For Friend’s birthdays I almost always offer to make the cake. For my friend trish’s latest milestone I was more than pleased to have the baking task because I have been working on a yellow cake recipe forever and was eager to try out a variation…lemon! In my world, if it’s not chocolate, it better be lemon. I’m a bit of a junkie for the bright yellow fruit. by adding the juice and zest of one lemon to my yellow cake recipe, this moist cake was transformed into a lemon lover’s dream. i then upped the lemon love by spreading lemon curd between the layers. lemon frosting would have been a mistake here…way too much lemon, so i added a touch of yellow food coloring to my buttercream/cream cheese frosting just to drive home the lemon story.
you now have my yellow cake and signature frosting recipes which are wonderful on their own, but act as a blank canvas for countless variations! maybe now, you too will be the designated baker among your friends and learn to say “happy birthday” with a signature cake of your own.
best yellow cake ever! (lemon variation)
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
variation: the zest and juice of 1 lemon and lemon curd for layers
(i make my own lemon curd but there are wonderful lemon curds available in stores so you can save yourself a step)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
butter and flour 2 -9″ or 3- 8”cake pans. In a bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. in another bowl whisk together oil, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla until the sugar is dissolved, around 2 minutes. Add the eggs and whisk until well incorporated. add the lemon juice and zest and whisk until blended. add the flour mixture and whisk until just combined. pour batter (batter is very thin so don’t worry) into prepared pans and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and continue to cool completely.
my buttercream/cream cheese frosting
1 stick of butter, softened
1- 8oz package of cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
variation: yellow food coloring to make it a light pastel yellow
add all ingredients to the bowl of an electric mixture and mix on med-high until light and fluffy, around 5 mintues.
spread lemon curd between each cake layer and refrigerate until nice and firm. frost the cake with the buttercream/cream cheese frosting and refrigerate again until firmly set, around 1 hour. (i place 3 wooden skewers in the center of the cake to keep the layers from sliding while the frosting sets. i also sprinkle the top of the cake with decorating sugar for a little sparkle.)