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Senior Baking Contest

Contest rules and regulations

LEMON CAKE with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

LEMON CAKE Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour*
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 stick unsalted butter — at room temperature (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract

LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces  cream cheese — softened
  • 1 stick — 8 tablespoons or 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar — sifted
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice — divided (from about 1/2 a large lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 8 x 2 inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, then butter the parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and egg whites.
  3. Place the granulated sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a standing mixer or a large mixing bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and beat on medium speed for 3 full minutes, until very light and fluffy. Beat in the lemon extract.
  4. Beating on medium speed, add one-third of the flour mixture, then half of the egg/buttermilk mixture and beat until combined. Still beating on medium speed, add the next third of the dry ingredients, then the remaining eggs/buttermilk. Beat until the batter is smooth, then add the remaining dry ingredients. Beat for 2 additional minutes on medium speed, ensuring the batter is very well combined and that plenty of air has been beaten into it.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber or offset spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen, spring back lightly when touched, and a small knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the cake pans on a wire rack and let cool 5 minutes, then run a dull knife around the sides of the cake to loosen. Gently invert the cake into your hand so that it comes out of the pan, remove the paper liner, then place the cake directly back onto the wire rack, bottom (flat) side down and right-side up. Let cool to room temperature.
  6. Prepare the frosting: Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth and no lumps remain, about 3 full minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low, then add the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and salt. Once the sugar begins to incorporate, increase the mixer to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon lemon juice to thin if desired.
  7. Frost the cake Place 1 layer on your cake plate. Evenly cover the top with lemon cream cheese frosting. Place the second cake layer on top. Top with more frosting and spread the frosting down around the sides. Decorate as desired.

Recipe Notes

  • *Cake flour is important for this recipe to ensure the layers are extra fluffy and light. If you do not have cake flour, you can make your own by measuring 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, removing 5 tablespoons of the measured flour, adding 5 tablespoons of cornstarch, then sifting the mixture together 5 times. Measure out the 2 1/4 c. needed for the recipe, then bake as directed.

Submit on strong cardboard covered in aluminum foil no more than two inches form edge of cake.

Judging Criteria

 

Overall Appearance 25 points
Following Directions 10 points
Texture 15 points
Aroma 10 points
Flavor 40 points
Total 100 points

Premiums

 

First Place $20.00
Second Place $15.00
Third Place $10.00