This cake is just made for celebrating summer and sunshine. We enjoyed it with our visiting family over the Memorial Day weekend and it was delicious. Lemony and sweet and so pretty.
Pink Lemonade Cake, adapted from Karen Tack, found in Better Homes and Gardens May 2012 issue
1 cup butter
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
red food coloring
1 1/3 cups milk
1/2 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
Frosting, double the recipe!
Take the butter and eggs out to let come to room temperature for 30 minutes. In the mean time, prepare either (2) 9" x 2" round pans or (1) 9" x 1 1/2" and (1) 9" x 1 1/2" pans**. Grease them liberally then cut out circles from parchment paper to lay in the bottom of the pans. Grease the paper too and then flour each of the pans.
**The cake is meant to be done in four layers by baking the cakes in 2 round 9" x 2" pans. Unfortunately I only own 1 pan of that size, my other 9 inch pans are more like 1 1/2 inch pans. No to be deterred from making this, and as quickly as possible since my to-do list was long, I just put 5 cups of batter in the taller pan and 3 in the other and baked them off. My larger cake took about 40 minutes to bake, the smaller, just a little over 30. I sliced the taller cake in two and ended up with three pretty even sized layers!
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter for 30 seconds. Continue beating on medium as you gradually add in the sugar. Scrape down the side of the mixing bowl and then add in 1/8 teaspoon of red food coloring and mix to combine. Now add in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is well combined before the next egg is added. In another medium bowl (preferably one with a spout) combine the milk with the lemonade concentrate and the extract. The mixture will look curdled, don't worry!
Alternate between adding the milk mixture and the flour mixture to the butter mixture until all are combined. Fill first cake pan with batter, see ** note above for amounts. Now add 1/4 teaspoon more red food coloring to the remaining batter and mix to combine. Pour the remaining batter into the remaining pan and bake them each at 350 F. for 30-40 minutes. The cakes are done when the middles spring back at a light touch.
Let the cakes cool for about 10 minutes and then remove them from the pans to finish cooling on wire racks.
When cakes are completely cooled slice them if necessary and then frost. For the best results when frosting make sure the cake is 100% cooled, baking the cake the day before is a great way to do this. Once you begin frosting do the middles and then just a very thin coat (called a crumb coat) all over the outside and let it harden for about 10 minutes before finishing the rest of the job.