Sweet and Sour Lemonhead Cake

Lemonhead Cake
Chia Chong
  • Yield: 20 servings


2 3/4cups cake flour
1 1 2/3cups sugar
1tablespoon baking powder
3/4teaspoon salt
1tablespoon grated lemon zest
3/4cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
4large egg whites, plus 1 whole large egg
1cup unsweetened coconut milk or regular whole milk
1/2teaspoon lemon extract
1/2teaspoon vanilla paste
Swiss Meringue buttercream frosting (see link to recipe below) tinted bright yellow with food coloring
2 (7-ounce) bags Lemonhead candies for garnish
Lemonhead Syrup:
1/4cup Lemonhead syrup (5 Lemonhead candies melted in 1/4 cup water and cooled)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and spray the paper. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest and mix on low speed for 1 minute, or until just combined. Add the butter and increase the speed to medium. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is a paste. Add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the whole egg and beat to combine. Scrape down the bowl as needed. The batter will be thick.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the coconut milk, lemon extract, and vanilla paste. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour this mixture into the batter. Beat for 3 to 5 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a rack, then turn them out
    of the pans.
  4. Slice a thin layer of cake from the top of each layer to create a flat surface. Place one layer (cut side up) on a cake pedestal or plate. Using a chopstick or skewer, poke a few holes in the top of the cake. Brush the top of the cake with half of the lemonhead syrup. Let the syrup seep into the holes. Spread 1 heaping cup Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting over the top of the first cake layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting, cut side up, poke holes in the top, and brush the top with the remaining syrup. Spread 1 heaping cup frosting as a crumb layer to cover the entire cake (it’s okay if you can see the cake through the frosting). Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Use the remaining frosting (about 3 cups) to apply the final decorative layer over the entire cake. Garnish with Lemonhead candies.

Excerpted from Sweet and Vicious: Baking with Attitude, © 2014 by Libbie Summers. Reproduced by permission of Rizzoli New York.