When life gives you a big bag of lemons from Costco, you make lemon cake before they all spoil.
6 lemons, zested and juiced
1 cup vanilla greek yogurt
1 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cups unbleached flour
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
8 ounces cream cheese
3 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup Dickinson’s Lemon Curd
How I Made It
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake pans by rubbing with solid coconut oil (like you would with butter) and/or line the muffin tins with paper liners.
This recipe makes four 8 inch layer cakes or 3 dozen cupcakes or a combination of both.
Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and soda, salt) together in a large bowl. Combine the eggs, oil, and lemon juice in the bowl of a standing mixer. Use a whisk and do this by hand — if you use the mixer it’s very sloshy and messy.
Put the bowl in the mixer, with the paddle attachment. Add the flour mixture in batches, alternating with the yogurt, mixing at medium-low speed. Once combined, you can turn up the speed to add a little air to the batter so it’s less dense. Just be careful not to overwork the batter.
Fill the cake pans/muffin tins three quarters full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes away clean but for a few crumbs. Let the cakes cool completely.
To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter (both at room temperature) together until smooth. Add all the lemon zest plus a few drops of the lemon extract. Beat in the confectioner’s sugar in batches, remembering to turn down the speed of the mixer so you don’t have a giant POOF of sugar. Continue until you have lots of smooth, fluffy frosting.
To assemble the cake, put one layer upside down on a cake plate. Spread the lemon curd over the top. It helps if you work the lemon curd with a spatula in a bowl before spreading it on the cake. Put the second layer on top, right side up. Using a frosting spatula or other thin, flexible knife, frost the cake. Decorate with something festive (I used Mike and Ikes). Because of the lemon zest, this frosting is not great in a piping bag (the zest gets stuck in the decorator tip).
How It Turned Out
I was nervous about the olive oil (I mean, it goes with lemons but does it go with cake?). And the yogurt was because I had no sour cream. Even so. . .
This would win the Great British Bake Off! The cake is the perfect consistency, neither too dense nor too light. The taste is a lovely burst of lemon without being too sour or too citrusy. And I love how the zest shows through in the frosting.