Easy Lemon Cake with Marshmallow Frosting + Toasted Coconut.

I made us a cake!

And in doing so, probably eliminated a good percentage of the population with the whole lemon thing. Then I go and add coconut and well, oomph.

These are some serious love-or-hate-it flavors here.

In this journey of life that I like to call talking to my invisible internet friends, I’ve watched my tastes go from never wanting anything lemon flavored ever to downright craving the tart and sweet flavor. It totally blows my mind and also makes me feel like I’m getting old since I never knew anyone when I was younger that liked lemon stuff besides my grandma. Now I know more people.

Now I’m old.

What I find incredibly nuts is that now when I want something sweet, which let’s be honest – is every single day – I can actually determine if it’s chocolate or peanut butter or citrus that I want. Perhaps this is what people mean when they say they’ve “found themself?”

If knowing that I want lemon cheesecake over a brownie is knowing myself, then yes indeed… I’ve found myself. I might go hide just so I can find myself again.

Cheesecake fake out above! Right? Looks like cheesecake.

Isn’t cheesecake. I’m having cake remorse right now. Wish it was cheesecake. I should learn, for all of our sakes.

I call this easy lemon cake because, well… it’s easy. Emphasis on the easy. You can mix it in a bowl with a spoon and don’t have to use your mixer. Keep in mind that doing so will not yield a super light and fluffy cake that will often result with the use of your stand mixer, but it still is quite delicious and cake-like nonetheless.

It’s also only one layer because it’s 2013 and I’d like to know who has the patience to make a layer cake. No, really. I’d love to know. Because I don’t. And then I feel terrible about myself and like crud when I see all my inspirational and often very busy blog friends make incredible layer cakes with ombre frosting and ribbons and swirls and topped with the sistine chapel ceiling made out of candy. I’m (not so) secretly jealous. Not only are my layer cakes eternally crooked, uneven and generally a giant mess, but I do not possess the frosting skills nor the willingness to endure such artistry. It takes a lot.

I’m more of a bake-something-and-throw-crap-on-top type of girl.

Back to the flavors.

So while I’m all over the lemon now, sometimes I need a little something… extra? That’s where the marshmallow frosting comes in. Which isn’t so easy, but I gave you easy cake so can we overlook such a thing? Actually it is really easy, but the technique is going to freak you out so listen up now when I say for real, it is super easy. I can’t get enough of this stuff. Ugh. So good. And then the coconut – I mean, that just sort of goes with lemon, right? Plus, it’s all Easter-y and what not. Feel free to leave it off. Or pile more on!

Do what you want. We all know I do.


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Easy Lemon Cake with Marshmallow Frosting + Toasted Coconut

Yield: serves 4-6

Total Time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
the zest of 4 lemons
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (this was 3 lemons for me)
3 tablespoons milk

marshmallow frosting
4 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut, toasted if desired

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a round 9-inch cake pan (mine was springform) with nonstick spray liberally.

In a small bowl, whisk together sifted flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in cooled butter and vanilla extract, whisking until combined. Stir in all of the lemon zest. Add half of the flour mixture, stirring well, then add in the lemon juice and milk. Stir in remaining dry ingredients until batter is smooth. Pour into the greased 9-inch pan and use a spatula to even out the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cake is set and springs back when touched. Remove and let cool completely.

marshmallow frosting
To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heat-proof bowl, preferably the bowl of your electric stand mixer. Place over top of a double-boiler that contains simmering water, and whisk constantly for 3-4 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites are slightly warm. Immediately remove the bowl and place it on your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beating slow at first and gradually increasing the speed to high. Beat for 6-7 minutes until glossy and thick, then beat in vanilla extract for another minute until combined. Frost cake as desired, then top with coconut!

[adapted from mother lovett's orange cake, frosting from martha]

I might have eaten half of that cake up there with a fork. Not sliced. So embarrassing.