Preheat oven to 350º F (180°C). Generously grease a 9×13-inch cake pan. You can also line the pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily lift the cake out.
In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat butter until creamy on medium-high speed, about 3 – 4 minutes. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 4 minutes until creamed and pale, scraping down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, and food coloring (if using); continue beating to combine.
Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture; beat until just combined, about 30 – 45 seconds. Do not overmix. NOTE: The lemon cake batter is thick so use a spatula to spread it into the pan, if necessary.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when poked in the center. . Let the cake cool in the pan on wire racks for 20 minutes before removing it from the pan. Allow the cake to cool completely, right-side up, on a wire rack before removing the parchment paper. The cake must be completely cool before frosting.
Beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 3-4minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, heavy cream, lemon zest, and salt with the mixer running at low speed. Increase to high speed and beat for 5 minutes. NOTE: Add up to 1/2 cup more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or another tablespoon of heavy cream if frosting is too thick.
Spread frosting in a thick layer on cooled cake. Garnish with candied lemons, if desired. Slice and serve.
Before you get started, I recommend reading my Beginner’s Guide to Eggless Baking and my FAQs section.Store: Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.Make-Ahead: This eggless lemon cake can be baked, cooled, and covered tightly at room temperature overnight. Likewise, the frosting can be prepared and then covered and refrigerated overnight. Let the refrigerated frosting sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then beat with a mixer for a couple of minutes to bring it back to a spreadable consistency.Freeze: Unfrosted cake can be frozen for up to 2 months. Make sure to wrap the cake tightly in several layers of plastic wrap to ensure it is tightly sealed. If you like, you can also add an extra layer of aluminum foil for additional protection against freezer burn. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before decorating/serving.2-Layer-Cake: You can divide the batter between two 9-inch cake pans. Bake time will vary – keep a close eye on the cakes at 20 minutes and check for doneness with a toothpick.Eggless Cakes Baking Tips
Measure the ingredients correctly. I highly recommend using a kitchen scale.
Make sure to cream the butter and sugar together for 4 – 5 minutes, until creamy and pale. To achieve this, the butter must be at the right consistency; ideally, the butter will easily bend without breaking and give slightly when pressed. If it looks or feels oily is too soft.
Don’t overmix the batter. Instead, mix just until you’ve evenly distributed the ingredients throughout the batter.
Bake the cake(s) as soon as the batter is ready.
Don't open the oven door until the cake(s) has set. Leave the oven closed until the minimum time stated in the recipe.
Preheat the oven at least 15 minutes before you get started to give it plenty of time to reach the ideal recipe temperature.
Every oven is different, so baking times always have to be taken with a grain of salt. Oven thermostats can be wildly off, and that will all affect baking time, so keep an eye on yours. The cake(s) are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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