Scott’s Lemon Velvet Cake
Yields: Two 9” or 10″ OR three 8” round cakes
4 cups granulated sugar
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups unsweetened soy or almond milk
1 ⅓ cups vegetable oil
1 tbsp. pure lemon extract
1 tbsp. Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract
2 heaping tsp. lemon zest (1-3 lemons depending on size)
2 cups very warm lemon water (hot water mixed with 3-4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice)
1 tbsp. yellow food coloring
Ingredients for the Lemon-Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
3 lbs. cream cheese
2 lbs. unsalted butter
2 lb. powdered sugar, sifted
1 tbsp. Madagascar bourbon vanilla bean paste or good pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp. pure lemon extract
1 tbsp. lemon zest (from 1-2 lemons)
1 tbsp. lemon juice (if needed)
4-5 drops yellow food coloring
½-1 cup high-ratio shortening or Crisco (optional)*
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour your pans, place parchment paper in the bottom of the pans and set them aside.
In a stand mixer with the whip attachment, sift the sugar, flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda at low speed.
In a bowl, add yellow food coloring and lemon juice to the hot water and set aside. In another bowl, add vinegar to the milk (or just use buttermilk-but it won’t be vegan this way) and set aside. In a bowl, add vanilla and lemon extract to the oil and set aside.
With the mixer on low, add the oil mixture, milk mixture and half of the water mixture. Mix until incorporated and free of lumps. Add the last of the water mixer and blend until fully incorporated.
Fill the cake pans and bake for 30-45 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of cakes and when it comes out clean, the cakes are done. Allow to cool and remove from pan. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Frost cake and return to refrigerator. Allow to cool for 30 minutes to an hour before serving for best results.
Directions for Frosting:
Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before mixing.
In a stand mixer with a paddle, cream the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add butter and mix until incorporated. Add vanilla, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice and blend on low speed until incorporated.
Switch the attachment to a whip, and whip on high until light and fluffy. Put the icing between the layers, usually 1 cup is sufficient between layers but use however much you want. Stack the layers as you finish frosting between them and the frost top and sides.
When completed, I recommend putting the cake in the refrigerator and cover it. Take the finished cake out of the refrigerator about 30-40 minutes before cutting and serving.
* Notes: If frosting is too thin or you are planning on piping decorations with the frosting, I recommend starting with ½ cup of high-ratio shortening (you can find on Amazon or baking stores) or Crisco and increasing if you need more. You shouldn’t need more than 1 cup of shortening to make it firm and manageable. Crisco can be a bit dicey sometimes with the Texas heat and humidity, but it’s better than not having any shortening at all. The shortening doesn’t affect the taste, it only affects the texture and helps it to stand up to the temperature. If necessary to firm up the frosting, you can always place the frosting in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so to firm up.
This recipe is configured to be vegan. If you decide not to use almond milk, buttermilk is even better, but the recipe will no longer be vegan. I personally like the flavor that buttermilk adds.
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