A month ago, Morgan & I got an email from a reader that spoke right into where our hearts are right now. She wrote to ask if we were going to continue posting content on the blog & encouraged us saying, "This is my favorite place to come for new recipes so I really hope y'all continue! Thanks for all the great recipes you have provided! My family is grateful!”
We both wanted to cry both happy & sad tears over her words. After months of pausing from the blog, we’ve been desperately wanting to get back in our kitchens to shoot recipes. What began as a tiny break from the blog turned into an elongated hiatus after some life changes & new priorities for the both of us. I got engaged in March & started planning a wedding, then I changed jobs and started my own photo business in April. Meanwhile, Morgan got engaged in May and worked on two big projects from the New York Times in August and September. Not to mention lots of travel in between — our reunion in California in June, Morgan’s trip to Amsterdam, then Morgan came to Kentucky for my wedding and then I was off to Jamaica to honeymoon. And that’s just the highlights, lots of life & work in between kept us from coming back to what we loved.
It’s been a year of change to say the least, but we didn’t want a whole year to go by without any word from us on C&L. We love our blog and have been missing it dearly while we were away & we hope you feel the same. Whether this is your first time reading or you’ve been patiently waiting & asking us to come back, we are grateful you’ve found us & have stuck around.
We’re not making promises or posting schedules this time around, just reopening the door & giving ourselves permission to come in and post as we have time & when the inspiration strikes. We hope you’ll follow along as new content is added & help encourage us along the way — we will need it!
Today I’m here to share a special & delicious lemon cake. When Morgan came to Kentucky to be in my wedding, she came a week early to craft three signature wedding cakes for me. One of the flavors I requested was lemon & she knocked it out of the park. Here’s her lemon cake recipe that I recently made for my friend Ellie’s birthday & shot for this post. Enjoy!
For the cake:
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 8×2-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper, then butter the parchment.
In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and egg whites.
Place the granulated sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a standing mixer or a large mixing bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and beat on medium speed for 3 full minutes, until very light and fluffy. Beat in the lemon extract.
Beating on medium speed, add one-third of the flour mixture, then half of the egg/buttermilk mixture and beat until combined. Still beating on medium speed, add the next third of the dry ingredients, then the remaining eggs/buttermilk. Beat until the batter is smooth, then add the remaining dry ingredients. Beat for 2 additional minutes on medium speed, ensuring the batter is very well combined and that plenty of air has been beaten into it.
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber or offset spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen, spring back lightly when touched, and a small knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the cake pans on a wire rack and let cool 5 minutes, then run a dull knife around the sides of the cake to loosen. Gently invert the cake into your hand so that it comes out of the pan, remove the paper liner, then place the cake directly back onto the wire rack, bottom (flat) side down and right-side up. Let cool to room temperature.
For the frosting:
Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add a few cups of powdered sugar at a time and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn't blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, and salt.
If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add more powdered sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add 1 Tbsp. of milk, keep adding until desired consistency is reached.