Friday, November 27, 2009

If life gives you lemons, make a lemon cake

It was my boss' birthday so I asked him what kind of cake he wanted. "I like lemon cake, but with a good buttercream frosting," he said. So, that's what he got.

I found this recipe in the Cake Mix Doctor's Cookbook. It's a cookbook of recipes starting with a basic cake mix, but adds a little something here and there to make it just a little different. I doctored the recipe even more than what the cake doctor called for. I hope she doesn't mind. I'll let you know if it's worth making again.


1 box yellow cake mix
1 package lemon gelatin, 3 ozs.
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup hot water
4 large eggs


4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray tube pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out excess flour. Set aside.

Place hot water in mixing bowl and sprinkle lemon gelatin over it and stir for 30 seconds. Add cake mix, oil, and eggs. Beat for 1 minute, then scrape down sides with rubber spatula. Beat 2 more minutes. The batter should look thick and well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth top and place pan in oven.

Bake cake until it is light brown and just starts to pull away form the sides of the pan, about 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool.

With wooden spoon, mix softened cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, and powdered sugar in bowl until smooth. Add more powdered sugar or lemon juice to adjust consistency. Stir in lemon zest. Set aside.

Run a sharp knife along edge of the cake and invert it onto a serving platter. Let it cool completely. Spread frosting over the top of the cake, allowing some of it to run over the sides and run down slightly. If you have some extra lemon zest left over, sprinkle over the top.


  1. Lemon cake is the perfect dessert after all that Thanksgiving feasting. Sweet and tasty. . . Mmmmm. . . I love this recipe. Your boss is blessed to have an employee like you, making cakes for him and the staff and giving 100% to the job. You are Fresno's treasure.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to post a blog even on this long holiday weekend. This shows your commitment to you blog readers, and I appreciate it.

  3. Thank you Lizzie and Martha. I appreciate your comments.