Bright and tangy, it is my idea of the perfect layer cake. You may think its tart-sweet flavor is for adults, but you'll be surprised: children adore it too. Although good all year, it seems to be the perfect dessert to celebrate the start of summer (some first-of-the-season berries make a gorgeous crown).

Serves 16


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1⁄2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1⁄4 cup lemon-lime soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Fresh Lemon Frosting (see separate recipe)


Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Add eggs, buttermilk, butter, shortening, lemon zest and lemon juice to flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Add lemon-lime soda and vanilla; beat on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds, until just blended.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pans, dividing equally.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pans, then invert cakes onto rack to cool completely.

Place one cake layer, flat side up, on a cake plate or platter. Spread 3⁄4 cup of the frosting evenly over bottom layer. Top with the second cake layer, flat side down. Spread the remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

From Piece of Cake! by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2011 Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.


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