Making Plain Cake (With Lemon Sauce) — Photos

This weekend’s cooking projects from my collection of recipes included more chocolate buttecrunch, more bran muffins, and the subject of this post, plain cake, with the addition of a lemon sauce as an experiment.

I came about to learning to make plain cake from scratch after I attempted to make a New York crumble cake I’d seen being made on a Martha Stewart cooking show. Not only was the cake not as expected — we were expecting mostly cake with a modest but tasty crumble crust, instead of the actual small amount of cake and a sizable crumble crust — the cake did not bake well, and I was very disinclined to try it again. The next day, I looked for a plain cake recipe on the internet and found one, which I adapted to my format.

First, two cups of flour were placed in a mixing bowl:

Two cups of flour added to a mixing bowl

… to which two teaspoons of baking powder were added:

Baking powder added to the flour

… as well as a quarter teaspoon of salt:

Quarter teaspoon salt added to flour and baking powder

The flour, baking powder, and salt were blended with a fork:

Blending flour, baking powder, and salt

The bowl was then put aside until later.

Margarine was picked up on a piece of paper towelling:

Margarine on a piece of paper towel

… in order to coat the interior surfaces of the baking pan:

Inner surfaces of baking pan coated with margarine

Then, a bit of flour was put in the pan …

Flour put into pan

… and spread around to coat the margarine:

Baking pan coated with flour and margarine

The baking pan was also put aside until later.

In another mixing bowl, a quarter cup of shortening was added:

A quarter cup of shortening in a mixing bowl

The shortening was creamed with an electric mixer:

Creamed shortening

A cup of sugar was added to the creamed shortening:

Adding a cup of sugar to the creamed shortening

… and the sugar and shortening were blended:

Sugar and shortening blended

An egg was added to the mixing bowl:

Egg added to mixing bowl

… and the ingredients were again blended:

Egg, sugar, and shortening blended

A teaspoon of vanilla extract was added to the mix:

A teaspoon of vanilla extract being added to the mix
A teaspoon of vanilla extract added to the mix

… and again, the ingredients were blended.

About a third of the flour mix prepared earlier, and about a third of a cup of milk, were added to the ingredients:

A third of the flour mix and a third of a cup of milk added to the ingredients

… and completely blended:

Cake batter thoroughly mixed

The previous two steps were repeated twice until all the milk and flour mix were blended into the batter.

The batter was then transferred to the floured baking pan:

Batter transferred to baking pan

… and placed in a countertop convection oven preheated to 350F:

Cake pan in countertop convection oven

At this point, I was getting rather thirsty, so I poured myself some iced tea, and a bottle of my homebrew, a Belgian-style brown ale, made with water from filtered, melted ice from the lake at my cottage:

Some of my homebrew, and some iced tea
Aaahhhhh …

Since my mom suggested that a lemon drizzle be added to the cake, first a few tablespoons of icing sugar were placed in a bowl:

Icing sugar added to a bowl

… to which half the number of teaspoons of lemon juice were added:

Lemon juice added to the icing sugar

… and the ingredients were mixed, then put aside for later:

Icing sugar and lemon juice mixed together

Soon, the cake in the oven was puffing up and browning:

Cake baking in the oven

… and was taken out of the oven after 55 minutes of baking:

Fully baked cake

The cake was pricked multiple times with a thick needle …

Pricking the cake

… to allow for some absorption of the lemon sauce which was poured over the cake with a small plastic scoop:

Pouring the lemon sauce on the cake

… at which point, the cake looked like follows:

Baked cake with lemon sauce

When cooled, a knife was used to loosen the cake around its edges in the baking pan, and the cake was taken out of the baking pan:

Cake removed from baking pan

A few slices of cake were cut from the cake:

Cake with some pieces sliced off

And, of course, the cake was yummy! And mom said “Delicious!”

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