Maggie Monday: Lemon Layer Cake

Here is a great post from Maggie that includes lemons. Like her, I love them. When given the chance, I’ll peel them like an orange and eat the supremes (segments). I am sure I have done irreparable damage to the enamel on my teeth, but cannot help it. Love them and love this recipe from Maggie…

Sometimes I want to move to Florida or California (or the Mediterranean!) just so I can have a Lemon tree. Lemons are perhaps the most versatile fruit going. Lovely French sauces with butter are made magical with lemon. Fish must have a squeeze of lemon. Pork is amazing when baked with sliced lemons. Toss a lemon in the cavity of a roasted chicken. Even our drinks- iced tea, water, cocktails, are enhanced by lemons. Then, there are the desserts. Apple pie is overrated as the American dessert.  I’d take a lemon bar any day! (no disrespect for the Apple Crumb Pie post that will come this fall!)

So, I am always on the look out for good lemon desserts. I am often disappointed, as they rarely taste lemony enough for me. I want to be knocked over by the lemon in a dessert. Hey, if you’re gonna have lemon, then you might as well almost need a bit of  a pucker on that first bit. Lemon in savory dishes, yea, subtle is OK. But in a dessert, I want to be punched in the mouth!

This cake is close… I usually step it up a bit by sloshing some extra lemon bakery emulsion in the batter. Bakery emulsion is not always easy to find, but better cooking stores will have them, or you can find them online. Emulsions are great for baking as the flavor remains more stable as temperatures change. Emulsions come in a number of flavors. I always have Lemon and Orange in my cupboard.

This is a pretty, “country” looking cake that will be gobbled up wherever you take it. I last made it when I surprise my office team with a full “tea” at our weekly staff meeting. Between this and the Chocolate Guinness Bundt cake, they were pretty happy with the boss for quite awhile!

Lemon Layer Cake

What you need:

2 ½ cups cake flour

2 t baking powder

¼ t salt

1 ¼ sticks of butter, at room temperature

1 1/3 cups sugar

4 T frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

2t Lemon bakery emulsion (can sub 1T fresh lemon juice if you want)

1 T fresh lemon zest

1t vanilla extract

4 large eggs

1 cup whole milk


2 8oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature

1 ½ sticks butter, at room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

1T lemon zest

½ t vanilla extract

½ t lemon oil

1 t lemon bakery emulsion

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350Õ. Butter two 9” cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper. Butter the paper. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside. Using an electric mixer beat butter until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and beat until light. Continue mixing and add lemonade concentrate, emulsion, zest and vanilla. Bet in eggs one at a time. Continue beating until mixture is smooth. On low speed, alternate adding dry ingredients and milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients until just blended.  Divide batter between both pans. Bake until pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cook cakes in pans on racks.

For the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, Gradually add in the powdered sugar until blended. Add zest, vanilla, lemon oil and emulsion, and mix for about 4 minutes until super light and fluffy.

Once cakes are completely cool, turn one cake out onto a work surface. Remove the parchment and place flat side up onto your cake platter. Spread with about 1 cup of frosting. Turn out second layer, and place it flat side down on top of the frosted first layer. Spread remaining layer with frosting.

Cake can be made a day ahead and refrigerated under a dome or carrier.

To garish, slice lemons, and halve each slice. Sugar each slice, and arrange on top of the cake. Do this right before servings as the lemons will create some juice when they come into contact with the sugar in the frosting. Sugaring the slices first, and letting them dry a bit will make them look pretty for a longer time.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Baking, Dessert, Fruit, Guest-Maggie, kosher, Recipes, Vegetarian

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at

19 Comments on “Maggie Monday: Lemon Layer Cake”

  1. May 14, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    Lemon trees are actually great indoor plants – so you could pick fresh lemons as needed if you have enough space in your home.


  2. May 14, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    I love lemons too. Thanks for passing on the recipe. The coke looks as delicious as it probably is.


  3. May 14, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    One word, YUM! Reminds me of my Grandmother’s Lemon cake that she makes and just the smell of it makes your mouth water. I think I may need to make this!! Thanks for sharing!


  4. May 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    What a wonderful dessert just in time for summer!


  5. May 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    Ooh, I love lemon desserts! And I tend to forget about them, in favor of chocolate, vanilla and caramel. Thanks for the recipe!


  6. May 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    Love the sound of this and want to try it but need some help! What does a stick of butter weigh? I do have American cups (which are different from ours) Thank you 🙂


  7. May 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    This cake makes my mouth water. I have my own version of lemon cake……but I am going to have to try yours. Thanks for sharing!


  8. May 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    Yum looks so good! I love lemon flavoured cakes 🙂 Thanks for sharing!


  9. rigmover
    May 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    Mmm haven’t had lemon cake for years.


  10. May 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    This sounds delicious, but because of dairy and gluten sensitivities, I couldn’t eat it. I will pass the recipe on though because I can think of one person who would love it. She already makes a lovely lemon cake and might like this variation.


  11. Alli
    May 14, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    This looks soooo good! I love anything involving lemons.


  12. May 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    I totally I agree with the “bring it on” approach to lemons. – Bakery emulsion and lemonade concentrate are both new for me, any recommendations?


    • Maggie
      May 15, 2012 at 6:04 am #

      Bakery emulsions can b found online or in culinary/ cooking supply stores. They are very nice but extracts or fresh juice and zest will also work. In the states supermarkets sell frozen lemon and orange juice concentrates that are sweetened. You just mix them up with water to drink. When used undiluted they add a nice citrus zing to baking, icings and even marinades for meats!


  13. Alison
    May 14, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    Yes, please 🙂


  14. May 14, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    That looks great!!! I just got a dwarf lemon tree for my back patio. I am so excited for it to start bearing fruit!


  15. ritarivera5150
    May 17, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    I’ll eat anything lemon. Lovely! – rita


  16. Red Room Umbrella
    May 22, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    Thank you! I LOVE LEMONS! Growing up my grandmother made the best lemon sauce to go on every dessert she whipped up for me. Are you familiar with Lemon Nut cake?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: