The winter months are three fun-filled months in our family as the month of December kick-starts all the birthday celebrations. It begins with my mother’s birthday in the very first week of December. I was planning to bake her birthday cake myself as I have been on a baking spree these days and tapping into my inner baker!
I asked my mom what flavor cake she would like for her birthday and on giving her three options to choose from i.e. chocolate, vanilla or lemon, she chose the lemon. Now, this was happy news for my hubby as he is not a big chocolate fan. (Sigh!) Anyway now I started planning the recipe and began foraging for the ingredients. Mom’s birthday was on Sunday and we went for a day trip to an eco-tourism park on Saturday(Pics posted at the end of this post). So I had to make the cake on Sunday itself which was a challenging task as all the other weekend chores had piled up like a mountain.
Anyway, after a lot of fighting with my inner lazy demons my proactive self took over and I managed to put together this birthday lemon cake which tasted very scrumptious and yummy. Mom was happy, hubby was happy and so automatically I was happy with the overall outcome. So now I could have my cake and eat it too!!
- 1 ½ cup Flour (150gm)
- 1 ½ tsp Baking powder
- ½ tsp Baking soda
- ¾ cup Granulated Sugar + ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 4 Eggs
- Lemon Juice (2 ½ tbsp.)
- Lemon Zest of 2 lemons for the batter +1 lemon’s zest for the icing
- Vanilla Extract
- Softened Butter 150 gm (equivalent to 1 cup of butter cubes)
- Cream Cheese 100 gm
- Fresh Cream/Whipping cream 2 to 3 tbsp.
- White chocolate buttons/chips 15 to 20 nos.
- Milk ½ cup
- Mixing Bowls, mixing spoons, cake mould/tin, hand whisk/electric whisk.
- Oil/melted butter for greasing the cake mould.
- Parchment/Baking Paper.
- Start by keeping all the ingredients on your work counter and all the mixing bowls, spoons, whisk etc ready.
- Line the cake tin with parchment paper and grease it with melted butter or oil. (I used a round springform tin but you can use any type of cake tin) and keep it ready.
- Sieve the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together and mix it in a large dry mixing bowl.
- Take the butter and granulated sugar in a deep bowl and beat with an electric mixer for approximately 4 to 5 minutes till soft and fluffy. (you can use a handheld whisk also but then you have to beat the butter and sugar for a longer time). The texture and colour of butter will change i.e it will become lighter in colour and soft and fluffy in texture.
- Then add in the eggs and vanilla extract and keep on mixing at medium speed till the mixture becomes homogenous. When the eggs are added to the whipped butter there is a chance of the butter curdling a bit but then you have an option of beating the eggs separately and then mixing it with the whipped butter. In both cases, you might be scared by a bit of curdling but just be brave and carry on with the mixing.
- At this point, you will need to pre-heat the convection oven to 180o
- Add the sieved flour mixture and mix till the mixture is smooth.
- Mix in the milk and combine to make a pourable batter. Add the white chocolate chips and mix.
- Add the lemon zest and lemon rind in the end and combine.
- Now quickly pour the batter into the paper lined and greased cake tin and put it into the pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes check the cake with a toothpick or a cake-tester in the center and if it comes out sticky bake it for 10 more minutes.
- While the cake is baking prepare the cream cheese frosting. Mix the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, fresh cream/ whipping cream, powder sugar and whip with the electric beater till soft peaks form.
- Now when the cake is baked perfectly, take it out of the oven/ let it cool down and remove carefully from the tin.
- Keep the fragrant lemon cake on a cooling rack and wait patiently to decorate with the glorious cream cheese frosting.
- Now, the waiting part will be very difficult because the smell of this cake is very tempting and you will feel a great urge to attack the cake with a knife and gorge on it! But my advice to you is that be patient because the frosted cake will taste even better.
- When the cake has cooled down spread the frosting on the top of the cake and smoothen with a knife to make it pour over the edges just a little bit. Grate the lemon zest on the top of the cake and enjoy your yummy, tangy, super soft and moist lemon cake.
- Instead of lemon, I have used a special type of lime called Gondhoraj Lebu in this recipe which has an out of the world citrusy fragrance. But lemons will do equally well and you can customize with any local type of lime or lemon available in your part of the world. Just be careful while grating the zest that you don’t reach the white portion of the lemon rind as that will impart bitterness to the cake
- If store bought cream cheese is not available, then you can easily make it at home. All you have to do is make some cottage cheese by curdling milk with lemon, separate the cheese and blitz it in a blender with some milk till smooth and creamy. This substitute is an old favourite of mine since the days when Cream cheese was not as easily available as now.
- We personally like our desserts to be a bit less sweet side and the sugar quantity is according to my taste. You have the freedom to increase the sugar content a bit if you prefer things on the sweeter side.
- You can leave out the white chocolate if you want but I really loved the combination of lemon and white chocolate.
- If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me anything about this cake in the comments section.