Who doesn’t remember those wonderful slices of jelly-like citrus candies coated in sparkling sugar? I loved them then, and I love them now!
My daughter and her family was here visiting last week, and it was my son-in-law’s birthday. He fondly remembers a spice cake his grandma used to make, covered with lemon icing. We happily obliged, and created this cake:
I neglected to take photos during the creation of the cake, and there was a thing or two I wanted to do differently, so today I baked another version…and am thrilled with this recipe. Lemon added to the cake batter gave a subtle but pleasing flavor, and doubling the cinnamon was the right thing to do.
I like to toast and grate/grind my own spices for more intense flavor. You’ll find simple instructions in my post for Extra Spicy Gingersnaps, though you won’t need the cloves. About five whole allspice, a nutmeg (you won’t use it all…just grate 1/4 teaspoon and save the rest for another time), and two 3-inch cinnamon sticks should be just about right for this recipe. If this doesn’t appeal to you, by all means use store-bought spices!
I didn’t have yellow sugar for the first cake, but regular sugar colored with yellow food coloring worked well. This time I bought the real stuff. It’s a little challenging to apply to the cake (hahahahaha….just wait), but jump in there and use your hand to pat it on the icing…and figure on a lot of spillage! If the cake is on a large piece of parchment or foil you will be able to easily collect the extra sugar and re-use it.
The nice thing is, the sugar coating makes the frosting kind of…well…touchable. You can pat and even up edges and corners if necessary.
|Spicy Lemon Slice Cake|| |
- ½ cup vegetable oil (I used peanut oil)
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 small lemon, juice and zest
- 1½ cup cake flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1½ cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 small lemon (juice and zest)
- ½ teaspoon lemon flavoring (optional)
- 2 pounds powdered sugar
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Yellow sugar for decorating
- Lemon slice candies for decorating, if desired
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Prepare a 12-inch cake pan (approximately 2 inches high) by lining bottom with a circle of parchment and spraying the sides with a flour and oil spray (like Baker's Joy). Alternatively, you can generously grease and flour pan.
- In a large bowl, preferably using a stand mixer, mix together the butter, oil, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat for at least 2 minutes, until the mixture lightens in color.
- Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl between each addition.
- Add lemon juice and zest and mix until combined.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
- In a small bowl combine the Greek yogurt, milk, and vanilla.
- Beginning with the dry ingredients and ending with the wet ingredients, add alternately - one third of each at a time, scraping down the side of the bowl between each addition.
- In a small bowl, whip the egg whites until fairly stiff peaks form, but don't let the egg whites get too dry. Fold gently into the cake batter.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cake comes away from the side of the pan and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then turn out on a large cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting the cake.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the vanilla, lemon juice, zest, and flavoring (if using) and mix until combined.
- Mix in the powdered sugar and beat well.
- Add heavy cream and beat for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Cut the cool cake in half. Generously cover one half with frosting and set the other half on top to create a half-slice appearance. Place on a cake board or flat plate.
- Cover the cake with a thin coat of icing and place the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Remove cake from freezer and cover completely with icing, reserving ½ cup of icing for piping/decorating.
- Place cake on large pan or piece of parchment and, using your hand, pat yellow sugar over entire cake.
- Place reserved frosting in a plastic zipper-type bag and snip off the tip. Pipe around bottom edge of cake and approximately one inch inside the top curve of the cake. (If frosting won't stick because of the sugar, use a small spoon or knife...or your finger....to scoop away a little of the sugar and icing, and then pipe.)
- Decorate with lemon slices if desired.
I never would have thought to combine lemon with a spice cake, so I’m grateful to Chris’s grandma for giving him this wonderful memory. It’s now a favorite of mine…and I hope you will enjoy it too!