1½ cups sifted cake flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups sugar
⅔ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup vegetable shortening at room temperature
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
2 tsp pure lemon extract
3 large eggs
1½ cups buttermilk
zest of two small or one large lemons, grated and finely chopped
FOR THE FROSTING
8 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
2 cups unsalted butter
1 tsp pure lemon extract
1 tsp minced lemon zest (optional)
aproximately 4 tbsp milk
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together the vegetable oil, shortening, vanilla and lemon extract. Beat well at high speed with whisk attachment until light and fluffy
Beat the eggs in one at a time.
Fold in the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk.
I always add dry ingredients in three divisions and liquid ingredients in 2 divisions. It is very important to begin and end the additions with the dry ingredients. Do not over mix the batter. As soon as it has no lumps in the batter, pour into the two prepared 9 inch cake pans.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
FOR THE FROSTING: mix together the icing sugar, lemon zest and butter until it becomes sort of crumbly.
Add the lemon extract and a little of the milk.
Beat until smooth and fluffy, adding only enough milk to bring the frosting to a creamy spreadable consistency.
Fill and frost the cake. Garnish with candied lemon zest if desired.
To make candied lemon zest, remove the zest with a sharp vegetable peeler in long strips, avoiding as much of the white pith as possible.
Bring one cup of water and one cup of sugar to a slow boil.
Add the pieces of lemon zest and boil for about 15 minutes. Drain the lemon zest on a wire rack.
When cool, cut them in strips and roll in fine sugar.