This Lemon cake … or cupcakes if you so desire ;-), is so delightfully lemony! Although cakes from scratch can seem difficult, they aren’t hard at all! This one was easy enough for my 9 year old to assemble with only a few directions from me. The hardest part was the waiting for it to bake and cool.
This recipe has 3 separate parts and it is important to do each step in order. If you follow along carefully, you will be enjoying your perfect slice of Lemony Lemon Cake before you know it!
This cake contains copious amounts of butter. Obscene amounts, actually, so if you are brave and fearless and madly in love with butter, go forth and bake this cake, but don’t forget to save me a piece. 😉
Part 1. Lemon Curd Filling:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
2 egg YOLKS
2 TBSP butter
1 TBSP grated lemon zest
2-4 TBSP Lemon JUICE
4-5 DROPS Lemon Vitality Essential Oil
Combine sugar, cornstarch and water in a small saucepan. Stir constantly, over medium heat, until mixture has thickened. (About 3-4 min) Boil, stirring, for 1 extra minute. Beat egg yolks in a small dish. Turn off your heat and carefully take half of the hot mixture and add it to the eggs, stir together quickly to combine. Slowly add this mixture to the remainder left in your pan. Turn the heat to medium and stir to combine. The curd will thicken quickly and turn to a beautiful lemon yellow. (1-2 min) Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, lemon juice and Lemon Vitality Essential Oil. Place to the side to cool.
Now on to the cake!!
Part 2. Lemon Cake
1 1/2 cups room temperature butter
1 1/2 white sugar (we used 3/4 cup coconut sugar and 3/4 cup white sugar)
4 eggs (room temperature)
2 1/2 cups cake flour (instructions below) ((we used 1 1/4 cup white flour and 1 1/4 cup coconut flour))
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
Zest of 2 lemons
1 1/4 cup milk (any kind will work)
2 TBSP grapeseed oil
5-7 drops Lemon Vitality Essential Oil
** cake flour : for every 1 cup of flour, remove 2 TBSP of flour and replace with 2 TBSP of cornstarch. For this recipe, measure out 2 1/2 cups of flour, remove 5 TBSP and replace with 5 TBSP cornstarch. Whisk to blend.
Preheat your oven to 350*
Grease and flour your cake pans.
Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and zest of 2 lemons.
In a separate bowl, beat the butter until light and smooth. Add the sugar and mix on medium for 4-5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat well.
In another bowl, mix the milk, and grapeseed oil
Back to the bowl of butter and sugar. Add the flour and milk mixtures alternately, begin with flour and end with flour. Add your essential oil. Beat well but not too long.
Pour batter evenly into your 2 pans, or cupcake liners.
Cakes: bake for 30-35 minutes
Cupcakes: bake for 18- 25 minutes
Part 3: Lemon Buttercream Cream Cheese Frosting
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup softened butter
6 oz. Room temperature cream cheese
4 drops lemon Vitality Essential Oil
1-2 TBSP milk
Sift the sugar into your bowl, slowly cut in the butter, beating steadily. When all of the butter has been incorporated, do the same with the cream cheese.
Add the Lemon Essential oil and beat the heck out of the stuff for about 3 minutes. At this point, you will assess your icing. It should be smooth and semi stiff, not hard. If it is harder than will icing nicely, add 1 TBSP milk, beat and reassess. I rarely have to use both TBSP of milk, but I live in the humid south, so if you live in a dry area, you may need more.
NOW WE ASSEMBLE THE GOODNESS!!!
If you are doing cupcakes, simply use a large round tip and pipe lemon curd into the middles of those babies and cap them off with some swirls of icing.
If you are doing the layer cake, you will slice each cake in half, horizontally with a long skinny knife, or unscented wax. Place 1 of the 4 pieces of cake onto your serving plate. Top with a third of the lemon curd and smooth out evenly. Place the second layer on top and repeat, then repeat again. The final, and top layer, gets not curd. Skim a crumb coat onto the entire cake and pop into your freezer for 15 minutes. The way you do your final icing is entirely up to you. I took a third of the icing and did a bright cheery yellow to compliment the beautiful white of the icing.. swirl it, pipe it, dollop it, whatever makes your heart sing.
And now we eat cake.