This lemon layer cake is part of my lemon dessert recipes collection. It starts with a cake mix modification. And it uses close to 3/4 cup of FRESH lemon juice!
I recently made this for my husband's 50th birthday. I was in the second stage, making the lemon pudding recipe when he said, "My mom would be so proud. She used to make a lemon layer cake for my birthdays." It made me happy and sad at the same time. So I didn't realize notice the time it took. But I will say - this is NOT a quick bake.
If this wasn't what you are looking for - see my lemon dessert recipes page for more Italian cakes and (drinks). I did this is in two days. The cake portion one day. The frosting and pudding the next day. There were NO leftovers (well except for this piece I hid in the photo) and plenty of compliments. It was a great party. But the most touching compliment was from my husband. I thought of his mother looking down on us and I hoped she smiled.
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* 1 box of lemon cake mix
* 1/2 cup buttermilk
* 1/4 cup FRESH squeezed lemon juice
* 4 eggs
* Preheat oven to according to the temperature given on the cake mix box.
* Ignore all the additional ingredients asked for on the box.
* Add the above ingredients instead.
NOTE: I actually made two 9 X 13 layers. Just an fyi - it's doable.
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup cornstarch
* 2 1/2 cups milk
* 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
* 1/16 tsp salt - or a pinch
* 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
* Separate the egg from the yolk. Lightly beat the yolk and set aside.
* In a sauce pan whisk the sugar and the cornstarch together. (Leave the heat off)
* Add the milk. Whisk until smooth. (Heat is still off)
* Turn the heat on low. Just warm it up.
* While warming add the egg yolks, zest, and salt.
* Are you ready to stand at the saucepan full time? Then you can turn the heat to medium high.
* Stand guard and stir frequently at first. But don't go anywhere. As it thickens stir constantly.
* Once the pudding can stick to the back of a spoon (as you lift it out) - then it's done.
* When it gets there - remove the pan from the heat.
* Stir in the lemon juice. If you want the butter add it too.
* Pour into a dish and put saran on top.
* Stick it in the 'fridge to cool
* 2 cups of powdered sugar
* 5 tablespoons of butter
* 1 tsp of lemon zest
* 1 - 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
The Frosting Procedure
* Place the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
* Melt and add powdered sugar.
* Stir until all the lumps are gone.
* Add grated lemon zest.
* Add the lemon juice - but eyeball it to get the consistency you like.
The Lemon Layer Cake
NOTE: You can do this in two days.
* Make the cake first. Use the directions above!
* Cool the cake completely.
* Prepare the lemon pudding recipe and cool.
* Spoon the cooled pudding on the base cake layer. But don't spoon all the way to the edge. Leave some room for
the pudding to spread when you add the top layer.
* Add the top cake layer.
* Prepare the lemon frosting recipe.
* The lemon frosting recipe will cover the TOP of this lemon layer cake. I found it was tough
to make the frosting stick on the sides when I experimented. If you want to cover the sides of
the cake you will need to double the lemon frosting recipe.
I would set aside about of active cooking time - just to be safe.
It is what makes the cake portion get that nice tang. And if you don't have any hanging around - add a bit of vinegar to regular milk. (I do this all the time!)
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