When my daughter was an infant, our nickname for her was “love bug.” I still remember baking a ladybug-shaped cake on her first birthday, which was decorated with bright red and black frosting. Maybe it was in that first bite of cake that her taste buds and passion for all things pertaining to butter and sugar awoke because ever since, this sweet girl of mine has had an insatiable appetite for decant desserts.
Cooking for others is a legacy that has been passed down throughout the generations in our family so it truly melts this mama’s heart to watch my daughter create culinary concoctions for those she loves. Even though she has now outgrown her childhood nickname, I hope she never becomes too old to share her passions with others. Besides, aren’t the best recipes of all, those that are made with love?
We certainly think so.
This luscious, lemon cake will surely delight all who are served up a slice. It is a little taste of heaven, if I do say so myself. Not only is it simply beautiful, but your taste buds will also be tantalized by the irresistible combination of vanilla, cream cheese, and lemon.
I hope you enjoy the pure sweetness of this refreshing cake, but most importantly, please don’t forget to share it (or maybe even some of the batter) with those you love.
Love Bug’s Lemon Cake
1¼ cups softened unsalted butter
½ cup shortening
3 cups white sugar
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
3 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup whole milk at room temperature
½ cup buttermilk at room temperature
10 oz. jar lemon curd (we like Dickenson’s Lemon Curd)
8 oz. package of cream cheese
juice & zest from 1 large lemon
5 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease 3, 8-inch round cake pans.
- In a large glass bowl, use hand mixer to cream together 1 cup softened butter and ½ cup shortening until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg, plus 1 cup of white sugar at a time until all 5 eggs and 3 cups of sugar have been incorporated into the shortening.
- In another bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Whisk together in a small bowl, whole milk, buttermilk, and 1 tsp. of vanilla.
- Using hand mixer on low speed, slowly pour the milk mixture into the shortening mixture and add dry ingredients until completely blended.
- Pour 1/3 of cake batter into each of the greased 8-inch cake pans.
- Bake cakes for 30-35 minutes, until lightly golden and baked completely through.
- While cakes are cooling to room temperature, make cream cheese frosting.
- In mixer, combine softened cream cheese, ¼ cup butter, 1 tsp. of vanilla, 2 Tbsp. of fresh lemon juice, and 2 tsp. of lemon zest until smooth and fluffy.
- Add 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar at a time until frosting is well blended.
- Add extra lemon juice, if desired or needed.
- Once cakes are completely cooled, place bottom cake on your cake stand. Generously spread half of the jar of lemon curd completely over layer. Add next layer of cake, and cover with remaining curd. Top with final layer of cake.
- Frost cake with the cream cheese frosting. Garnish top of cake with remaining lemon zest or fresh lemon slices, if desired.
From my nest to yours,