Lemonade Layer Cake

  • cathyx Posted: 11/27/08
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    I was VERY DISAPPOINTED with this 'cake' recipe. I wanted to like it, I really did. But, to be fair the results were extremely discouraging. As others have also witnessed, the texture is incredibly "spongy" and not dissimilar to a giant lemon crumpet. The cream cheese frosting needs only 80 grams of icing sugar NOT 3 1/2 cups, unless of course your intention is to cause diabetic fits. My 'cake' has found a good home - IN THE BIN!

  • kriseve Posted: 03/16/09
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    This is an excellent cake - probably best for summers. I made in a 9x13, cooked for 35 minutes at 335 degrees - convection. Probably a bit too long. The icing made enough for about 1/2" worth on the whole of the 9x13, so I'd probably cut down the quantity next time. The amount of sugar ratio in the icing was fine, and if you follow it, the icing sets up beautifully very quickly. I did 1/2 lemon extract and 1/2 vanilla extract - really liked this, still wasn't overly lemony so could go even more depending on your preferences. Make sure you beat the first set of ingrediants until insanely fluffy. I think this is the problem others have been having with texture issues. I had no problems, and the cake didn't fall.

  • LeahMarie Posted: 02/25/09
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    My husband has to have a lemon cake for his birthday every year. I made this the third year and finally found a winner—I have to make this every year. The first year I made as the cake version but since then I've been making it as cupcakes for him to take to work and they're always a hit. No one can ever tell that it's from Cooking Light and it has enough lemon flavor to satisfy my husband. The recipe turns out perfectly every time.

  • Margaret10 Posted: 03/24/09
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    Frosting is excellent. But the directions in the recipe are incorrect. The cake will not bake in 20 minutes - it needs double the time. And the batter is very liquidy which makes for a very dense cake - not light and fluffy as show in the picture. Cake batter needs improvement. I like the lemon theme but will use a different cake batter recipe next time.

  • BKirkpat Posted: 03/30/09
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    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.

  • rmiller2 Posted: 06/29/10
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    This is an amazing cake! I made it for my grandma's birthday. Everyone loved it! It was super moist but still light and fluffy. The picture is deceiving because it doesn't rise as much as it looks like it would. The lemon flavor is great, using the lemonade concentrate made it a lot easier than squeezing lemon juice. For the icing, I used a little more than half the amount of powdered sugar because I think it becomes way too sweet. I had a lot of icing left over after I finished icing the cake though. I would definitely make this again. I think maybe a layer of some kind of fruit in the middle would add a nice touch next time.

  • bardougma Posted: 04/13/09
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    Terrific recipe! Everyone asks me for it. I don't understand those who commented that it was dense! It was light and fluffy and delicious!! I did bake it (in 9" layers) for 25 minutes. The top tends to be sticky, so I inverted it on the plate, frosted the layer, then inverted the second layer. It was easier to frost the bottoms and looked just lovely swirled on top. (Didn't refrigerate the frosting as it was stiff enough). I think the frosting recipe is a little stingy - just made it for the two layers, but it was okay. I also once-and-a-halfed it for three layers, and it was spectacular! Got raves from all who ate it!

  • andthensome Posted: 07/27/10
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    Cake was a little dense. May have over baked. Next time I'll stick to the desired bake time. Good flavor overall. Will try again.

  • tabbytrap Posted: 02/28/10
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    Time intensive for sure but hits the spot for summer. Is supermoist and just amazing. I love how the tang of the lemon is offset by the cream cheese frosting.

  • gmmSeattle Posted: 08/16/10
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    Sorry, but I didn't care for this recipe. I found the cake to be dense and the frosting was gritty. I purchased a container of frozen lemonade concentrate, but it seemed silly not to use the juice from the lemons after zesting them. That was the one change I made to the recipe. The recipe states not to overbeat the frosting, but based on past experience, I think cream cheese frosting needs to be mixed for a good while to prevent the sugar from being gritty. My mother and I both tried a small piece and the rest went into the garbage.

  • xojtmeghanxo Posted: 06/06/10
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    A very refreshing and light cake. I made the night before and stored in the fridge and it turned out tasting great the next day. Beats Starbucks Iced Lemon Pound Cake by far. A favorite among my lemon-loving family!

  • Robin0514 Posted: 05/19/11
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    I also do not know what people are doing to make this cake so bad. I have made it several times over the last few years and never had a problem. One thing I have discovered is that when I make it as cupcakes I need to fill them more, as it doesn't rise much. I regularly get requests for this recipe.

