Tart lemon cake filled with sweet, gooey coconut is just the ticket for a bright, fresh spring day.
Cream of tartar is a stabilizer for any kind of meringue, or egg white-based filling or topping. You may also find it called for in old-fashioned cookie recipes; it was one of the original leaveners in snickerdoodles, for instance.
Coconut flavor is one of the 27 extra-strong flavors we offer. Just 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon is all you need to add great flavor to cake, cookies, scones, pancakes… you name it. Vanilla-butternut flavor, anyone?
Lemon oil is the perfect stand-in for grated lemon rind (zest), when you don’t have any fresh lemons on hand. Substitute 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon lemon oil for the zest of 1 to 2 large lemons. It’ll make your cakes, icings, cookies, and muffins positively sing.
Let’s get started. Since it’s all about lemons, we’ll begin by making lemon glaze.
A Microplane grater-zester does a fine job here. It’s one of those tools you don’t use every day, but when you need to zest a lemon or lime – man, you’ll be glad you have it.
Set the grated rind aside; you’ll be adding it to the cake batter later.
Stir 3/4 cup sugar into the 1/3 cup lemon juice. If you have superfine sugar, so much the better; it’ll dissolve more readily.
Set the glaze aside while you make the filling and cake.
Put the following in a mixing bowl, and start to beat, using your mixer’s whisk attachment:
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Stir in 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon coconut flavor or 2 teaspoons vanilla. Or both. Can’t get too much of a good thing, and that includes complementary flavors.
Set the filling aside while you make the cake. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt* (*Use just 1/2 teaspoon salt if you choose to use salted butter)
Add 4 large eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl after you’ve added the first 2 eggs.
Add 3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour alternately with 1 cup milk.
Beat at low speed as you’re adding the flour and milk. Stir in the grated lemon rind, or 3/4 teaspoon lemon oil.
Spoon about 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. You want to add enough to cover the bottom, and start to come up the sides, barely; but not so much that you don’t have enough left over to cover the filling.
Brush the cake with the glaze.