Lemon cake pops and a giveaway winner
Excuse me while I get some business out of the way – you’ll understand in a minute.
Mom and Dani, if by any chance you are reading this post,
STOP RIGHT NOW.
Do not even think about proceeding. Thank you.
Lemon Cake Pops
Do you have holiday traditions in your family? We all get together at our parents’ house for three big family events every year. They are times you can count on for a lot of laughing, a lot of noise, and a lot of tiring fun. And often a lot of good-natured competition.
At Christmas, it’s usually board games. We tend to play in teams – sometimes with the kids and sometimes not. It definitely takes on a life of its own when we play with just the adults. It’s fun and we take the bragging rights pretty seriously.
Now, Easter is “a whole nother story,” as they say. I never really gave it much thought before, but the gloves really come off when we’re all together for Easter. Yes, there are the typical Easter activities that we do as a family with our kids. But the real action happens with our annual egg toss and the newer, but no less exciting, “Iron Chef Throwdown.” The egg toss has been going on for roughly 17 years now and involves partners tossing raw eggs at one another at greater and greater distances, until there’s only one couple left without egg splattered on them. Jim and I have won this egg toss only one time in 17 years. Bea and her hubby have won more times than I care to remember. But just so you know…. they raise chickens. Is it really a fair contest when they’re at one with the egg??
Anyway. This post is about the Iron Chef Throwdown. We’ve kind of combined what we love about the two Food Network shows, added a trophy, and voila. A tradition is born. I happen to have the trophy in my possession as I write this, but it’s up for grabs again come Friday. This year’s not-so-secret ingredient is lemon. I’ve been racking my brain over what I’m going to bake and how I’m going to please the finicky judges, which include 8 kids and 8 adults, and maybe an additional relative or two.
I finally decided to try bakerella‘s cake pops made with lemon cake and lemon buttercream frosting – both from scratch. Here’s my trial run. It’s a very good pairing of tart lemon cake with a dark chocolate coating, but I just don’t know. These judges are a tough crowd. I really want to keep that trophy! Seriously. This is weighing on me.
I played around with a lemon cake by Ina Garten to make these cake pops. I’ve posted the original recipe, but I didn’t bother with pouring the lemon syrup over the finished cakes. Instead, I just added those ingredients to the cake batter earlier. When I mixed the sugar and butter, the extra sugar was added there. When I combined the wet ingredients, the additional lemon juice went into that. The cakes turned out just fine with lots of great lemon flavor. I also skipped the glaze and crumbled the cake in the food processor before mixing it with my lemon buttercream frosting. I rolled the mixture into 1″ balls and dipped them in melted dark chocolate wafers. (Note: I didn’t have to use the entire bowl of frosting. I used about the same amount that you’d find in a can of frosting from the grocery store.)
I’ll probably be posting a lot of lemon stuff this week. Look at that. Our first theme week. Lemon. Hopefully you’ll be in a citrus mood. If not, just bear with me for a few days.
Recipe: Lemon Cake
(from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties)
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 c. granulated sugar, divided
4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 c. grated lemon zest (6-8 large lemons)
3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
3/4 c. buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
3 1/2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two loaf pans.
Cream the butter and 2 c. granulated sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer at medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, and the lemon zest.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 c. lemon juice, the buttermilk, and the vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45-60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Combine 1/2 c. granulated sugar with 1/2 c. lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and set on a rack set over a tray; spoon the lemon syrup over them. Allow cakes to cool completely.
For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.
Recipe: Lemon Buttercream Frosting
1/2 c. butter, softened
4 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
5-6 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
In large bowl, cream butter until nice and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add lemon juice until frosting is desired consistency.
We are very happy to announce the winner of our first ever giveaway.
Congratulations to Chris from MI!