  • rstarrlemaitre Posted: 04/14/11
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    I must disagree with those who didn't like this cake! I baked for 25 minutes, at which point the cakes were perfectly cooked - moist and fluffy. I also liked the frosting as is - sweet but a nice contrast to the lemon flavor. You could easily get away with increasing the amount of lemon rind and lemonade concentrate for more lemonade flavor in every bite, but even so, I found this delicious.

  • jmeleeS Posted: 04/29/11
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    I spent an inordinate amount of time making this layered dessert and ended up with a dense and dry cake, with gritty / sugary frosting; yuck! I took one bite after all my labors and sadly put the whole cake down the drain. It was probably one of my most regretful recipes to have gone so poorly because this sounds like a wonderful dessert. I made the recipe exactly as prescribed; I won't be trying this one again....

  • pritzypritz Posted: 06/07/11
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    I thought this was good, though I made a few changes. It was relatively dense, but not much.It had a pretty nice crumb, if only a bit denser than I would like. Not too bad, though. After reading all the reviews of it being too dense and spongey, I substituted cake flour, and used 2 1/4 cups instead of 2c of regular flour. I also used 2 more T of butter when I creamed it with the sugar. I one and a halved the frosting recipe because I didn't want to skimp on it. I also used maybe quadruple the lemonade concentrate in the frosting! I just kept adding it until it was tart and lemony enough for my tastes. I would make it again!

  • Nurseaudreyk Posted: 05/28/11
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    I first made this recipe when it came in my Cooking Light magazine. I fell in love with it, but I have to admit that it was quite dense. However, I do know that from-scratch cakes are denser than box-cakes, so that gave it a little unique-ness to me. I lost the magazine, and I was excited to find out that I could get it online!! Love this...I am actually going to make it using regular ingredients. I expect the frosting to be a little less runny - I will let you know!

  • books4gail Posted: 07/12/11
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    I have made this cake for years. In fact, my husband just asked for it this week. It is a dense cake, but moist and yummy. I make it according to the recipe and remember the frosting amount to be skimpy. But I just credit that to the Cooking Light calorie/nutrition standards.

  • bake4life Posted: 10/09/11
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    This cake is absolutely delicious! I love it, we make it all the time for my family's birthdays. The cake is moist and has the perfect flavor of lemon while the cream cheese frosting is amazing! Great flavor and so refreshing, I recommend it to anyone!

  • crosscourt Posted: 09/14/11
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    A great cake. Everyone loved it. The lemon flavor isn't overwhelming which is good. The icing is very sweet. But that was okay by us.

  • Riki919 Posted: 03/15/12
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    This recipe is excellent! Definitely would recommend making this layer cake!! Very happy with it.

  • kate0328 Posted: 03/05/12
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    This cake is amazing. Its got a great summertime taste to it. I added raspberry preserves as the middle layer to change it up a bit. Perfect! Like one of the other reviewers said this cake is dense, but it is suppose to be that is what makes it so good. Not like the box mixes.

  • Joyce30 Posted: 01/19/12
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    Evertime I make this cake I get favorable comments.

  • YankeeGirl Posted: 02/26/12
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    I'm not a baker, but I tried this and it was a success! Very good and light.

  • DebraWiese Posted: 03/12/12
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    It fell flat as a pancake. I've been baking forty years and never had that happen.

  • Suzeq66 Posted: 06/25/12
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    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.

  • steponme Posted: 04/08/12
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    My cake turned out just like the picture. However, I didn't care for the texture, sort of heavy/sticky and the icing was too sweet for my taste. Won't make this one again.

  • htraveler Posted: 03/04/12
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    I gave this a fair shake. I even baked it two times thinking it must have been my fault it was so dense. It weighed a ton and didn't rise much (my leavening was fresh). It would have been better to just buy a lemon cakemix and add lots of fresh zest to it. The frosting was O.K. but I think it could have been improved upon, too. Maybe not as much cream cheese (can't believe I'm say that!!) and not so sweet? Anyway the photo and the actual finished product are two totally different things.

  • alissaalissa Posted: 04/06/13
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    This recipe is so bad and I should have know when they say it needs to be refridgerated. The icing is like liquid and sops all over the place. I know how to bake and I am not very happy about this recipe at all should have read the comments. Everything tastes great the presentation just well. Sucks.

  • CarolHuck Posted: 04/07/12
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    This was a big hit at my house! I made this recipe for a family dinner and my 30 yr old son, who hates cake, ate 2 slices and asked to take the leftover cake home. Everyone else loved it as well. This is in my favorite dessert file.

  • Kaycosta Posted: 06/17/12
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    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!

  • KatePort Posted: 07/17/12
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    This is one of the best cakes of all time -- always a hit when I make it. It's moist, flavor-full, sweet and tart, perfect in summer and delicious all year round. Has anyone tried it as cupcakes?

