Today I realized that I am really obsessed with citrus. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but today, it is confirmed. I went to the market and as I was strolling the produce section, I walked down the citrus aisle. The colors just made me smile. Lemons, limes, blood oranges, tangerines, naval oranges, on and on. Unbelievable!
I immediately decided to grab two of almost everything. I couldn’t pass up the feeling of warmth, and freshness, not to mention the rainbow of colors that was before me. It’s been cold and snowy where we live, so this just made me think of spring and summer. I am all for cold winter days and nights, but I can’t wait for warmer weather. At the moment, I didn’t know what I was going to make with all this fruit, I just knew I had to bring it home.
The night before, I’d made a lemon cake. Simple lemon cake made from a few leftover Meyer lemons I had in my pantry. Honestly, they were on their way out, so before they were unsalvageable, I made cake. I baked it a little later in the evening, so I hadn’t even decided what frosting or topping I would make for it. Hence–me going to the market today.
After much thought on how to top this simple, single layer cake, I decided to candy the citrus I’d bought and adorn the cake with it. I thought, well, I can’t just make a regular frosting for this lonely cake layer :). I thought the candied citrus would be just perfect for this lemony layer. Boy, was I right. It turned out phenomenal. The candied slices are bright and glistening on top and just beautiful. I used lemons, limes, blood oranges, and naval oranges. The perfect contrast of sweet, tart and slight bitterness from the blood orange. Lovely.
The candied citrus takes a bit of time but it is so worth the outcome. I’ve included the instructions for both the simple layer lemon cake and the candied citrus slices. I hope you enjoy it. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think. Let’s eat!
Here is the recipe:
For the single layer lemon cake:
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- One 9 inch baking cake round
- ½ cup of milk
- 1 ¼ cup of All purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp of baking powder
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- ⅛ cup of lemon juice (I used Meyer lemons)
- 1 cup of sugar
- ½ cup of unsalted butter, softened
- non stick baking spray
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Spray the cake round with the non stick baking spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the butter and sugar. Use a handheld mixer or stand mixer, and beat on medium speed until well combined.
- Add in the whole egg and mix for about 30 seconds.
- Now add the egg yolks, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mixing for another 30 seconds.
- Add half of the flour and the milk. Keep mixing on medium low speed.
- Incorporate the rest of the flour and the baking powder. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined and smooth.
- Pour the batter into the cake round, place it in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 30 minutes.
- Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the mold.
- Let it cool completely on a cooling rack.
For the candied citrus:
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Note: Any citrus works for this recipe. Used various kinds of citrus or a single kind.
- 1 lime
- 1 lemon
- 1 blood orange
- 1 naval orange
- 2 cups of sugar
- 2 cups of water
- 1 pot of water (about 4 cups) for boiling
- 1 bowl with ice water
- Thinly slice your citrus about ⅛ of an inch and remove any seeds.
- Have your ice water in a bowl standing by.
- Fill a medium size pot with water and bring to a boil. Then lower the temperature to medium.
- Add the sliced citrus and boil for 1 minute. Use tongs to remove the slices and place them in the ice water.
- Allow the slices to cool for a few minutes.
- In a large sauce pot, add the water and sugar. Bring to a boil and immediately lower the temperature to a low simmer. Stir occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Drain the citrus slices from the ice water and place them in a single layer in the sugar water.
- Simmer for 1 hour on low heat.
- After 1 hour the rinds should look lighter and translucent.
- Using your tongs, remove the slices from the now syrup and place them on a cooling rack.
- Do not discard the syrup. You can use it to drizzle over the cake before adding the candied citrus slices.
- Place your cake on a cake stand or your favorite pretty plate.
- Drizzle the syrup over the top of the cake.
- Place the candied citrus over the cake in any pattern you’d like. Enjoy!