Lemon Layer Cake
Ingredients To Be Creamed and Mixed:
- 1 cup, softened unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1⅔ cups sugar
- Zest from 1 large lemon (1 tablespoon)
- 3¼ cups flour (or 3½ cups cake flour)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt (if using salted butter use ⅛ teaspoon salt)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Egg White Mixture:
- 8 large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Sugar to Add to Egg Whites:
Preheat oven to 375°.
- Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans.
- Click here for instructions on how to prepare cake pans for baking.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy; about 1 minute.
- Gradually add sugar and beat on high speed until lightened in color and texture; about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add lemon zest and mix in.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk in 2 parts to the butter mixture.
- Beat on low speed until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
- Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice and mix in.
- Separate the eggs, saving the whites in a separate large bowl. Discard the yolks.
- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
- Beating on high speed, gradually add ⅓ cup sugar to the egg white mixture.
- Beat until the peaks are stiff but not dry.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold ¼ of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining whites.
- Divide the batter between the cake pans and spread evenly.
- Bake 25 minutes.
- Cake is done when it springs back from a light touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a rack for exactly 10 minutes then remove from pans.
- Click here to see how to how to remove cakes from pans.
- Cool completely on a rack before frosting.
Recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker. New York: Scribner (1997).