Lemonade Layer Cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons minced lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon oil
Lemon zest for garnish
FOR CAKE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch-square nonstick cake
pans with 2-inch-high sides; line bottoms with parchment paper; butter paper.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl; set
aside. Using electric stand mixer and paddle attachment, beat butter in large
bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally
and beating until light. Beat in lemonade concentrate, zest and vanilla.
Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down sides
occasionally. Continue to beat until mixture is smooth. On low speed beat in dry
ingredients alternately with milk in 3 batches, beginning and ending with dry
ingredients, until just blended. Divide batter equally between prepared pans.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out
clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks.
FOR FROSTING: Using electric stand mixer and whisk attachment, beat cream cheese
and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar,
scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in zest, vanilla and lemon oil
until mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
TO ASSEMBLE: Turn cakes out onto work surface. Peel off parchment paper. Place
one cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with
second cake layer, flat side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides
DO-AHEAD TIP: Cake can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; refrigerate.
Let stand at room temperature 2 hours before serving.