Holding On To Summer {Recipe: Sinful Lemon Cake}

Summer is slipping away.

The funny thing is, as much as I love summer, as soon as the kids start back to school I am more than ready for autumn to make its presence known. The crispness in the air, the colorful hues adorning the trees, football and pumpkin…all are my cue that summer is long gone and fall is here.

I wanted so badly to make pumpkin bread today, but I couldn’t do that to summer. Summer needs it’s last hurrah before autumn pushes it out of the way and takes the spotlight. So, with the smell of lemon filling my kitchen and sweet sunshine tones of summer, I made a lemon cake.

This, my friends, is not just any lemon cake. This is a lemon cake with everything rich and indulgent I could imagine poured in. Sour cream, pudding, butter and buttermilk… all wrapped up in one brightly baked package. It smells like summer, it tastes like summer… in my mind, it is an ideal way to bid adieu to a wonderful few months and to let fall know that yes… now we’re ready.

(Just like those awesome chevron spoons from my banana pudding ice cream post, these yellow bags are also from I’m With Cupcake. Check out their adorable stuff, today!)

Sinful Lemon Cake
A sinful lemon cake with hints of summertime.
  • 3 Cups Cake Flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 4-ounce package instant dry Jello pudding mix (vanilla or lemon)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup butter flavored shortening
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two standard size loaf pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together cake flour, baking powder, Kosher salt, granulated sugar and pudding mix.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add eggs and beat until a soft yellow. Add butter and shortening and mix until fluffy. Slowly add additional wet ingredients (buttermilk, sour cream, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract) and mix until well blended.
  4. Add the dry ingredients, 1 cup at a time, to the stand mixer bowl and beat at medium speed until all the dry and wet ingredients are incorporated and batter is smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into two prepared loaf pans. Bake at 350°F for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool then remove from pan.

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  1. says

    Sinful is right! Although I’d love to be eating a slice right now…
    I have to admit that I’m not really a summer person (too hot for me – especially this summer when I was pregnant for most of it!). So I always love autumn, but I also don’t have kiddos in school (for 2 more years…)

  2. says

    Ive really been wanting to start cooking and baking with pumpkin also but summer keeps reeling me in! This cake looks sinful in the most delicious possible way! Way to keep summer alive. :)

  3. says

    Yay for celebrating the last of summer! I, too, am holding onto as much of summer as I can, and this cake looks like the perfect way to do that!

  4. says

    Oh no I am not letting go of summer yet! It’s so very much my season and the thought of waiting for it till next year is just pain. So glad you decided to leave the pumpkin out – this cake is pure sunshine and I adore citrus cakes. Like the fact that you used pudding in this!

  5. says

    I cannot let go of summer. I was just saying yesterday, I feel like I’m trying to soak up every last bit before nasty winter hits. I hate that winter here can last until June. BLEH! anyway, pinned this to make the first week it cools down so I can think of summer, and your darling friendship of course

  6. Kelley {mountain mama cooks} says

    Gorgeous! I’m with you- trying to hold on to summer as long as possible. This is my favorite time of year in Park City. The weather is gorgeous and the promise of cooler nights is just around the corner!! Those bags are adorable, can’t wait to check the site out.

  7. says

    I need to make this asap. I love anything lemon! And those bags are so adorable! I was just about to ask in the comments where you got them…very smart of you to include that in the post.
    Side note – I ordered some Notes to Self socks to give as thank you gifts to a couple friends who are active. Now I want some for myself!!

  8. says

    This cake looks delicious – perfect for a end of the summer celebration!

    I fight fall for all that it is worth until the littles start to school, and then I happily embrace it. It is truly one of my favorite seasons. I love that first cool breeze in the air, the excitement of football, and the wonderful holiday fun that it brings.


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