If you really love lemon, the only thing better than a cake made with plenty of lemon zest or juice is one that adds more of the favored flavor via a lemony filling, frosting, or syrup. These Chowhound-endorsed recipes pack plenty of citrus wallop.
Basting the hot cake with a syrup of lemon and sugar adds moistness as well as flavor. Maida Heatter’s daughter’s 62nd Street lemon cake, baked in a Bundt or tube pan, is “amazing,” robotcoupe says. “Bake it several hours ahead of time to give the lemon glaze time to soak into the cake. So good.”
A lemon curd filling gives layer cakes a rich hit of fruit. This lemon meringue angel food cake calls for slicing the cake in three layers, spreading lemon curd between them, and covering the whole thing with Italian meringue frosting. It is “quite a bit of work but the results are spectacular,” says middydd, who adds that toasting the meringue with a torch after frosting “works nicely.”
IndyGirl says this recipe, which uses lemon three ways—in syrup spread on the cake layers, curd spread between the layers, and a mascarpone frosting mixed with yet more curd—is “gorgeous.” She has a strategy for making the multipart recipe easier to conquer: Make the lemon curd a couple of days in advance, bake the layers a day ahead, and assemble the cake on the morning of the day you’ll serve it.
Other favorite layer cakes include this one made with lemonade concentrate, which has a clear lemon flavor and is light and moist, according to middydd. IndyGirl also liked this blueberry-lemon cake with citrus–cream cheese frosting.
A different kind of dessert is Margaret Atwood’s lemon custard cake, which separates into two layers as it bakes: cake on top, custard on the bottom. “Easy to make but looks/tastes impressive,” toveggiegirl says.