The June 2016 issue of the Martha Stewart’s Living magazine was a celebration of food and summer gatherings. Amongst everything, I found an all-american recipe that I couldn’t wait to try: The Vanilla Sheet Cake With Cream-Cheese Lemon Frosting. It seemed to be so summery and refreshing, that I promised myself (and my family) that it would be the first dessert I would prepare in the new house. So today, almost one month after we moved in, I decided was a perfect day to bake this classic cake. It turned out to be absolutely superb: not too light nor too heavy, perfectly balanced between sweet and sour, topped with a thick layer of citrusy frosting and a sprinkle of a granulated sugar and lemon zest mixture. I served it with fresh blueberries, an absolute must.
I followed the recipe to the letter, with one exception: I omitted the salt ~ I never add salt to any of my sweet recipes as I find that it gives cakes and cookies a boxed mix taste.
You can find the recipe in the Martha Stewart Living magazine or online, or here on this blog today. Along with the original recipe, I am adding the converted measurements and temperatures so to make it easy for the friends of this blog outside of the U.S.
I hope you enjoy this classic as much as we did!
Ingredients for the Vanilla Sheet Cake:
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature, plus more for pan – (130 g plus more for pan)
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan (320 g, plus more for pan)
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar (260 g)
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature (220 ml)
- 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Ingredients for the Cream-Cheese Frosting:
- 1 pound cream cheese, room temperature (500 g)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature (115 g)
- 1 pound confectioners’ sugar (about 4 cups), sifted (450 g)
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon), plus 4 teaspoons juice
For the Vanilla Sheet Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking pan; dust with flour. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. Beat butter with 1 cup sugar on medium speed in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with buttermilk and beginning and ending with flour.
3. Transfer batter to prepared pan, smoothing top with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until cake is golden and puffed and a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cake cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
4. Combine lemon zest and remaining 1 teaspoon sugar.
For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat cream cheese, butter and sugar until smooth, about 5 minutes. Beat in lemon zest and juice. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days. Stir until smooth before using.
Use an offset spatula to spread cake with frosting. Sprinkle with lemon sugar. Serve, with blueberries.