Converting a cake to a lemon cake
Posted: 30 August 2012 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi, all!

Any suggestions on how to convert a yellow or white butter layer cake to a lemon cake?

I don’t want to use either extract or oil—just zest and juice.

I am willing to syrup, but I am also a bit skittish about syruping a butter cake.

I know there’s the lem lux, but it only uses 1 t. zest, probably because of the curd, and I want all of the lemon flavor to be in the layer itself.

I will be frosting with honey-pistachio buttercream!

Thanks!

—ak

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Posted: 31 August 2012 02:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hey anne i recently made an orange butter cake and all it used were the usual suspects of mill butter eggs flour BUT it had a tbsp of zest plus i also managed to substitute some of the milk for lemon…It was lemony rnough for me dont know if the same would work for lemon but im guessing its worth a shot ? =)

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Posted: 31 August 2012 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Anne in NC - 30 August 2012 06:24 PM

I am willing to syrup, but I am also a bit skittish about syruping a butter cake.

I know there’s the lem lux, but it only uses 1 t. zest, probably because of the curd, and I want all of the lemon flavor to be in the layer itself.

I will be frosting with honey-pistachio buttercream!

Thanks!

—ak

Anne,

Your cake flavour sounds delicious.

I’ve made the RHC lemon-poppyseed and golden dream wedding cakes, both lemon-flavoured syrupped butter cakes; both have a higher proportion of rind than the lemon luxury so I think you can add a 1T or more to intensify the lemon flavour. The syrup would add the tart aspect of a lemon’s flavour, which you may not want or need for this cake in particular as it may detract from the flavours in the buttercream. But if you do use it, I think the key is to syrup the cakes while warm from all sides (as per Rose’s instructions) and to wait 24 hours after the syrup has been applied before frosting - I didn’t wait long enough once and ended up with a gummy cake layer under the buttercream.

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Posted: 31 August 2012 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks!

@Choco - Did you have to add baking soda for the lemon juice substitute? 

@Sophia - Were you able to make the lemon poppyseed as a layer cake?  I love that cake and would like to use it.  I looked at the golden dream, but I didn’t want to use almonds in this case.  I was thinking of just using the All Occasion DYBC and adding zest.  Looking at the golden dream, it says you can sub oil for 5 or 6T zest; thus, vice versa.  2 layers of DYBC would then require about 4T zest—what do you think of that—would I need baking soda?  However, if I can make lemon poppyseed as a layer (without a flower nail—don’t have one), I’d go that rate.

Thanks for the syruping tip—I knew about resting, but I didn’t realize you shouldn’t frost before resting.  If I syruped, I would have syruped, composed, and rested, so I really appreciate the forewarning!!

—ak

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Posted: 31 August 2012 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Anne in NC - 31 August 2012 12:44 PM

Were you able to make the lemon poppyseed as a layer cake?  I love that cake and would like to use it.

I haven’t tried….I made it as the bundt and I’m not near my books now to compare to layer cake recipes. But I think the golden lemon bundt is the same as the golden dream….you may want to check to see what changes Rose made to switch from bundt to layer cake and apply it to the lemon poppy seed recipe.

Anne in NC - 31 August 2012 12:44 PM

I looked at the golden dream, but I didn’t want to use almonds in this case.  I was thinking of just using the All Occasion DYBC and adding zest.  Looking at the golden dream, it says you can sub oil for 5 or 6T zest; thus, vice versa.  2 layers of DYBC would then require about 4T zest—what do you think of that—would I need baking soda?

That amount of rind seems excessive for a 9” layer cake…I think the golden dream has a lot of other ingredients (almonds etc) that may compete with the lemon, so the lemon flavour gets bumped up.

I’ve made the AODYBC as a lemon cake, using 1T rind, 1/4tsp lemon oil (you can sub with more rind) and 1 tsp vanilla (no syrup). I paired it with raspberry mousseline and the lemon flavour was obvious but not overwhelming. I may be wrong, but I don’t think lemon rind is acidic…..I think the baking soda in those cake recipes is because of the sour cream, so no adjustments need to be made.

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Posted: 31 August 2012 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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A few thoughts: 

Perhaps the golden dream with pistachios in lieu of almonds?  It’s a butter cake that works well with syrup, and syrup might be the best way to get the freshness of juice.

If I were going to lemonize a yellow cake, I might choose the buttermilk country cake and add zest.  I would only add juice as part of a syrup.  Adding juice to a cake batter might work, or it might mess with the pH too much and affect the texture.  If you neutralize it with baking soda, it might not taste like lemon juice.

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Posted: 31 August 2012 08:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hi!!

You just want to cream your silugar with lemon zest.  I use about 1-2 lemons for that.

:)

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Posted: 31 August 2012 09:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thank you everyone!!!!

@Katie—Thank you!  I will definitely do this!

@Julie—re the Golden Dream—I don’t have any pistachios, just pistachio butter.  I’m moving soon, so I’m trying not to buy anything that might result in leftovers.  The Buttermilk Country Cake was actually my first choice, also, but I didn’t want leftover frozen buttermilk to move.  If I use juice, I will, as you suggest, only use it as a syrup

@Sophia—Rose subs 1t oil w/5T zest, so 1/4t oil would be 1T zest.  Did you use the 1T zest + 1/4 t. oil for a single or 1.3x batch (i.e., 9x2” pans) of AADYBC?  If a single batch, I’d use 2T zest; if a 1.3x batch, it would be 2T + 2t zest.  Does that give you any feeling of “about right” or “hmmmmmmmmm”

Thanks so much!

—ak

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Posted: 31 August 2012 09:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Anne, I used that quantity for 1.3x the recipe for 2 - 9"x2” pans.

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Posted: 01 September 2012 09:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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What Katie says about processing sugar with the lemon rind
and using the juice in the syrup. 

I often make the lemon pound cake from Cooks Illustrated and that is what they do.

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Posted: 01 September 2012 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thanks again, Sophia!  And thank you, too, Renee!

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