Lemon Velvet Cake


The first cake to kick off cake week is Lemon Velvet. What is cake week you ask? It’s the week leading up to my birthday. This is the second annual cake week. I learned a few things from the first cake week. Like its hellacious to make five cakes in one week. Especially when you bomb two of them and need to make an alternative cake!

So I got smarter this year and baked all four cakes on Saturday (the coolest day in the five-day forecast at 84 degrees). It literally took me all day. By Sunday evening I had two frosted cakes occupying my fridge (had to do lots of rearranging of the contents to get them both in there (while six layers of cake remain unfrosted in my freezer).

I’m getting a pretty big reputation at work. My cakes are like crack. Once you have a piece you want to get in on all of future cake action. A few weeks ago when I brought in the Snickerdoodle Layer Cake, I placed it in Kyna’s area for her coworkers. Today when her coworkers realized there was cake, Kyna was messaging me telling giving me names of people who wanted to be put on the “cake distribution list.” I realized today that I should have brought two cakes to work. The cake was gone in maybe 30 minutes, if that. But I’m sure even two cakes wouldn’t last very long!

I chose Lemon Velvet as my first cake because I thought it would be least impressive. (You always save the best for last, right?) Turns out everyone love, love, loved this cake! I had two friends say it was equal in favor to the German Vanilla Cake (my most popular cake). Even those who said they don’t much care for lemon liked this cake. I say anything with “Velvet” in the name has to be good!

This recipe is adapted slightly from rockrecipes.com. This cake is perfectly moist and perfectly delicious, reminiscent of a pound cake.



  • 2 1/2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3 c. sifted cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 3 c. sugar
  • 1 1/3 c. vegetable oil
  • 2/3 c. vegetable shortening at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp. pure lemon extract
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 c. buttermilk
  • zest of two small lemons
  • Yellow food coloring (optional)

frosting ingredients.

  • 12 c. powdered sugar
  • 3 c. butter
  • 2 tsp. pure lemon extract
  • 2 tsp. minced lemon zest (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • Milk or cream

cake directions.

  1. Grease and flour 3 eight or nine-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with a circle of parchment or wax paper, grease wax paper. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mix together both flours, baking soda. baking powder, salt and sugar, Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the vegetable oil, shortening, vanilla and lemon extract. Beat well at high speed with whisk attachment completely combined. Beat the eggs in one at a time. Fold in the lemon zest.
  4. Fold in the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Do not over mix the batter. As soon as it has no lumps in the batter, pour into the two prepared 9 inch cake pans.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30-45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.

frosting directions.

Mix together the powdered sugar, lemon zest and butter until it becomes sort of crumbly. Add the lemon extract and a little milk. Beat until smooth and fluffy, adding only enough milk to bring the frosting to a creamy spreadable consistency. Fill and frost the cake.

You most likely know that to get a level cake you need to lop off the domes of your cake. But what can you do with the leftover domes? If you’re like me and you don’t want to throw away precious cake turn it into a parfait by layering pieces of the dome with frosting in a bowl. Then enjoy!


Recipe rating: 

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