When Life Gives You Lemons…

Hi! This is Abigail, a.k.a. “Momma” here. It’s my turn to write the blog. Wow, I’m so proud of my daughter, Rinne, and all of her hard work to get this store up and running. She says she couldn’t do it without me, well, I couldn’t do it without her!

I’ve been a graphic designer for 25 years. About a month ago, I found out that my long-standing and biggest client was no longer going to hire me because the corporation who bought them out was moving all design ‘in-house.’ This was a HUGE blow to me. I’ve worked with them for 24 years! It’s not just the financial blow that hit hard. It’s a comfort level and all this change that is the hard stuff to manage. But as always, God had a plan for us long before all of these things happened.

We knew about a year ago that Rinne would be starting this business before her last year of high school. The store launch got kicked into high gear when we found out about the income loss from my freelance work. It’s probably the kick in the pants I needed, and certainly the freed-up time was a necessary part. I’m an artist and LOVE to create things (and bake things…more on that in a bit). My husband pointed out to me that THIS is what I’ve always wanted to really do…make things for others. And to do it WITH my daughter beside me, creating and loving each other…what a blessing! Speaking of blessing, that’s where our store name comes from. We want others to be blessed by all that we do and ultimately God gets the glory. And by His design, we are all a blessing. So, that’s the short story from my side and my part in all of this.

Now…to the baking! Rinne just had her birthday and of course I HAD to make a cake. Over the years, I’ve been known to go quite over the top when it came to throwing birthday parties for my kids. (maybe in future blogs, you’ll get to hear about those times and get some ideas you might like to use too) This birthday, Rinne asked for a pound cake. “A classic pound cake, Momma, please?” She’s a simple girl. She loves steak and potatoes and even one year I made her a baked potato cake! We must always have potato skins on her birthday. That’s tradition for her. She also loves lemons. As I like to do for special occasions, I decided that I would make it a little more special and make a super LEMON pound cake that is glazed with LEMON simple syrup, frosted with LEMON buttercream and decorated with candied LEMON peels. That’s just me…I love to make people smile with my artwork and my food.

You are gonna be blessed today! I’m sharing my recipe for this LEMON SMASH POUND CAKE that I created for her birthday. With so much LEMON flavor, I had to call it lemon smash! With this lovely cake, I hope you moms out there will make one for your kids and enjoy a pucker and a smile together.

In honor of our love for lemons around here, we’ve made two new lemon designs! We’ve got art prints, pillows and a new shirt for those who just love lemons like we do. You’ll find them easily in our SEASONAL collection in the store.

Be blessed!

– Momma

lemon-pound-cake-recipe

Lemon Smash Pound Cake

“SMASH” means it’s loaded with in-your-face lemony flavor! You’ll need SIX large lemons total for this one, four zested and juiced, and two thinly sliced. You’ll also need a large, 10 inch BUNDT PAN, or tube pan.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword lemon cake
Servings 16 servings
Author Abigail Aars

Ingredients

...for cake:

  • 1 pound butter softened*
  • 2 Tablespoons butter softened for greasing pan*
  • 6 large eggs* at room temp
  • 2 large lemons zested
  • juice of 2 large lemons about 1/4 cup
  • about 1/2 cup milk you’ll add this to juice to reach 3/4 cup total liquid
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting pan
  • pinch salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

...for simple syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • juice of 1 large lemon about 1/4 cup
  • water you’ll add this to juice to reach 1 cup total liquid

...for frosting:

  • 2 large lemons zested
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup butter softened*
  • 2 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

...for garnish:

  • One-half of your simple syrup
  • About 2 large lemons sliced thinly, no thicker than 1/8 inch, enough so you’ll have 16 slices total
  • 10 fresh mint leaves

Instructions

  1. SPECIAL NOTE *Set out all butter for cake and frosting (5 sticks + 2 T.) and 6 eggs a couple hours before you start your cake. You want butter to be soft and eggs at room temperature. 

