Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lemonade Cake

There is a famous saying, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade." When life hands me lemons, I bake.

It all started when my friend, Bal, asked me if I would help stage her home to put on the market. I'm not a stager by any means, but I watch enough design shows to know what buyers of today look for and what makes them cringe. Plus, she's a sweetheart and I couldn't say no.

As we were moving and rearranging furniture, I mentioned to her I was a firm believer that bowls of fruit placed strategically in main living quarters sell a home. She looked at me like I had a third eye, but she must have taken what I said at face value, because she went and bought 12 out-of-season lemons at $1 each to display in her kitchen. Yikes! I mean, you can't just eat lemons on their own. Apples. Absolutely. Pears. Of course. Lemons. Ugh.

Funny enough, the day after the open house, her home sold! It was only on the market ONE DAY! I am now completely convinced it was the lemons that sealed the deal.

So here we are, left with 12 lemons that need to be used up. We could make lemonade or make a refreshing Lemonade Cake. 

No contest.


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons finely grated lemon peel

⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
⅔ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease two 8" or 9" loaf pans. You could also use a bundt pan, but I find it's a cake worthy of sharing with a friend or neighbor! In this post, I used two 9" loaf pans.

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar until creamy. Add one egg at a time and mix well.

Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 2 additions, and beating only until blended after each addition.

Stir in lemon peel.

Note: When zesting a lemon, be sure to avoid the white pith. It's very bitter and not very nice!

                                           LIKE THIS....

                                          NOT THIS....

Divide and scrape batter into prepared pans.  Level batter.

Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Please know that no matter what size pan you choose to use, the bake time will not change!

Cool cake in pan for 5 minutes. Remove cake and place on foil or wax paper.

Prepare glaze. My Grandma taught me to warm the lemon juice and melt the sugar within it. It makes a clear glaze that is the consistency of lemonade and with no sugar granules in each bite.

Poke holes with a skewer. This step ensures the glaze gets into the cake, making it lush and lemony from the inside out!

Brush glaze over entire cake.

Cool completely and enjoy!
Happy Baking!

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