I’ve been craving lemon cake like a crazy person lately, so I whipped one up the other day. Then, I was all, “Hm… Mother’s Day is coming up, I should make something pretty. But easy. Because I’m lazy.”
And so now, if you need a super yummy, springy cake, that’s beautiful and happy, but doesn’t take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to make….I gotchoo covered.
Use your spatula, knife, or spoon to fill and frost your cake with lots of fluffy frosting. You can leave this swirly and gorgeous, or smooth it out for a more refined look. Totally your call.
Just fill a piping or ziptop bag with frosting in the color of your choice, snip off the end (or corner, on a zip bag), so that you have about a 1/2-inch opening, and pipe a small bead or blobby of frosting on your cake, wherever you want it. Obviously, the bigger the ball of frosting, the bigger the resulting flower. Next, use your small spatula, a butter knife, or a spoon and gently spread the frosting out a bit, in a circular motion. *Don’t press too hard, or you will dig into the white frosting underneath.
Next, using another piping or ziptop bag, snip the very tip off of it to create a small writing-type end. The opening shouldn’t be more than an 1/8-inch or so. Fill this bag with a contrasting color. I chose to use a gray color. Now just pipe a swirl over the flower. Don’t worry about it being completely perfect – the less perfect, the more vintage or shabby chic the flowers will be.
Last, using yet another bag, fill with green frosting or another shade for leaves. Snip the end to create a ‘V’ shape (there is an excellent tutorial video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E00JFSxys0w). Remember, the more you cut (the larger the ‘v’), the larger the leaves. Once your bag is ready, just pipe leaves onto your flowers.
That’s it! That’s all there is to this simple cake.
- FOR THE CAKE:
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup milk, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups cake flour
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 16 pieces
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- FOR THE FROSTING:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 lb. (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 8- or 9-inch cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment, and set aside.
- In a large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract; set aside.
- In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the butter one piece at a time, mixing until the dough comes together and looks sandy.
- Add about 1 cup of the egg mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated, then increase to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly add the remaining egg mixture, with the mixer on low speed, until incorporated. Stir in the lemon zest. Scrape the bowl, if necessary, then increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 20 seconds. The batter will just barely look a little curdled.
- Divide that batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting: In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter for about 30 seconds. Beat in the sugar and salt until combined. Add 1 tablespoon heavy cream and whisk on high for 3 to 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Stir in the lemon juice and whisk on high for another 2 to 3 minutes. If the frosting is too thick, add more cream, ½ teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
- Stir in the vanilla and lemon zest, until fully incorporated.