I’m not sure why I crave this cake in the spring. My grandmother used to make it all year round and it was a favorite of everyone. Maybe its the bright, simple flavors. Almond and lemon lightly scent this sweet, dense cake. Its heartiness is comforting enough when spring still feels more like the dead of winter. Summer is ahead and swimsuit season is threatening. We’d better have one last hurrah.
Whatever the reason, I always want to make this cake around Easter. Its presence begs to be accompanied by a ham dinner and brightly colored eggs.
As with most of my grandmother’s delightful recipes, the handwritten card is somewhat vague. If I didn’t get it right here, its ok because what came out is wonderful. The edges are crisp and the inside is soft and dense. I’m partial to the crispy edges. Maybe you’re a soft innards kind of person. To each his own.
This cake is sweet and flavorful by itself, but you could have fun a million different ways dressing it up. Create a glaze out of powdered sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice, drizzle it over the top of the cooled cake and sprinkle it with finely chopped almonds. Dust the whole cake with powdered sugar. Drizzle it with a chocolate sauce. Cover slices with fresh strawberries and sweetened whipped cream for a strawberry shortcake. I think you get the idea.
I hope you’ll try my grandmother’s cake this spring. Be sure to let me know how you would eat it!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a large bunt pan and coat it in flour, shaking out the excess.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in 1/2 cup milk and both extracts. Add alternately the flour mixture with 1 egg at a time. When well beaten, add the remaining 1/2 cup milk.
Bake 90 minutes or until golden in color and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cake will keep well wrapped at room temperature for 3 days.
This post was sponsored by Frigidaire. When you check out Suzanne Goin’s springtime recipes at www.maketimeforchange.com, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children’s U.S. programs. Plus, you’ll be entered for a chance to win the new Frigidaire Range with SymmetryTM Double Ovens – featuring two large ovens (that can each fit up to a 28 pound turkey!), providing the flexibility to cook multiple dishes at the same time at different temperatures, so you can get more on the table at the same time. Recipe and opinions are my own.