January birthdays call for Lemon Cake. We’re all sick of heavy desserts, and citrus is in season. One of my best friends requested a lemon cake for her birthday last week, so here we are. Yes, if you are my friend and you ask me to make something, it is guaranteed to make the blog. Especially in winter.
The cake recipe is modified from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I was impressed by how moist the cake stayed days after making it. It even stood up to me forgetting to wrap it for a couple of hours. No easy feat. It was also one of the only cakes I have ever made that I did not have to cut the tops off so that my cake would be level. (Click here for my tips on how to decorate a cake.)
Where did I get my lovely glass cake pans, you ask? They are pie plates. I could not for the life of me find my cake pans, so I had to improvise. This meant later cutting my cake to have straight sides. Which also meant that icing the cake was very challenging.
The thing that really “takes the cake” is the candied citrus. It was super easy to make and left me with some delicious citrus simple syrup. You can use simple syrup in cocktails, but I’ll be saving it for a pancake recipe that I have planned. Candied citrus needs to dry overnight, or for at least 8 hours, so if you’re in a hurry you might want to skip it.
The candied lemon and oranges tasted delicious, but I was not a fan of the limes. The rind was too bitter.
Lemon buttercream icing is highly addictive. Oh let’s be real, buttercream in general is addictive. If you would rather have a true citrus flavour, you could use a combination of lemon, orange, and lime juice instead.
1 cup butter, softened,
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour,
1 1/2 tsp baking powder,
1/2 tsp baking soda,
1/4 tsp salt,
2 cups sugar,
2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel,
2 tbsp lemon juice,
1 cup milk.
2 lemons, sliced,
2 limes, sliced,
1 orange, sliced,
2 cups sugar,
1 cup water
sugar for dipping
Lemon Buttercream Icing:
2 cups salted butter,
1 bag (approx 8 cups) icing sugar,
juice of 1/2 a lemon, or to desired taste & consistency.
Mix cake ingredients and divide between 2 large or 3 small greased and floured cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes at 350, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes completely and remove from pans. While the cake is baking & cooling, thinly slice lemons, limes, and oranges. Boil the sugar and water, turning down the heat to a simmer. Add the citrus one layer at a time and boil for 15-18 minutes. Remove and place on a silicon sheet or parchment paper to dry overnight. When dry (they will still be sticky) roll in granulated sugar for a nice appearance. To make icing, combine all ingredients in a mixer and mix until combined.
What birthday cake do you request for your birthday? I’d love to know!
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