Many people who love to cook have an obsession with cook books. I do enjoy them, but it is rare any recipe from them gets made in my kitchen. I usually have them just for the pictures.
However, I have found an exception to this tendency. My sweet friend Shanna got me an awesome cook book for my bridal shower. I have made tons of recipes from it already. Sometimes cookbooks have overly fancy recipes no one makes. The Better Homes and Gardens Bridal Edition has seriously rocked my world. No, they are not paying me to say that. They have real recipes you can make with things already in your kitchen.
Shanna is one of those people who is just so sweet you worry she might melt in the rain. Here is a cute picture of us from my wedding! When she requested a lemon recipe for our ladies group I couldn't say no and I knew it had to be extra good.
This luxurious dessert starts with a light and tender white cake from the Better Homes and Gardens cook book. A layer of creamy lemony goodness is added on top and some whipped topping finishes it all off. This is so good!
4 egg whites
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
zest and juice of 2 large lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 small tub of whipped topping
This is a very delicate cake. You really do need to let the buttermilk and the egg whites stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before you start. Trust me, it makes a difference.
Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla on medium speed with a mixer for about two minutes. This should be very fluffy. Add in the room temperature egg whites slowly. Once all the egg whites are in, mix for another minute or so to make sure this is very well combined.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir this around a bit until it is combined.
Ok, it is serious mixing time! Add in about a third of the flour and mix well. Once that is combined, add in one third of the buttermilk. Keep alternating until everything is blended very well.When you have everything in, mix for about another 30 seconds for maximum fluffiness.
There are several theories about what to end the mixing with: dry ingredients or milk. Paula Deen says to end with the milk, and Martha Stewart says to end with the dry ingredients. Honestly, I don't think it really matters as well as it's all nicely combined.
Pour all of this goodness into a well greased 9 X 13 pan. This will bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. You will know the cake is done when a tooth pick comes out cleanly.
While your cake is baking, combine the condensed milk, lemony goodness and the vanilla in a small bowl. Mix this well so it is ready to go when the cake comes out of the oven.
Now that we have our beautiful cake baked, we need to make some poke marks in it to allow for our delicious filling to soak through.
Poke, poke, poke!
When your cake has more holes than a sieve, pour the lemon mixture over the top. It is important to do this while the cake is still hot so it will absorb this better.
Soon enough the cake will begin to drink up all the delicious filling. If you feel left out of the process, you can continue to poke while the filling soaks in. Once the cake is cooled, cover it with plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for about an hour.
Once the cake has been chilled for an hour, swish the whipped topping over the cake and continue to chill until you are ready to serve.
This is a rich and decadent cake, so I cut it into small squares. If you are in a hurry, a white cake mix will do just fine instead of making it from scratch. I would encourage you to try out the full recipe, it is so worth it!