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May 2011
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July 2011

when life gives you lemons... make lemon cake

I recently received a huge bucket of lemons. These lemons came from my parents lemon tree which obviously experienced a very good season and some tender loving care from my father. There was a abundance of lemons; lovely, uneven, spotted, unglossy, bright yellow, juicy, full of seeds lemons. They were beautiful, I love home grown foods and I'm now suffering from a severe case of lemon tree envy! I'm going to plant one somewhere in our suburban garden VERY SOON.


In the mean time I have had my bucket of lemons sitting in my kitchen. I have used them in marinades for grilled chicken. I have used them in a lemony, basil pasta dish which is a family favourite. I have used them to make lemon cupcakes with a lemony ricotta "frosting". I've juiced and zested some and have that in ice-cube trays in the freezer ready to use when they are out of season (if it lasts that long).


Last weekend I decided to make a lemon cake. Since having kids I've not been too adventurous with cake flavours, it's mainly been chocolate cake, chocolate cake and more chocolate cake, cause that's what we all eat. Before kids I would make all sorts of cakes, so I thought I'd offer the family a new flavour.


I set about searching for a lemon cake, and decided to use a basic butter cake mix which I flavoured with lemon juice and zest. I also subsititued some of the flour for almond meal (something I do often when baking).


Here's my recipe:


170g butter, softened

1 1/3 cup caster sugar

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

1/2 cup almond meal

2/3 cup milk

1 1/2 tablespoon grated lemon rind


Preheat over to 150 degrees C.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, beat until just mixed. Add flour, almond meal, milk and lemon zest and beat until combined on a low speed. Continue to beat until mixture is "smooth" (if almond meal has been used, it won't look like your traditional smooth butter cake mix, it will be a little lumpy).

I used a 22cm square cake tin, lined with baking paper. Pour cake mix into tin.

Bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes (test, and start checking the cake after an hour). Cool and turn out onto a cake cooling rack. Ice with a lemon icing (recipe below)


The icing is a basic icing which large pieces of grated zest.


1 1/2 cups icing sugar/icing mixture

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

1-2 teaspoons of lemon zest (depending upon how lemony you like it)


Sift icing sugar in a blow. Mix in lemon juice and zest until smooth. Cover cake!


It was lovely and lemony, you really couldn't detect the almond meal, but it gave a slightly moist texture to the cake. The girls started out slicing small slivers of the cake to "taste", then started taking it to school for morning tea. It was a success, I'll be making this one again (while I have my juice and zest supply in the freezer).

Thanks for visiting.




june = birthdays = cupcakes

Who really needs an excuse to make cupcakes? Not me, but a birthday in the family gives me a great reason to start up the KitchenAid and start baking in bulk.

Phoebe requested rainbow cupcakes for her birthday (for the soccer team, for school and for the school soccer team... thank goodness basketball training was called off or that would have been another lot}. My gorgeous girls like to set me challenges when it comes to their birthday cakes. Rainbow cupcakes is probably one of the good ones, not necessarily hard but a bit fiddly.

Phoebe chose the colour, but I limited her to three colours as I figured it would be impossible to layer a full selection of rainbow colours in a little patty paper of about 4cm tall. Pink, green and blue where the chosen colours.

Now going back to when I was a kid I loved marble cakes, remember the cakes with swirls of colour in them.  I loved when you cut into them each piece was different cause of the way the colours were mixed. These rainbow cupcakes were going to be made using the similar method, with the coloured mixture being layered, not swirled.

I made up my batch of cupcake mixture. Divided it into three batches and coloured each one. I used the Wilton icing colours (rose, leaf green and royal blue colours), these are a concentrated gel so you can get a strong colour but the mixture doesn't get too watery as it would with regular food colours.



I layered the colours into the patty pans...Fec-blog-cupcakes-1


And baked. 20 mintues later they were done....Fec-blog-cupcakes-4

Then iced in plain vanilla buttercream {no colour added!} And yes, the cake below does have pink at the bottom, I did mix the layering up in a few batches.Fec-blog-cupcakes-5

Done! The looked bright, colourful and happy, perfect for a June birthday.

Another birthday celebrated with cupcakes.

Thanks for dropping by.