Elegant and Lemon-i-cious (from scratch)


When I was a kid my dad’s favorite cake flavor was lemon.  I always wondered why  anyone would prefer a lemon cake over a chocolate cake.  I suppose that was my teenage mind at work.  Since then I’ve come to understand that there are a lot of good things to be said about lemon cake.  (Don’t get me wrong,  I still love chocolate cake too.)

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Lemon cakes are sophisticated and elegant. Even with simplistic decorating, a lemon cake has an abundance of charisma. There are occasions when a lemon cake is the perfect choice.  They are adored at certain celebrations, and following heavy meals when other cakes are just to rich.  You will never taste artificial flavors in a lemon cake made from scratch (because there aren’t any), and you can always control the level of tartness, or sweetness by adding more or less zest and juice. 

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My recipe:

1/4 c. margarine

1/2 c. vegetable oil

3 eggs

1/2 c. sour cream

1 1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 lemon – juiced

Zest from 1/2 of lemon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  (I made two round 6” layer cakes and 6 cupcakes with this recipe.) Prepare cake pans by spraying with non-stick cooking spray and then lining the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.  Spay the top of parchment paper too.  Line cupcake tins with papers.

In a large bowl, cream margarine, oil, eggs, sour cream and sugar.  Beat with electric mixer until creamy and air bubbles form.  Add salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour; mix thoroughly.  Add juice and zest and mix well.

Pour batter into pans and liners.  Bake 6“ cakes for about 20-23 minutes.  Bake cupcakes for about 15-17 minutes. (Make sure a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.) Cool and remove from pans, and cool completely before frosting.

Top with your favorite icing.  I made a butter cream icing with a touch of both vanilla extract and fresh lemon juice for flavoring.

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