Lemon Layer Cake

  • 2 cups self rising flour, sifted
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup & 2 T sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 lemons, juice & grated zest
  • 1 lb confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 T boiling water
  • 4 T lemon marmalade

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, 1/2 cup of the butter, the sugar, eggs, and lemon zest. Beat until well mixed.

2. Divide the mixture between two greased and lined 8in loose-bottomed, round cake pans. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden. Let the cakes cool for 2-3 minutes in their pans, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

3. To make the icing, melt the remaining butter in a saucepan, remove from the heat, and beat in the confectioners’ sugar, boiling water, and finally the lemon juice.

4. Sandwich the cakes together with lemon marmalade. Spread half of the icing over the top and sides of the cake. Let set for 1 hour. Beat the remaining icing and spread it in soft swirls over the top and sides.

From Entertaining by Malcolm Hillier

Notes: The batter was very thick, like a chocolate chip cookie batter. I had to spread it in the pans. Also, I don’t have the loose bottomed pans, so used regular round cake pans. I was unable to find lemon marmalade anywhere, so I made some using this recipe.

Katie: Well, I had high hopes for this recipe, but I was disappointed. It was full of errors. I started off by overcooking the cakes. I am pretty sure that my cake pans must be 9-inch instead of 8-inch, and even though I set the timer for less time, it was still too much. So they were pretty dry. Then, the icing was more like a thick glaze, so I couldn’t just ice over the sides and cover up the fact that I don’t have the cake pans that are straight up and down on the sides. I wondered if perhaps my icing was too thin, as all lemons are not created equal, and mine may have had more juice than the recipe intended. When it says beat the icing, use your whisk attachment on the mixer, that is the only way I got it smooth. You can see the lumps on the top of the cake which are where I tried the icing before thinking about the whisk. However, the completed cake had a nice lemon flavor, and I would love to try it again with new pans. Since I made the lemon marmalade, I do have more!

Gray: This was pretty tasty, even if it was dry.  It was nice and lemony and the glaze was pretty.  I think that it would be good to try again sometime and see how it turns out, since it should be very flavorful.

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3 Responses to Lemon Layer Cake

  1. trkingmomoe says:

    I would have added milk to the recipe batter. Starting with a 1/4 cup then adding a tablespoon at a time until I had cake batter consistancy. I have been working with old recipes for scratch cakes and I run into problems like this. I end up reworking the recipe. It sounds like he was working with tart batter and stacking two together.

    • What a good idea! I also wondered about how the recipe just said to mix everything together, and did not have steps; i.e. cream butter and sugar, then add eggs (and milk!), then the dry ingredients. I have heard that the separations make a difference. I’m just going to have to make it again! I also want the icing to have soft swirls! Thank you for your input!

  2. trkingmomoe says:

    If it disappoints you the second time than it is not you. Then I would look for a recipe for a lemon cake on the internet. I have seen some great ones this summer on wordpress.

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