- 2 large lemons
- 2 3/4 cups (352grams) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cups (350g) Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240ml) whole milk, at room temperature (or warm in the microwave for 15-20 seconds)
Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 5 cups Imperial Sugar Confectioners Powdered Sugar
- 1 tablespoon of Lemon Zest
- 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream or whole milk
- Yellow food coloring
- 3 ounces white modeling chocolate or fondant
- 3 ounces orange modeling chocolate or fondant
- 1 ounce black modeling chocolate or fondant
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease three 6-inch cake pans with butter and line bottoms with a parchment paper round. Dust pans with flour, then set aside.
- Wash and dry your lemons. Zest lemons removing just yellow skin and avoiding white pith.
- Measure out 1 heaping tablespoon of zest. Set aside.
- Squeeze lemons allowing juice to flow through a fine-mesh sieve to remove pulp and seeds.
- Measure 1/3 cup (80ml) of juice and set aside.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Pour butter, sugar, and lemon zest into bowl of a stand mixer or into a large mixing bowl.
- Beat butter and sugar on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase speed to high and mix for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
- Add eggs, lemon extract, and vanilla extract and beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
- Scrape down bowl, then turn mixer on low speed.
- Sprinkle flour into bowl in three batches, mixing each for about 15 seconds, just until blended.
- Pour in milk and lemon juice and beat on low speed just until combined. Cake batter will be very thick.
- Equally divide cake batter among three 6-inch round cake pans using about 2 1/3 cups in each pan.
- Spread cake batter into an even layer, then bake for around 26 minutes.
- Open oven and rotate pans. Continue baking for 4-8 minutes until tops of your cakes turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean.
- Allow cakes to cool for 30 minutes in pans, then turn them out onto a cooling rack.
- Let cakes cool completely before frosting.
- You can wrap cooled cakes and freeze them for up to three months.
- For Lemon Frosting, beat butter on high speed for 1 minute until smooth and creamy.
- Sift powdered sugar over butter.
- Pour in lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream or milk, and 10 drops of yellow food coloring.
- Beat on low speed for about 30 seconds, then increase speed to high and beat for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add more yellow coloring if desired. Add more heavy whipping cream or milk a little at a time if your frosting is too stiff.
- Decorate your cakes.
- Frost each lemon cake with a very thin (crumb coat) layer of icing. Set cakes aside to allow that frosting to crust.
- Cover your bowl of icing to keep it from crusting while you cut out your modeling chocolate or fondant decorations.
- Roll out white modeling chocolate or fondant to about 1/8-inch thickness.
- Cut out six 1 1/2-inch circles.
- If desired, cut a small notch out of a circle, so you can attach two circles together.
- Roll out orange modeling chocolate to 1/16-inch and cut out twelve 1-inch triangles.
- Cut six of triangles into chicken feet by cutting out two triangle-shaped notches.
- Create open beaks by attaching two orange triangles along long edges together using a tiny bit of water.
- Roll out black modeling chocolate very thin and cut out six small circles.
- Brush back of black circles with a tiny bit of water and press one onto each white modeling chocolate circle creating eyes.
- Add a thick layer of lemon frosting to each cake making frosting look furry by pressing a metal spatula or spoon into soft frosting, then pulling away from cake to make little furry spikes.
- Decorate each lemon cake chick with modeling chocolate or fondant eyes, beak, and feat.
- If desired, pipe yellow frosting wings onto baby chick cakes.
- This lemon buttercream frosting will crust as it dries, so be sure to add your decorations to cake while soft.
- You can store these cakes at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Modeling chocolate will get sticky if stored in refrigerator.
Recipe created for Imperial Sugar by Beth Jackson Klosterboer@Hungry Happenings.