So I made a cake.

Yes, I know you’re thinking ‘yeah big deal, you make cakes’. Well this was my attempt at a pretty cake that tasted good. You see, I’m not a fancy cake maker. It intimidates me. Icing tips make me nervous, cutting layers, crumb coating and fancy decorations are not really my thing. I’m a bit more of a rustic baker of all things that taste good.

But, I figured there had to be a way to make a pretty cake taste good. And I found it. It’s spring here and lemon seems to fit the bill. Lemon cake with Lemon Buttercream to be exact. I figure any icing made pretty much solely of butter and sugar and lemon has got to be tasty. And I was correct. Spread some of that heaven on a lovely moist slightly lemony cake and that’s it.

This was my first sort of go at icing and piping…and I felt pretty good about it. I think if I had had the right icing tip (I really wanted to use a star tip to make proper big roses all over the cake) it would’ve been bang on. Next time. I’m ready for a next time now.

Remember- you don’t have to get all fancy and pipe this cake, just slap the icing on and eat it. Not fancy, but it’ll still be dang pretty and your taste buds will thank you.

I’ve put the recipe for the cake and the icing below. I am not expert on how to ice a cake, so I’m not going to pretend I can tell you how…

However Joy the Baker has an amazing little tutorial on how to layer and ice a cake here. It’s a nice basic explaination on how to trim your cake, and put the first layer of icing on. You can leave it as that (It’s still very pretty as is) or use it as a base to decorate. I am Baker takes it a step further and has a bunch of different tutorials on how to take your cake up a notch. Her stuff is absolutely beautiful. If you’re feeling adventurous, check it out.

Tender Lemon Cake

from Martha Stewart

Makes one 8-inch round layer or three 6-inch round layers (I doubled this recipe and made one 2 layer 8 inch cake and one 2 layer 6 inch cake)

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-by-2-inch round cake pan. Line with parchment; butter; dust with flour.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 minutes. Add sugar; beat well. Reduce speed to medium; add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Reduce speed to low; alternately add flour and buttermilk, starting and ending with flour. Stir in zest.

Pour batter into pan; bake, rotating halfway through, until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Remove; let cool completely right side up on rack.

Lemon Butter-cream Frosting

adapted from Magnolia Bakery

Makes enough for 2 dozen cupcakes or 1 (8-inch) layer cake.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons (or to taste) lemon extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer (or in your stand mixer), beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar.  (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.