lemonade layer cake

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This cake has become a tradition for my mom’s birthday.  If you like lemon desserts, I promise you will love it!

Lemonade Layer Cake:

1 1/3 c. granulated sugar
6 T. butter, softened
1 T. grated lemon rind
3 T. thawed lemonade concentrate
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. fat-free buttermilk (or you can substitute with 1 Tbsp. lemon juice mixed with enough milk to measure up to 1 cup, and let it sit for 5 minutes)

Frosting:

2 T. butter, softened
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
2 tsp.thawed lemonade concentrate
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
8 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

To prepare cake, place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with mixer at
medium speed until well blended, about 5 minutes. Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda with a whisk.

Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat well after each addition.

Pour batter into 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray. Tap pans once on counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack before removing from pans. Cool cakes completely on wire rack. If baking the cake as cupcakes, bake them for about 20 minutes.

To prepare frosting, place 2 T. butter and the next 4 ingredients (through cream cheese) in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, and beat at low speed just until blended. Chill 1 hour.

Place 1 cake layer on a plate, spread with 1/2 c. frosting. You can add berry jam on top of this layer if you’d like, or lemon curd (on the jam aisle). Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator (a large bowl works well, that way you won’t smudge the frosting). You can sprinkle the top of the cake with fresh berries before serving and it looks so pretty!

Serves 8-12, or 24 cupcakes.

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