  2. Prep Cake Ingredients:  Measure your dry ingredients so they are ready. Zest FOUR of your lemons. Stir pinch of salt and one-half of the zest into your 4 cups of flour. Reserve one-half zest for the frosting. Prepare liquid ingredients by juicing 2 of your zested lemons, and then add milk to the juice until you have the 3/4 cup of total liquid. Preheat oven to 300° F.

  3. Grease/Flour Pan:  Take your time to butter a large, 10-inch bundt pan, getting every nook & cranny! Sprinkle a light dusting of extra flour over the greased surface and tap pan over sink to dump out excess, making sure every buttered surface is coated.

  4. Mix Batter:  Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. (It’s very important to beat until butter becomes a lighter yellow color; This takes 1 - 7 minutes depending on the power of your mixer.) Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. (Butter will turn to a fluffy white.) Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow yolk disappears.

  5. Add Flour-Milk-Flour-Milk-Flour:  Alternate with one-third of the flour, one-half of the milk, adding each to the creamed butter mixture, mixing in between; begin and end with flour. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Lastly, stir gently with a rubber spatula to get rid of any flour lumps. Batter should be smooth. Stir in vanilla.

  6. Bake Cake:  Pour into your greased and floured pan. Bake at 300°F for 1 hour and 30 - 40 minutes (my oven cooked it in 1 hr 30 min, when a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.) Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

    Lemon Pound Cake
  7. Make Simple Syrup:  While cake is baking, go ahead now and make simple syrup, because you’ll need one-half of it to make the candied lemon peels. Juice that third zested lemon and add enough water to equal 1 cup of total liquid. Heat liquid in medium sauce pan, add 1 cup of sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and pour off one-half of this liquid to reserve for brushing onto baked and cooled cake. Set aside pan with remaining syrup to use for candied lemon peel garnish.

  8. Make Candied Lemon Garnish:  Slice 2 lemons into 16, 1/8 inch slices, then cut each slice in half. Place pan that has the reserved one-half of simple syrup back onto stove. You should now have 32 “half lemon slices” to add to your syrup. Simmer the slices in the syrup until lemon rinds become soft and translucent, 14 - 16 minutes. Place lemons on non-stick surface to cool. I used a silpat-lined pan. If you have room in the fridge to cool them completely, it makes them less sticky for applying to finished cake.

  9. Make Frosting:  Beat butter until lighter in color. Add reserved zest, lemon juice (from that fourth already zested lemon), and vanilla. Beat and slowly add in powdered sugar until frosting is well blended. Frosting should be creamy.

    Lemon Buttercream Frosting
  10. Put It All Together:  After cake has completely cooled, transfer to your cake platter. Poke holes on the top of cake with toothpick. Using a pastry brush, brush simple syrup over all the surfaces of cake. It will probably puddle at bottom, but the cake will soak that up. Frost the cake. Garnish with candied lemons, using 16 halves on top, but placed together as a circle (having them already sliced makes slicing cake easier) And place 16 halves around bottom edge of cake. Lining up lemons for each slice. It’s easiest to place the ones on top evenly by placing one at 12 o’clock, then opposite at 6, then, 3, then opposite at 9, then place in between those. Place the bottom edge ones in the same manner, lining up (as best you can) each bottom half slice with a top edge half slice. For serving, each slice will have a half slice on top and a half slice on bottom outer edge. If using mint leaves, randomly place them by tucking under edges of top lemons.

    Frosted Cake

Recipe Notes

BONUS!

This cake freezes well. Slice it and place the whole cake in the freezer inside a cake saver. After several hours, and it’s well frozen, individually wrap each slice in cling wrap, then place the wrapped slices in a freezer bag. When you want one, you can unwrap and leave out to defrost for an hour or so, or do what Rinne does. She microwaves it for about 30 seconds...and eats it for breakfast! Writing recipes is hard, so please let us know how you like the recipe.

 

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