Baking a cake is such an easy way to show your friends and family that you love and appreciate them – so not only do I probably have way too many cakes posted, but I use every possible opportunity to try a new recipe. This pan of yum was discovered on NYT Cooking – and it’s a perfect anytime cake!
1 c. butter, room temperature
2 c. sugar AND 4 t. packed lemon zest
3 c. flour AND 1 t. salt
1 1/4 t. baking powder AND 3/4 t. baking soda
1 1/3 c. milk AND 1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 eggs, room temperature
Lemon Buttercream – this makes for a thin layer, but it’s enough!
3/4 c. butter, room temperature AND 2 c. icing sugar
1 t. lemon zest AND a pinch of kosher salt
3 to 5 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 and butter a 9 x 13 cake pan. If you’re planning on turning the cake out of the pan to serve it, then line the pan with parchment and butter the parchment as well.
Add the butter, sugar and lemon zest to the bowl of your electric mixer and beat for about 5 minutes until fluffy, stopping the mixer as needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl. As the mixer is going, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl and set this aside, and in a 2-cup measuring jug with a spout, whisk together the milk and lemon juice and set this aside as well.
When your initial butter and sugar mix is fluffy and creamed, add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing for about 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add half the flour, followed by the milk mix, and finish with the remaining half of the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined and use a sturdy spatula to finish the batter and then scrape it all into your prepared pan. Smooth the top and gently tap the pan on top of a kitchen towel on the counter to remove any air pockets. Bake for about 40 minutes until the cake center bounces back to a light touch and the whole top is a lovely golden color. Cool the cake completely on a rack before frosting, or before flipping it out onto a platter to frost and serve.
To make the buttercream, cream together the butter, icing sugar, zest and salt in your electric mixer, then with the mixer on medium speed, carefully stream in about 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Whip the frosting for about 5 minutes until beautifully fluffy, adding extra lemon juice if you feel that it needs it to be smooth and spreadable. Frost the cake as you wish and enjoy!