I brought this cake to the county fair for 4-H and easily took home a purple ribbon. For a quicker lemon filling, use a cup of lemon curd from a jar.— Leah Will, Bel Aire, Kansas
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1-2/3 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 teaspoons each grated lemon, orange and lime peel
- 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
- Dash salt
- 3 drops yellow food coloring
- 1 drop red food coloring
- Assorted lollipops, unwrapped
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom of a greased 15x10x1-in. jelly-roll pan with parchment paper; grease paper.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and citrus peels. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
- Transfer to prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack; remove paper. Cool completely.
- For filling, in a small saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in water. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in butter. Gently stir in lemon juice. Press plastic wrap onto surface of filling; cool slightly. Refrigerate until cold.
- For frosting, in a large bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar, corn syrup, orange juice, vanilla, orange peel and salt until smooth. Tint orange with yellow and red food coloring.
- Trim edges of cake; cut crosswise into thirds. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with half of the filling. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with frosting. Insert lollipops in top for flowers. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Sunshine Cake in Taste of Home April/May 2013
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