last. If you finish with the milk last, it makes for a more tender cake.
Divide your batter and pour into two nine-inch layer cake pans that were well-greased and lined with wax paper.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 25-30 minutes, depending on how your oven is regulated. Test with a cake tester or a toothpick to see if anything sticks.
Allow to cool in the pan for about five minutes before attempting to remove.
Frost or fill after the cake cools.
To Make the Lemon Filling:
In a saucepan, add the sugar.
Mix the cold water with the flour and stir until smooth, then stir in your beaten egg yolk, juice of one lemon before adding the grated lemon peel to your saucepan.
Cook this mixture over low heat until thick.
Stir in the two teaspoons of butter last to melt through.
To Make the Lemon Icing:
In a large mixing bowl, beat your confectioners’ sugar, milk, sour cream, neufchatel cheese, lemon extract with an electric mixture until smooth and glossy.
Ice the cake after it has a chance to cool.