This cake has a beautiful crumb and rich flavor and is a perfect tea time snack. You can substitute the lemon for lime, but lime is stronger and more acidic sometimes so I suggest using 3/4 the amount.
Makes a 8 by 11 inch pan that will serve 12
230 grams unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened, plus more for greasing the pan
300 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
100 grams toasted and finely ground almonds
1 ⅓ cups whole milk
3 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
350 grams granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
FOR THE FROSTING: BEAT TOGETHER UNTL CREAMY, COVER AND CHILL
300 GRAMS OF CREAM CHEESE AND ROOM TEMPERATURE
1.5 TEASPOONS VANILLA EXTRACT
2 TEASPOONS LEMON JUICE
1 CUP CONFECTIONERS SUGAR
1/2 TEASPOON CORN STARCH
TO DECORATE (OPTIONAL)
16 CANDIED ALMONDS IN DIFFERENT COLORS
1/2 CUP CANDIED LEMON
1/4 CUP YELLOW SPRINKLES
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare middle rack.
Butter a 8-by-11-inch baking pan then sprinkle all over with flour. Turn the pan over and shake out excess flour. Line with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a mixing bowl.
Using an electric whisk beat butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat after each. Using a spatula scrape down bottom and sides of the mixer bowl to ensure the batter is thoroughly mixed.
Lower speed to low. Add flour mixture one cup at a time and continue to cream the mixture until just combined. Add the milk, zest and lemon juice and beat till well incorporated. Do not over beat.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and smack the pan on the counter to ensure the batter settles into the pan evenly and to release air bubbles.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake 40 minutes in the baking pan. Then unmold and cool completely on a rack before frosting.
Whisk the frosting and fill into a piping bag with a decorating nozzle of your choice. Pipe the frosting over the cake and decorate as you wish. You can also simply slather the frosting over the cake and smoothen with a spatula. Keep covered and refrigerated.