Monday, August 3, 2009

A Little Piece of Sunshine

The finished product. It was so worth every minute! Bake up your own soon!

Here's the recipe courtesy of The Louisville Courier Journal:

Lemon Sunshine Cake

For frosting:

· Zest of 4 lemons
· 1 stick butter (do not use margarine!), room temperature
· 10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (important!)
· 2 tablespoons lemon juice
· 2 tablespoons half-and-half or heavy cream
· 1 teaspoon lemon extract
· 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
· 2 to 3 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
· 3 drops liquid yellow food coloring (optional)

For cake:

· 2½ cups all-purpose flour
· 3 teaspoons baking powder
· 3½-ounce box instant lemon pudding mix (don't use the type that is supposed to be cooked on the stove — and don't use Jell-O by mistake. Pudding only!)
· ¼ teaspoon salt
· ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, room temperature
· 1¼ cups granulated sugar
· 8 egg yolks
· 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
· Juice of 4 lemons (I use the lemons that were zested in the frosting recipe above)
· ¾ cup half-and-half

To make the frosting: Zest the lemons using a rasp or microplane grater. Squeeze one of the lemons for the 2 tablespoons of juice you need for the frosting, and reserve the rest of the juice for the cake recipe.

Beat the butter until it's fluffy. Then add the room temperature cream cheese, and beat until smooth. (Warning: do not overbeat cream cheese, or it will curdle!) Scrape sides of bowl often with a rubber scraper.)

Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, cream and both extracts. Mix briefly to combine.

Add the sugar, a little bit at a time, turning the mixer off in between, until you like the sweetness level. Add the food coloring, and mix just until you have a smooth, homogeneous mixture, scraping sides of bowl often. It should be just slightly looser than canned frosting. Chill the frosting in the refrigerator. Allow to come near room temperature before applying frosting to chilled cake.

To make the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. Mix together the flour, baking powder, instant pudding mix and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using whisk attachment. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and lemon juice.

Add the flour mixture alternately with the half-and-half, mixing in between each addition until blended.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the heated oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool briefly in the pan, then turn the cake out of the Bundt pan while it is still warm. Allow to cool completely before frosting. Use a decorating comb to make attractive whorls in the frosting. Refrigerate.

Serves 12.

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