When life gives you a big bag of lemons from Costco, you make lemon cake before they all spoil.

Ingredients

6 lemons, zested and juiced
6 eggs
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
lemon extract
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.

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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).

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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.

 

 

 

 

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I am one of those people who feels compelled to have a bowl of lemons in the kitchen — and then fails to use them all before they go bad.  Today, I decided to zest and juice them all and then make something yummy.  This pound cake is a basic recipe, with a few twists.

First, after throwing out all my baking and cooking sprays (one of my remaining bad habits in the kitchen), I decided to throw caution to the wind and use coconut oil (solid) to grease the pan.  Coconuts go with lemon, right?

Second, I recently read something somewhere (I have no recollection where) about the sweet crunch a cake will get if you sugar the pan instead of flouring it. So I sugared the coconut oiled bundt cake pan instead of flouring it.

Third, I didn’t have plain yogurt or enough sour cream for the recipe.  What I did have was 4 ounces of sour cream and a container of Noosa Raspberry Yogurt.  (I am addicted to Noosa yogurt — even the pumpkin flavor is good!)  Raspberries go with lemon, right?

Ingredients

2 tbs organic coconut oil
2 sticks of unsalted organic butter, softened
3 cups of sugar (I use Zulka Morena, a minimally processed sugar)
3 tbs lemon zest (this was about 4-5 medium sized lemons)
3 1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
juice from one medium lemon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
6 eggs (preferably not straight from the fridge)
4 ounces sour cream
8 ounces Noosa raspberry yogurt (or other Greek or Australian yogurt)

How I Made It

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a bundt pan with coconut oil and sprinkle sugar evenly in the pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Sift together with a fork.

In a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until well-combined. Turn the speed down to medium and add the lemon zest. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing each into the mixture before adding another. Once the eggs are all combined, add the lemon juice.

Turn the mixer down to low. Add one third of the flour mixture, then the sour cream. Add another third of the flour and half the yogurt.  Add the last of the flour and the last of the yogurt. Turn up the speed for just about 30 seconds to be sure it’s all combined.

Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and give the batter a few good stirs. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. You might have extra, which you can bake as cupcakes (just halve the baking time).

Bake for 60-65 minutes, until a cake tester comes away clean. Let the cake cool in the pan. Loosen the sides with a slim knife, and turn it out onto a cake plate.

How It Turned Out

Lemon Pound Cake (2)

The sugar trick worked on the sides but not the top (maybe that’s because of the pan?).  Otherwise, it’s an oh so summery cake to share.

P.S. What did I do with the juice from all those lemons I zested? I juiced them straight into an ice tray. When it’s done freezing, I’ll have little cubes of fresh lemon juice for whenever I need a couple of tablespoons for a recipe.

This is a take on a traditional Italian cake. It is a relatively easy cake to make, and oh so delicious.

Ingredients

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups of sugar
8 ounces part skim ricotta
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 2 large lemons
1 1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

How I Made It

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a bundt cake pan with bakers’ spray.

In a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. While that is going, in a separate bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.

Add the ricotta cheese to the butter and sugar and mix completely.  Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing completely in between each.  Add the lemon zest and the extracts.

Slow the mixer and add the dry ingredients in three batches, mixing completely in between.  The resulting cake batter is more doughy than most batters.

Transfer the cake batter to the bundt pan and spread it evenly with a spatula.  Bake the cake in the center of the oven for 38 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

How It Turned Out

Lemon Cake

You can serve this lovely cake with a basic lemon glaze, or with berries and whipped cream, or both!!

This weekend dawned cold and rainy, so of course a bright and cheerful cake was in order for breakfast. I figure that the blueberries, yogurt, and lemon juice more than make up for the fact that I’m having cake for breakfast.

Ingredients:

1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, softened
1/2 cup of Truvia baking blend
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups of cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup of low fat plain or vanilla greek yogurt
zest of 3 lemons
1 cup frozen blueberries (use frozen, not thawed)
juice of 3 lemons, reserved
1/4 cup confectioners sugar

How I Made It:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt pan with baking spray. Use a paper towel to make sure all the channels in the pan are greased.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Beat the butter and truvia together until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until completely combined in between. Add the vanilla.  Scrape the sides and continue to beat until there are no lumps or bumps.

Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the yogurt, until everything is well combined. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl and beat until completely combined. Add the lemon zest and a little less than 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and give it a quick mix.

The batter will be thick and sticky (I’m noticing this is a recent trend with my yogurt cakes — I wonder if it’s a chemistry thing).

Spread half of the batter into the bundt pan. Top evenly with the blueberries, and then gently spread the remaining batter over the top.

Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes or until a cake tester comes away clean.

Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then loosen the edges with a knife before turning over on to a cooling rack. Let it sit another 15 minutes. While it’s cooling, whisk the confectioner’s sugar with lemon juice to make an icing. Add the lemon juice a tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want. Save the remaining lemon juice for future use.

Drizzle the icing over the top of the cake. You can serve the cake warm or at room temperature.

How It Turned Out:

While it was baking, the entire house was full of the smell of vanilla and lemon, so I was expecting a super-lemony cake. It is super lemony, and very tasty. It’s also super dense, which means it’s not really pretty enough for company. Much like the carrot bread turned out. This is not typical for my yogurt substitution recipes . . . even so, I’m going to try each of these again with buttermilk instead and see if that makes for a better result.

Lemon BB Bundt

Makes 8 servings (9 WW points per serving).

For along time I thought my signature dessert was the cheesecake. Then the cupcake.  But now, I think it’s panna cotta.  A silky smooth custard that is perfect no matter what the meal or time of year.  I’ve made chocolate, vanilla, and espresso panna cotta before.  For Easter, I decided to try LEMON.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, strained
1 packet unflavored gelatin
the zest of two large lemons
2 cups half and half
1 cup whole milk plain yogurt
2 tsp vanilla

How I Made It:

Use a zester to remove the lemon peels in long thin strips. Set the zest aside and juice both lemons. Strain the juice to remove any seeds and pith.  Transfer the lemon juice to a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the juice and stir a little to dissolve the gelatin.  Set that aside, too.

In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine the half and half and yogurt. Whisk together until blended and smooth. Add the lemon zest and vanilla and whisk it all together.

Heat the mixture over medium heat. The goal is to bring it to just before a simmer — steaming but not boiling.  You don’t have to whisk the mixture the whole time it’s heating, but do keep an eye on it so it doesn’t scald or stick.

Once your cream mixture is hot (but not boiling), remove it from the heat and whisk the gelatin mixture in until it is completely dissolved.

Transfer the custard to pretty dessert dishes, pouring the custard through a fine mesh sieve to remove the lemon zest.  Common wisdom is to cover the custard with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, but I am beginning to think that’s not absolutely required.  Covered or not, place the dessert dishes of custard in the refrigerator to chill at least 6 hours prior to serving.

How They Turned Out:

So yummy that I didn’t even have a chance to take a picture before they were scraping the bottom of the dishes!