Lemonade Layer Cake

12 servings

This cake is lemony inside and out. The combination of frozen
lemonade concentrate and fresh lemon zest give this cake a zingy

For Cake:

2 1/2 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room

1 1/3 cups sugar

3 tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

For Frosting:

Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons minced lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon lemon oil

Lemon zest for garnish

FOR CAKE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch-square
nonstick cake pans with 2-inch-high sides; line bottoms with
parchment paper; butter paper. Sift flour, baking powder and salt
into medium bowl; set aside. Using an electric stand mixer and paddle
attachment, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add
sugar, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally and beating until
light. Beat in lemonade concentrate, zest and vanilla. Beat in eggs
one at a time, scraping down sides occasionally. Continue to beat
until mixture is smooth. On low speed beat in dry ingredients
alternately with milk in 3 batches, beginning and ending with dry
ingredients, until just blended. Divide batter equally between
prepared pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about
25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks.

FOR FROSTING: Using electric stand mixer and whisk attachment, beat
cream cheese and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy.
Gradually beat in sugar, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.
Beat in zest, vanilla and lemon oil until mixture is smooth and
fluffy, about 4 minutes.

TO ASSEMBLE: Turn cakes out onto work surface. Peel off parchment
paper. Place one cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread with 1
cup frosting. Top with second cake layer, flat side down. Spread
remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.

DO-AHEAD TIP: Cake can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome;
refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 2 hours before serving.

OPTIONAL GARNISH: Peel off long strips of lemon zest using zester.
Sprinkle zest around edges of cake.