TODAY I BRING YOU SUNSHINE IN CAKE FORM!
That’s the best way to describe this recipe. I worked it up and Katy and I played with it until we got it just right, then started making samples to send to folks for second opinions. These puppies have been flying out the door (I’ve sent them to six different people so far) and the reports back have me plum tickled and really wanting to make more. Last night, a person who shall remain nameless under the Baker’s Protection Act called and said “I wouldn’t tell anyone else this, but I ate that entire cake all by myself, it was so good!”.
Katy Rose and I could happily make these and feed the world all day long -but alas I can’t stop everything I’m doing in life to open up a factory for Katy’s Lemon Juice Cakes. BUT I can share the recipes with you so you can make your own
Before we get into the recipe, though, I’m feeling a little chattiness rising up within me so get comfy – or scroll down.
I know a lot of y’all are still experiencing a good bit of cold where you are, but in my neck of the woods, spring has finally sprung! Goodness gracious, did it ever seem to take a long time getting here this year!
I’ve been taking walks with my daughter lately. Sometimes we walk around the neighborhood and sometimes we head to a nearby park, which is by far her favorite place for us to go. As we near it, her eyes are searching for kids, and if she sees any she tugs on my hand to speed me up as she shouts “There are kids Mama! Hurry!”
My child could make friends with a hole in the wall. I don’t know where she gets that from.
The other day we headed over there and there weren’t any other kids so I pushed Katy in the swing a few times and that swing next to her started getting the best of me.
I couldn’t help myself, so I sat down in it.
Now let me fill you in here, Mama don’t swing no mo’. I used to. I spent half of my childhood swinging. But as I’ve gotten older motion has become a bit of a problem for me. I learned this the hard way when we went to Disney world when Katy Rose was just two. My husband and my son wanted to ride roller coasters and things which Katy was too small for (and I wasn’t about to ride) so it ended up being me and Katy a good bit during the day. We’d walk by Dumbo’s flight and every day she’d beg and beg to ride it and I’d tell her that her daddy woudl take her. This went on for three days, they never happened to be near us when we were going near it, so one day I finally gave in and said “Baby, I know you want to ride this so let’s just go.”
We got on that thing and it went up, up, up (have I mentioned I don’t care for heights?). While it was going up, it was spinning, spinning, spinning. Katy was lit up like the morning sun, happy as she could be and having the time of her life. I was so happy for her and it was wonderful to get to see.
But when we got off, I could barely walk. I was gripping that rail and trying to convince my brain that the world was not still spinning. That night it felt like I was on a ship, I had to lay on my stomach with both arms out flat on the bed just to be able to tell myself that it wasn’t rocking. For weeks afer that, whenever I closed my eyes the room would spin, so I spent as much time as possible keeping my eyes open – a LOT!
This is why I avoid swings. But I couldn’t help myself. I decided at that moment that to swing by my little girl would be worth a few weeks of spinning rooms and I hopped on.
“Mama! You’re swinging!” Her eyes were big as dollars. “I didn’t know you knew how!”
I laughed “Katy baby, I used to do this every single day when I was a little girl, all day long!” She just kept looking at me in delight each time we’d swing past each other.
“Mama, you’re so good at this!” Bless her heart, that was a moment to remember for both of us. As I swang (swing, swang, swung, grammar critics eat your heart out) I didn’t feel that sickness so I went higher and higher still, shedding off years of adulthood and once again trying to touch the clouds with my toes.
I grew younger that day. Those precious moments where I shed the yoke of deadlines, emails, and demands took years off my life. In fact, at the time it felt as if a full three decades worth had been removed. Once I got off that swing and took my daughter’s hand to walk back home, they didn’t pile back on, either. My heart smiles now just thinking about it.
Childhood, no matter how far away it seems at times, is still within us, and sometimes all we need to travel back in time is the nearness of a child and a trusty old park swing.
And maybe one of Katy’s Lemon Juice Cakes…
Lets get to cooking!
You’ll need: Self rising flour, butter (or margarine, ain’t nobody gonna judge here!), sugar, eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla.
For the Lemon Syrup you’ll need: More lemon juice and sugar
For the Glaze you’ll need: Confectioner’s sugar, milk, and vanilla or butter flavoring
You are more than welcome to use fresh lemon juice for this but seeing as how they sell entire bottles of that stuff much cheaper than the lemons themselves, I’m going with the bottled stuff. You’re going to need over 1/2 a cup of it so feel free to take the easy way out here and go with bottled, too. If you prefer fresh squeezed, I’ll be the first to admit that you’re a better woman than I am – and I’m totally okay with that.
Place your butter in a bowl along with your sugar.
Imagine that butter and sugar is a problem in your life and then beat the living mess out of it.
(this is how I remain a non violent person)
It’ll look like this when you are done.
Add in your other ingredients.
Notice that there is no “gradual” here, just dump it all in there. I’m sure there are many virtues to “gradual” but I’d rather spend my spare time swinging with my kids than babying an egg that wants to be added slowly after every 2 ounces of flour…
Your final dough will look like this and be more like a cookie dough than a cake dough.
Spray an 9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
You’ll have to kind of pat the dough into your pan a bit, either with your hands or a spoon.
Put that in the oven.
While that is cooking, mix up your lemon juice and sugar.
Stir it real good until all of the sugar is dissolved.
If you want to speed things up, pop this in the microwave for about 30 seconds to get it warm and then stir again.
I have precious little patience in my life so I choose not to waste it on trying to dissolve sugar in lemon juice.
Here is our finished cake. You’ll notice that it doesn’t rise very much. This cake is about an inch or so tall.
While it is warm, poke holes all over it with a wooden skewer or some such.
Pour lemon juice mixture evenly over warm cake.
Let it cool a bit.
As you can see, I have no patience to wait for this, either Oh how I miss the days of ladies cooling cakes on their porches!
While that is cooling, we want to mix up a good thick glaze to go on top of it.
You’ll need: Confectioner’s sugar, milk, and some type of flavoring. I am using clear butter flavoring but you can use vanilla – clear or brown. If you don’t use clear, the icing will have a slight tint to it but that will be just fine.
Mix this up and stir stir stir until there are no more lumps. If it is too runny, just add more sugar. If it is too dry, add 1/2 tablespoon more milk.
This is pretty straightforward.
Spoon or pour this over the top of your cake.
Spread to cover cake entirely. Allow to sit until glaze hardens.
Then, the hard part. Cover and let cake sit at room temp several hours so all of the lemon juice has a chance to absorb and distribute evenly throughout the cake.
Oh mercy! Looking at this and remembering how it tastes sets my mouth to watering and almost brings tears to my eyes.
Ain’t it purty?
Hint: They taste even better if you give them away
(Katy was over the moon thrilled when I named this recipe after her!)
- ¾ cup butter or margarine, at room temp
- 1 cup sugar
- 1+3/4 cups self rising flour*
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons bottled lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup bottled lemon juice
- 1+1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 4-5 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon flavoring (butter or vanilla)
- Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease an 9x9 baking dish. Place butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix with electric mixer until well blended and fluffy. Add all other cake ingredients and mix until well combined, will resemble cookie dough.
- Pat into greased dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden around edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool while you mix up the syrup.
- To make syrup, combine lemon juice and sugar and stir to dissolve (can heat in microwave for 30 seconds to help speed up process). Poke holes all over top of cake and evenly pour lemon juice over. Allow to cool completely.
- Place all glaze ingredients in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Pour over top of cake, spread to cover. Allow to harden.
- Once glaze is hardened, cover cake with foil and allow to sit at room temperature several hours for the juice to be absorbed and distributed throughout cake.