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Pink Lemonade Cake

By 11:57 AM , , , ,

While visiting my in-laws down in Florida, the Husband and I always enjoy looking through the many recipe magazines and cookbooks that my father-in-law has.  The Husband found this Cook's Country recipe for Pink Lemonade Cake and thought it would be the perfect ending to a meal we were cooking for our in-laws and other family one evening.

Though a bit skeptical at first, I really was thrilled with the way this cake turned out. The amount of lemon and sweetness is just perfect. And the cake has just the right balance of lightness to denseness. The lemony cream cheese frosting is fluffy and addictive. I think I could eat a bowl of it!

It does take a while to prepare, but this Pink Lemonade Cake is an amazing summer treat worthy of any summer party or backyard cook-out. It was devoured by everyone and I even think the last few pieces were enjoyed during the next morning's breakfast! ;)

A few notes:
- Don't forget to double the frosting - you will definitely need every bit of it.
- If you don't have a tube pan, a bundt pan will work just fine, though it won't be quite as pretty. I used a bundt pan.
- I couldn't find pink decorating sugar at the grocery stores in Florida, but did find a pastel mix that included pink. I was happy with the results.
- Use natural red food coloring if you can! Red dye is NO GOOD!

Pink Lemonade Cake

5 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
1 1/3 cups (5 2/3 ounces) cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 teaspoons grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons juice (2 lemons)
Red food coloring
Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting, doubled (recipe below)
Pink-Sugared Lemon Slices (recipe below)

FOR THE CAKE: 

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.

Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites to soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar and whip until glossy, stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.

Combine flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl.

Whisk egg yolks, water, oil, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons juice, and 5 to 7 drops food coloring together in medium bowl until smooth.

Whisk yolk mixture into flour mixture until smooth.

Whisk one-third of whipped egg whites into batter, then gently fold in remaining whites in 2 additions until well combined.

Pour mixture into un-greased 16-cup tube pan.

Bake until skewer inserted in center comes out clean and cracks in cake appear dry, 55 to 65 minutes.

Invert pan onto wire rack and let cake cool completely in pan, about 3 hours.


FOR THE LEMON SLICES:

1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large lemon, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3 tablespoons pink decorating sugar

Combine water and granulated sugar in small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until sugar dissolves. Add lemon slices and bring to simmer.

Remove from heat and allow syrup and lemon slices to cool completely, about 1 hour. Transfer lemon slices to wire rack to drain, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle both sides of lemon slices with decorating sugar.


FOR THE ICING:

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool
2 cups confectioners' sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened, cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons lemon juice

With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese one piece at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla and lemon juice, and mix until no lumps remain.

TO ASSEMBLE: 

Stir 3 to 4 drops red food coloring into frosting until well combined. Un-mold cake onto plate and frost top and sides in even layer. Decorate along bottom edge with sugared lemon slices and serve.


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