Lemon cake! What could be more perfect when you want to make a simple cake that requires minimal effort but will come out tasting delicious. Topped with cream cheese icing, this cake is just the right amount of lemony.
I haven’t been making cakes very often in the recent past but when I was in the supermarket recently I suddenly had the urge to make a cake when I got home. I bought a couple of lemons and that was the beginning of a wonderful idea. I love me a lemon tart, but that takes a whole lot of effort, so a simple cake was the perfect option. I hadn’t really thought it through, so when it came to icing the cake I was left with a dilemma. I’m a big fan of cream cheese icing (think banana cake). Unfortunately, that would mean another trip to the supermarket, or a call to Claudia who was out on walk. It’s times like these that I feel blessed to have older children. They can go to the shop!!!!
Hot tips for making a lemon cake:
- Lemon zest is crucial to up the lemon factor, and what’s the use of making a lemon cake if it doesn’t taste lemony;
- I used buttermilk, which I never have in the fridge because I end up throwing it out because it doesn’t get used. Simple solution, use the same quantity of milk and add the juice of half a lemon. When you go to use the liquid just make sure the final quantity is accurate before adding it to the cake.
- Make sure you use room temperature butter when making the cream cheese icing – it’s so much easier to mix together and you won’t end up with buttery lumps in the finished product.
Chocolate cakes seem to be the go to, but with a chocolate overload from Easter, a lemon flavoured caked proved to be the perfect alternative. Enjoy!
- 190 grams plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- zest of 1 lemon
- 115 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 160 grams caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- juice of ½ lemon
- 125 mls buttermilk
- 125 grams cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup of icing sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- juice of ½ a lemon
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius. Line an 18cm diameter cake tin with baking paper.
- In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and lemon zest and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla extract and lemon juice until combined.
- Add ⅓ of the flour mix and mix until just combined.
- Add half the buttermilk and mix until just combined, then add another ⅓ of the flour, followed by the rest of the buttermilk, mixing between each addition. Add the final ⅓ of the flour and beat until combined.
- Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Baking times will vary depending on your tin and oven.
- Cool the cake in the tin for 10 minutes before cooling completely on a wire rack.
- Place the cream cheese and butter in a bowl and mix until well combined. Make sure there are no stray lumps of butter lingering.
- Slowly add the sifted icing sugar, then stir in the vanilla extract and lemon juice. You may need a little extra icing sugar depending on the juiciness of the lemon.
- Spread icing over the cooled cake and top with lemon zest to make it look pretty.