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Preheat oven to 325 F. Thoroughly grease and flour 2 (9-inch) dark cake pans. Set aside.
In a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl mix together sugar ,oil and shortening.
Mix in eggs one at a time.
Mix in vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon zest.
Combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk.
Mix together the distilled vinegar and lemon water and mix into the batter.
Mix in the food coloring until your desired shade of yellow is reached.
Pour batter evenly into prepared pans and shake pans to release any trapped air bubbles.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, checking it at the 25 minute mark and adjusting the time if needed. (see note)
When moist crumbs cling to a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake, remove cake from oven. Let cakes rest in the pans until pans are cool enough to touch. The cake will continue to cook as it cools.
Once cooled, carefully remove cakes from pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and butter.
Mix in vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon zest.
Mix in powder sugar until creamy, adding lemon juice to thin it out if needed.
Stir in food coloring if using.
Place frosting in the fridge to allow it to firm up a bit before frosting.
Stir the frosting until it's creamy and spreadable and frost the cakes.
Garnish with additional lemon zest if desired.