To prepare cake, place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; stir well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat well after each addition.
Pour batter into 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.
To prepare frosting, place 2 tablespoons butter and the next 4 ingredients (2 tablespoons butter 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 (do not overbeat). Chill 1 hour.
Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator.
Since there are so many dense cake complaints. Here are some adjustments to try for a lighter cake.
Use cake flour in place of all purpose.
Use lemon extract in place of lemonade concentrate(don't use too much).
Use one whole teaspoon of baking soda instead of 1/2 like the recipe says.
Leave out one whole egg.
Be careful not to over mix the batter. When mixing the batter. Cream just the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. THEN mix in the whole egg first then mix in the whites and the zest and lemon extract. Other than that, follow the rest of the recipe for mixing the flour mixture and adding the buttermilk. Just don't sharply tap the cake pans. Be a little gentle. You don't want all your air bubbles to pop. You just need to get the big air bubbles out if any. If your batter is too dry, just add milk in teaspoons until your batter is right.
I absolutely adore this cake, and it's been a family favorite since it originally came out! My mom just made it again for my birthday on Saturday, and it was fabulous, with us all angling for the leftovers! It is wonderfully rich-tasting, lemony, sweet, with great icing, but not too heavy at the end of a meal. We often have it for family birthdays, and love it every time. It has the perfect amount of icing on as a layer cake. I don't understand why some people have such difficulty with this cake, as we've never had it fail, it always turns out like the picture, and always tastes like something from a gourmet bakery or Starbucks. Maybe overbeating? Leavening past their prime? Less than careful measuring or packing down flour? Rushing due to waiting til the last minute, making mistakes? Substitutions? Miscalculations? So much can go wrong with baking, even when you"followed the recipe exactly"! If you love lemons, try this cake! Follow the recipe carefully, and it'll come out perfectly!
Just made this cake for my husband's birthday. After reading the reviews I doubled the baking powder and I did half vanilla and half lemon extract. I also added 1 TBS of fresh lemon juice to the cake and the rest, about a TBS + 1tsp, of the fresh juice to the frosting along with lemon extract instead of vanilla. It baked and was done in exactly 20 minutes. The results were outstanding! It looked just the like the photo and the texture was moist and decadent. I'm not sure why some people had to throw theirs away. If you know how to bake and follow the directions to make it well......it's a piece of cake. I did mine from start to frosted on the plate in about 1 1/2 hours. Recipe is definately a keeper.
I made this for a July birthday party and it got rave reviews. It is a dense, moist cake, and that's what I liked about it. I followed the recipe exactly, but had to bake an extra 5 minutes. The only thing I will do differently if I make it again is line the pans with parchment, because the cakes did release from the pans very well.
The common complaint amongst most of the three or fewer stars reviews is that this cake "was too dense", "not fluffy/light/airy" as with most other cakes. Well here's a little (not so) secret characteristic of lemonade cake.... It's SUPPOSED to be dense. That what sets it apart from all the other run of the mill cakes out there! Personally, that is what I love MOST about this cake. It feels luxuriously heavy on the palette, like it's actually made of something other than air and sugar, and that heaviness is what leaves a feeling of satisfaction after just one small slice so that seconds are rarely needed in the same sitting. That density is also what makes this such an excellent cake to freeze and save for a later date so that none is ever wasted! My sister had a lemonade cake made for her wedding reception and ended up freezing the leftovers, which we were able to enjoy months later at a family birthday, just as much as we had enjoyed it the first time! Those of you looking for a light and fluffy cake, try approaching this one with a different expectation of the final result, and I think you will be pleasantly surprised! Or just pick a different cake 😋
Just made it for the first time and I didn't have any problems. The cake turned out perfect. It cooked a little longer than 20 minutes but that was the least of my worries. I added a little more cream cheese to the frosting, but that is just how I like it. Also I put strawberries inside my middle layer and around the edge of the cake. Gave it a little something extra. This has become a family favorite and a great summer dessert!
I am not sure if I did something wrong but the cake turned out VERY dense. The taste was good, but the texture was very heavy. Also, 20 minutes was not nearly enough time to cook it. Because I checked it and it was not done, the cake fell as well in the centers, causing the frosting to pool. I am not sure I would make it again.