Monday, April 20, 2015

POUR / with high fives of admiration for joy the baker

Joy Wilson is one of the down-right most optimistic, loveliest, funniest, just plain coolest people on the internet. She has written some of the most heartfelt blog posts I have ever read and I continue to fall deeper in love with every post. Joy has the uncanny ability to make you feel like her best friend. I mean the kind of friend that knows your deepest darkest secrets, the friend you make pacts with, walk down dark alleys with, break out the cocktails with, and dance the night away in inappropriate high heels with. She is just that cool. I've been an avid follower of her blog and books for years and she is my go-to adviser on everything and anything related to baking. Her little space on the interwebs is my happy place.

Get in your kitchen and take her blog, Joy the Baker, with you. Check out her cookbooks Homemade Decadence and the Joy the Baker Cookbook because everyone needs more laughter, chocolate, ice cream, and decadence in their life: we all need to feel like we belong. Here's one of Joy's recipes that I've been dying to make since she moved to New Orleans and set up a new baking spot.


makes one single layer 9-inch cake

Joy adapted from The Joy of Baking


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (this matters)
1 cup granulated sugar
zest of one large lemon
4 large eggs, at room temperature (this matters, too)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspooons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature (you get the gist)
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar (I used 2 1/2 cups of powered sugar, and my buttercream never really smoothed out)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (I had to use "fake" lemon juice, only had one lemon for the cake, it was a bit overpowering. lesson = fresh lemon is the bomb and makes all the difference)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
splash of milk or cream as needed for consistency (I used a splash of skim milk, think cream would have been best)
1 tablespoon poppy seeds, just sprinkle them in till it feels good


Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. The sides of your pan should have high sides (about 3-inches or so). Set aside the greased pan.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or an electric hand mixer) beat the butter until pliable and soft, about one minute.

In a small bowl toss together sugar and lemon zest using the back of a small spoon. The sugar will become moist and super fragrant.

Add the sugar to the butter and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about three to five minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Mixture will be pale in color.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute between each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the vanilla extract once all of the eggs are mixed in. The batter may look curdled. That's ok, don't worry.

Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat on low speed until almost incorporated. Add the lemon juice and beat to combine. Stop the mixer and finish combining the batter with a wooden spoon or spatula. Scrape down the bottom of the bowl to make sure you've completely incorporated all of the ingredients.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and smooth. Allow to bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. All to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.


Cream together the butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium until smooth and creamy. Add up to a cup more powered powered sugar to thicken the consistency. Add a splash of milk or cream for thinner consistency. I prefer my buttercream not too thick as to not tear the cake when frosting. Once you get your consistency where you'd like it, beat in poppy seeds.

Spoon and spread the buttercream over the completely cooled cake. Don't worry about frosting the sides. Leave them bare. Allow the cake the rest in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Cake will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to four days.

Share with friends, invite them over to see the magic you whipped up in the kitchen.

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