Lemon Cake with Rhubarb Compote Filling

Lemon Cake

Have you ever taken a book out from the library and loved it so much, that after your third time renewing it, and a small fine, you realize you need to buy it?  That is how I feel about The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila.  It is part recipe book, part short stories, and all very relatable and inspiring in a petit, unassuming kind of way.

I made the yellow cake recipe out of it for the first time a couple weeks ago, adding a little lemon for good measure (and cutting a couple corners along the way), and it was one of the best cakes I have ever made.  Moist, fluffy, fresh and delicious.

So here is it.  Enjoy.  And check out Alana's book from your local library or visit her blog, Eating From the Ground Up.

Lemon Cake
3 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup milk
Juice and grated lemon zest from 1/2 of a lemon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line the bottom of two round 9" cake pans with parchment paper cut to size.  If your pans are non-stick, you might want to grease the pans and dust them with flour, but I skipped this and all ended well.
2. Combine the first three ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
3. Whip the egg whites with a hand mixer until soft peaks form and set aside.
4. Beat the butter with the hand mixer for about a minute until it is fluffy.  Add the sugar and whip for another minute.  Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add the vanilla and mix it in.
5. Alternate adding the flour and milk, about one third at a time, and mixing on low speed after each addition until combined.  Add the lemon juice and zest and stir until combined.  Stir in a third of the egg whites with a wooden spoon.  Fold in the remaining egg whites with a spatula.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, using the spatula to make a crater in the center of the batter (this will make a flatter cake).  Cook until golden and a toothpick comes out of the center clean, about 40 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then invert it on a cooling rack and let completely cool.


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