Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day Cake

This was a lemon cake with buttercream frosting I made for Mother's Day. It had a basket weave on the side and buttercream roses on top: special, feminine and dainty- just like my Mom! It was worth the extra time I spent on it: Mom loved it!

Lemon Cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
zest of one large lemon
freshly squeezed juice from one large lemon
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line two 9-inch round baking pans with parchment paper.
In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until thick and creamy (about 2 minutes).
Blend oil and sour cream. Add vanilla and lemon extracts, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix to incorporate.
Add flour and milk, alternating- starting and finishing with flour.
Divide batter evenly between the two pans. Bake about 28-30 minutes or until they test done. 
Vanilla Buttercream FrostingIngredients:
1 1/2 cup (3 sticks butter), at room temperature
1/2 cup shortening (I know, it's not the best thing for you, but you need it to give stability to the frosting, especially if you are going to be piping a basketweave, as in this case)
1/2 tsp salt
8 cups (about 2 lbs) powdered sugar, sifted
1-2 tsp pure vanilla extract (or the flavor of your choice)
5-6 tbsps (or more) heavy whipping cream, or half-and-half, or whole milk

In the work bowl of your stand mixer, beat butter and shortening on medium-high until very smooth and creamy (2-3 minutes). 

Add sifted powdered sugar gradually (covering your mixer with a towel to avoid clouds of powdered sugar all over your kitchen), and continue creaming until well blended. 

Add salt, vanilla, and  whipping cream/ half-and-half/ milk. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add additional 1-2 tbsps whipping cream if necessary. Beat at high speed until frosting is light and fluffy.                

* Note: This frosting recipe produces a lot of frosting, but if you are going to be piping a basketweave on the sides and roses on top, you will need to have enough, and a little bit leftover. My grandmother always used to say, "In order to have enough of anything, you should really have leftovers". :)

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