Lemon...my least favorite cake flavor. BUT! Sometimes I just crave a really, light and fluffy lemon flavored cake. And, if I make it myself I can control the lemon flavor and make it just perfect! For the past couple of weeks I've been wanting to try a lemon cake and then mix up some of my buttercream icing - strawberry flavored! This combination turned out just LOVELY so I wanted to share with all of you! You can follow the homemade recipe below but you could also cheat by buying your favorite box of cake mix (white/vanilla) and add the lemon flavor to that. Saving time is sometimes a life saver!
Mother's Day is coming so that would be a good time to show mom all the love with this delicious cake! It would also be a nice alternative to strawberry shortcake.
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
*3 tbsp lemon juice
*1 tbsp lemon zest
*(in place of the lemon juice and zest you can also use lemon extract and add as you please until you get the right amount. I usually go by smell and add just enough to make it light enough for my taste.
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8 inch cake pans or muffin tins for cupcakes.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
3. In stand mixer with paddle attachment (starting on low), cream together room temperature butter and sugar on medium high until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add in eggs, one at a time and mix until blended.
4. Add in vanilla, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and milk and mix for about 30 seconds on low. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined.
5. Remove from mixer then fold in lemon zest with spatula.
6. Divide batter evenly among cake pans and/or cupcake muffin cups. Bake 18-20 minutes.
7. Let cupcakes dry completely before topping with strawberry buttercream.
Buttercream icing: The buttercream icing is the same recipe posted prior. The only addition I make is add 2 tablespoons of strawberry extract and a tiny drop of pink food coloring to get the pink icing color.
Chocolate hearts: The candy hearts are made from candy melts. You can purchase a bag of white, vanilla melts and place in a glass bowl. The best way to melt these is in 30 second increments in the microwave to ensure that you don't burn the chocolate. Once melted well I drop a teeny, tiny drop of pink food coloring in; mix well. To pipe the hearts I spoon the chocolate into a decorating bag and cut the tiniest slit at the pointed bottom of the bag. Go ahead and be creative with making your hearts on a piece of wax paper. Give them a good 10-15 minutes to dry and they should easily peel off the wax paper to place on the cake/cupcakes. Have fun!