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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Darn Good Lemon Cake | A Recipe from Rev. Steven Lawrence

This spring, Interfaith Philadelphia is sharing stories and recipes from around our region. Today's recipe for Darn Good Lemon Cake comes from one of our 2020 Dare To Understand Awardees, Rev. Steven Lawrence. If you want to try baking this recipe yourself, take a photo and share it with us on Facebook

"My mother gave me a bread making machine and later a book called The Cake Doctor. It provides simple instructions for great cakes. As I used the book, I discovered that I am a baker, not a cook, at heart. 

Cooking is an art. Cooking is a world of a "pinch" and "salt to taste" and other instructions that change from person to person. Baking is a science. A cup of this and teaspoon of that; it's about precise measurements, not approximations.

I bake cakes for classes I teach, and for church members on request. Cake helps the student have a pleasant memory of a tough class. I make a lemon cake and a chocolate cake. Ironically, I have a food allergy to caffeine, so I have never tasted the chocolate cake."

Rev. L's Darn Good Lemon Cake 

Cake Ingredients

One box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix
One box Jell-O lemon Pudding Mix
One box Jell-O lemon Gelatin Mix
Four large eggs
One stick unsalted butter (or one-half cup vegetable oil)
One cup (8oz) sour cream
One half cup water (room temperature)
The zest of one large lemon

Lime Butter Cream Frosting Ingredients

One stick unsalted butter
One lime
3 & ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar

One bundt cake pan
One baking sheet

Cake Directions
Place baking sheet in oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Most ovens have “hot spots”;  the baking sheet allows for even baking.

For best results, all ingredients (especially softened butter, eggs, and sour cream) should be at room temperature.

If you make the cake with butter, place the softened butter in mixing bowl. Sift the cake mix over the softened butter.

If you are using vegetable oil instead of butter, place the eggs in the mixing bowl and beat thoroughly. Add the oil, water, and sour cream and mix until blended.

Sift the cake mix and gelatin into a mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients and mix until blended (about one minute). Add the lemon pudding and lemon zest. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix thoroughly (about a minute and a half?)

Grease and flour your bundt pan. (I use Pam with flour. It gets into the detailed spaces of a fancy bundt pan and doesn’t affect the taste of the cake.) Pour the cake batter into the pan and even it out by shaking or rotating the pan (your preference). Let the cake set for 10 minutes, then place the pan in a 350-degree oven on the baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes, then invert the rack and turn the cake out on to a plate.

Directions for Butter Cream Frosting
Place the softened stick of butter in mixing bowl and mix until creamed. Add confectioners’ sugar gradually until incorporated, but hold back 1/2 cup. The mix will become too dry to continue mixing, so now add the zest and the juice of one lime. Add the last ½ cup of confectioners’ sugar until frosting is creamy. You can frost your cake in any way you wish. I like to refrigerate the frosting for a few hours, then put it in the microwave for one minute and pour over the cake


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