I baked this cake twice because the first time I baked it, it didn’t look pretty enough to get my stamp of approval. Thankfully, the second time I baked it, it not only looked better but it tasted better, too. My colleagues, our students and I scarfed down the cake in no time flat. Everyone seemed to agree that it was good.
Before baking this cake for the second time, I bought fresh baking powder and baking soda to help ensure that the cake would rise up to be light and fluffy. I also toasted my walnuts to bring out their flavor and I reduced their quantity to 60g to make the cake less uniformly nutty.
The cake itself was moist and tasted a lot like banana bread but with a finer, more cake-like crumb. The icing was a bit odd, but I can’t identify what made it less palatable than my ideal lemon buttercream. If I ever make this cake again, I’ll substitute an award-winning lemon buttercream or lemon cream cheese frosting. That said, the icing was pretty much what you’d expect and it glided onto the cake easily.
The lemon zest lent the icing little yellow flecks that looked pretty. I accentuated the yellow flecks with sparkling yellow sprinkles that looked vibrant and added a nice crunch! I also topped the cake with candied citron, which served the dual purpose of being cute and being a good slicing guide. 1/16 of this 9" cake is a nicely sized slice, and I think 1/8 of the cake would be too much for most. Perhaps there's a sweet spot somewhere in the middle.