Sorry for abandoning my blog for a while! Here's a delicious lemon cake recipe to make up for it. This was recommended by a friend and comes from the Food Network. It also has a filling and icing recipe but I didn't try that part. It has a light, real lemon flavor, unlike the artificial taste that comes from the box mixes and it has lemon zest. Lemon zest is wonderful! It can be frozen for later use too.
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large whole eggs, at room temperature
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup whole milk
1. To make the lemon cake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour your pans. (I prefer to use Baker's Joy)
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir together the dry ingredients with a whisk. Set aside.
3. In an electric stand mixer, using the paddle attachment or beaters, beat the butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds, or until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, increase the speed to medium-high, and continue to beat until the mixture is light, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. Add the whole eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest. Reduce the speed to low and gradually beat in the lemon juice (the batter will appear curdled at this point smooth out after you add the dry ingredients). Beat in the dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for another 10 seconds. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans.
5. Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks and cool completely.
*I'm a little more generous with the lemon zest and juice. I filled this cake with lemon filling and cream cheese frosting, a fantastic combination. To get the lemon zest, use a vegetable peeler and lightly peel off the yellow part of the of the lemon. You don't want the white stuff under it. Then chop it up and you have lemon zest.
Here's the link to the original recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/lemon-layer-cake-recipe/index.html