Lemonade Cake

Lemonade Cake

August 20: National Lemonade Day

Lemonade is summer’s quintessential thirst quencher. And when the temperatures rise to a scorching heat in South Texas, we definitely like to cool down with the tart and tasty citrus drink. Sure we support the neighborhood children whenever they open up their lemonade stands on the street corner. But what if the little entrepreneurs had a summer bake sale and offered slices of lemonade cake?!? That may be a creative idea (but perhaps too ambitious). Nevertheless, lemonade in a cake still makes a sweet summer treat, especially on National Lemonade Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor Returns by Anne Byrn)

For the lemonade cake

  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) lemon cake mix
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the lemon cake mix with the water, vegetable oil and eggs. Mix until smooth. Pour into two 8-inch greased round cake pans. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, testing the cake for doneness. Remove from the oven and cool the cakes in the pan for about 15 minutes.

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Make the lemon glaze by mixing the lemonade concentrate with powdered sugar in a bowl until smooth. Poke holes in the warm cake with the tines of a fork. Drizzle the glaze on the cake, letting it seep through the holes. Cool the cakes completely. Invert one of the cakes onto a cake board or plate. Make the lemonade frosting.

Lemonade Cake

For the lemonade frosting

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons lemonade concentrate, thawed (leftover from the cake recipe above)
  • 3+ cups powdered sugar
  • 2+ tablespoons water

Directions

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with the lemonade. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Thin with water for a spreadable consistency.

Lemonade Cake

Spread frosting on top of the bottom layer of the cake. Top with the second cake. Spread frosting on top layer and down the sides of the cake to crumbcoat. Chill in the refrigerator for half an hour to set.

Lemonade Cake

Frost or decorate as desired (we covered our cake in rosettes; refer to our blog post for the Mystical Rosette Cake for additional directions). Slice and serve the cake.

Lemonade Cake

Notes

  • We doubled the recipe for the lemonade frosting to crumbcoat and decorate the cake in rosettes. We tinted half of it with a lemon yellow color for the latter.
  • Try substituting pink lemonade and tinting the batter and frosting in pink for a different color cake.
  • Love lemons? Search our blog for other lemon recipes!

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

June: National Lemon Month

Many cultures have their own version of boneless meat, which is coated in seasoned flour/breadcrumbs/batter, then fried or baked, and accompanied with gravy or sauce. Lemon chicken from L&L Drive-Inn, a popular chain restaurant in Hawaii and in select spots around the world, is one of Islander and her brother’s favorite deep fried chicken dishes with a tangy sweet lemon sauce.

During our undergraduate years in Hawaii, we would walk down our hilly campus to the L&L restaurant and treat ourselves to a cheap lunch or dinner when we did not want to eat cafeteria food or cook in our dorm kitchen. When we first ordered the lemon chicken, it looked like a giant, sliced chicken nugget with a sunny yellow dipping sauce on the side. As simple as the entrée was, we just loved the lemon sauce! It really is what makes the chicken a delicious dish.

For National Lemon Month, make lemon chicken for a local-style plate lunch.

Recipe

(Adapted from L&L Drive-Inn via the Star-Bulletin Archives)

For the chicken

  • 2 pounds boneless chicken (we used thinly sliced chicken breast meat)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chicken-flavored bouillon (we crushed a bouillon cube)
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

Pound the chicken meat to ¼-inch thickness or cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside and make the marinade. In a large glass bowl, mix together the water and vegetable oil. Blend in the cornstarch and flour. Stir in the egg. Season with salt, bouillon, white pepper and garlic powder.

Lemon Chicken

Mix to make a smooth batter. Coat the chicken in the marinade and leave for at least two hours. Deep fry the chicken in 350-degree oil until golden brown (5 minutes). Drain on paper towels. Keep warm.

Lemon Chicken

For the lemon sauce

  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white vinegar (we used cane sugar vinegar)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • small piece of ginger, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • ½ teaspoon of yellow food coloring
  • slices of lemon

Directions

In a measuring cup, make a slurry by dissolving the cornstarch in lemon juice. Set aside. In a saucepan, combine the water, vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil.

Lemon Chicken

Add the ginger, lemon extract and a few slices of lemon. Tint with yellow food coloring. Slowly stir in the cornstarch-lemon juice mixture until thickened and smooth. Discard the ginger. Serve the sauce on the side with the lemon chicken.

Lemon Chicken

Notes

  • The lemon sauce may be made ahead of time and re-heated. Garnish with fresh lemon slices.
  • This lemon chicken is a Chinese-influenced recipe. There are other lemon chicken recipes inspired by international ingredients.
  • Serve L&L Drive-Inn lemon chicken with scoops of rice and macaroni salad. Onolicious!
  • For another fruit-flavored sauce with chicken, try the recipe for honey orange glazed chicken listed in our September archives (National Chicken Month).
  • Love lemons? Search our blog for more lemon recipes.

Lemon Cream Pie

Lemon Cream Pie

November 29: National Lemon Cream Pie Day

Islander loves the lemon fresh taste in cakes. So naturally she likes them in pies, too. Although pumpkin, pecan, apple and sweet potato pies are popular during the current season, lemon cream pie is a nice alternative. The sweet-tart citrus flavor, smooth velvety texture and fluffy whipped cream topping bring to mind sunny and warm days. Make someone’s upcoming holidays happy with a pie and make lemon cream pie on National Lemon Cream Pie Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

For the lemon pie

  • ¾ cup fresh lemon juice (5-6 lemons)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pie crust (we used a graham cracker crust)

Directions

Juice the lemons and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar. Stir in the sour cream. Add the lemon juice.

Lemon Cream Pie

Mix in the salt and blend well. Pour into the pie crust. Place on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. The middle of the filling will still jiggle slightly. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely. Prepare the cream topping.

Lemon Cream Pie

For the whipped cream topping

  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • lemon peel curls (optional garnish)

Directions

In a mixing bowl, whip the cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of the lemon cream pie. Or fill a pastry bag with a decorating tip and pipe designs on top of the pie. Garnish with lemon peel curls (optional). Chill the pie for at least another hour before slicing and serving.

Lemon Cream Pie

Notes

  • If using a frozen pre-made pie shell, bake it in the oven according to the directions on the package until golden brown. Cool before filling.
  • Do not worry if the lemon filling cracks during baking. They will be covered in cream and still taste delicious.
  • The cream topping ingredients yield a generous amount. Feel free to half the recipe to cover/decorate the lemon cream pie.