  • murphiesabie Posted: 04/08/12
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    My sister-in-law makes this occasionally. It is truly my favorite cake!! So moist, dense cake.....and frosting beyond belief!!

  • NanaG13 Posted: 04/26/12
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    This turned out fantastic! I actually made little individual cakes ( pinch bigger than a cupcake, more mini-bundt cake size). They turned out super. I did have to bake them for a few min. longer than the recipe calls for ( could be my oven?). I used almost every oz of the icing because it was soooo good, the 5-6 tblspoons that were left were consumed by yours truly as a treat with a cup of coffee a few nights later. Pure heaven! The only thing I'd change next time is I'd add more lemon to both the cake and to the icing next time, lemon flavor was great but I'd personally like it a bit more lemony. Rave reviews from family.

  • katiethegreaty Posted: 07/01/12
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    I made this for a summer party and it was perfect! I overheard guests at the party talking about how delicious it was. Yes, the cake was dense as reviewers noted; however, it wasn't offensively so. I did not have any issue with cook time - in fact, I pulled mine 5 minutes early. I did adjust the powdered sugar down a bit in the frosting (only because I only had two cups & was too lazy to go to the store), so there's plenty of wiggle room with it still tasting amazing.

  • CroixAllard Posted: 04/17/13
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    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.

  • portland Posted: 04/11/12
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    very dense, but moist. lemon flavor is not apparent. different type of instructions for regular layer cake, maybe that is why it is so heavy

  • panamaduwa Posted: 04/08/12
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    I made this 3 days ago and everyone requested I make another one for Easter dinner. It's really, really good. I didn't have a problem with it falling. We loved the density and the flavor. YUM!

  • tigerlil64 Posted: 02/25/13
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    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!

  • HoneyG1 Posted: 04/02/13
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    This past Easter was my first time making this wonderful cake.I would definately make it again!

  • Achsah17 Posted: 03/14/13
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    There is something very wrong with this recipe. Like so many people commented, it did not rise and it was very very dense. What puzzles me is that half of the people who tried it loved it but for the other half it didn't work at all. What's wrong here??

  • QueeTheBean Posted: 06/24/13
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    Sigh. This was supposed to be my birthday cake. I wish that I had read the reviews before I baked it. I wanted it to be a light, fluffy cake, and it was . . . drumroll . . . a dense, over-moist cake. It was cooked all the way through, but "wet" nonetheless. I think 5 minutes is too long to cream the butter mixture. And why do we tap the pans? I feel like that deflated my cakes before they even went into the oven. Also, I ended up with way too much frosting----and wow, it seemed like an enormous amount of powdered sugar. Yuck. Unhappy birthday to me. :(

  • Tink0731 Posted: 03/25/12
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    I followed this recipe exactly and it did not rise and was very heavy and dense. It sunk in the middle. It tasted OK, but I don't think I would make it again. The frosting however turned out really good, I probably would try a box mix of lemon and use this frosting. I read other reviews and noticed some turned out really good and I just wondered what I did wrong. What a bummer, I was so excited to have it turn out great !!!

  • Rowant99 Posted: 08/09/12
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    I would describe this cake in one word: horra-awful. That's horrible and awful put together. Seriously. As others have already said, this recipe makes a thick, spongy goo and the flavor is downright nasty. What a waste of time and ingredients. Run away!!!!!

  • dmh5858 Posted: 07/01/12
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    Do you need to change anything for high altitude???

  • Michelle94404 Posted: 06/01/13
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    I need help with this recipe. It sounded so good, I decided to enter into the fair next week. In the past few weeks, I have made it twice. The first time I used all purpose flour, not fluffy enough. Almost as dense as carrot cake and the layers didn't rise like they should. So, I did switch to cake flour. Reading the comments here, if I was to exclude the lemon concentrate, how much extract should I use? Since both the frosting and the cake have the concentrate.

  • meljane1 Posted: 06/18/12
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    I made this cade for a family gathering. I had several compliments and requests for the recipe. I thought it was delicious and you can never go wrong with cream cheese icing!

  • sletkeman Posted: 07/21/12
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    I make this cake every summer. Perfect!

  • tluvgolf Posted: 08/02/13
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    I love this cake, the crumb, the lightness and the lemon..... I love that you can halve it easy for a nice dessert for 2 people. I have made this cake many times and once for a birthday I put blackberry filling between the layers and frosted with the icing on the recipe. Everyone loved it...

  • thereseSk Posted: 08/03/13
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    Just made this and it turned out amazing. I used self rising flour was the only change. Perfect!!!

  • Jean1958 Posted: 06/30/13
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    This cake was a big hit with all the lemon lovers in my family!

  • dianawilcox Posted: 08/29/13
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    this cake was heavy and didnt have a very lemoney taste to it.

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