- Floured baking spray
- 1 1/3 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 2/3 c granulated sugar
- 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 4 c cake flour
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 2 c whole milk, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 tsp. lemon extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. lemon extract
- 2 lb confectioners' sugar
- zest of half a lemon
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease and flour three 9-inch pans lined with parchment paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again.
- Combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix with a wire whisk.
- Combine the milk, vanilla extract, and lemon extract in a liquid measuring cup.
- With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, beginning with the flour mixture and ending with the milk mixture, beating until well blended.
- Beat the batter for 7 minutes on low speed.
- Add the lemon zest and beat until incorporated.
- Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared pans. Tap the pans on the counter to ensure there are no air bubbles.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Test doneness by touching the top. If it springs back, it is done. If the indentation stays, it needs 2 to 3 minutes longer.
- Cool the cakes for at least 10 minutes on a cooling rack before removing from pans.
- Cream the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer for 3 minutes. At the end of the 3 minutes, scrape the bowl extremely well.
- Add the vanilla and lemon extracts and beat for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, beating on low to ensure the sugar does not fly out of the mixing bowl.
- After each addition of confectioners’ sugar, scrape the bottom of the bowl extremely well.
- Add the lemon zest and beat on low for 3 minutes.
- Spread icing between the cake layers and then on the top and sides of the stacked layers.