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Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Line the bottom with wax paper. Set aside.
Place 1 cup sugar and eggs in a 3- to 4-quart heatproof mixing bowl. Place bowl over 1 to 2 inches hot water in a large saucepan (bowl should not touch water). Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes or until egg mixture is lukewarm (105-110°F). Remove bowl from saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and vanilla.
Beat egg mixture with an electric mixer on high speed for 10 minutes. Sift about one-third of the flour over egg mixture. Gently fold in flour. Repeat sifting and folding in one-third of the flour at a time. Gently fold in melted butter and lemon zest. Spread batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan; peel off paper. Cool thoroughly on rack.
Combine the remaining 4-1/2 cups granulated sugar, water and cream of tartar in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring mixture to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low. Clip a candy thermometer to side of the saucepan. Cook until thermometer registers 226°F, stirring only when necessary to prevent sticking. Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over the entire surface (this should take about 15 minutes). Remove saucepan from heat. Cool sugar mixture at room temperature, without stirring, to 110°F (allow about 1 hour). Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir in enough confectioners’ sugar to make icing that is easy to drizzle. If necessary, beat the icing with a rotary beater or a wire whisk to remove any lumps. If the icing gets too thick to drizzle, beat in a few drops of hot water.
Using a serrated knife, trim sides and top of cake to make the edges smooth and straight. Cut cake into 1-1/2-inch squares, diamonds, triangles and/or circles. Brush off crumbs. Place the cake pieces on wire racks with wax paper underneath.
Insert a 2- or 3-prong, long-handled fork into the side of one cake piece. Holding the cake over the saucepan of icing, spoon on enough icing to cover sides and top. Place frosted cake piece back on the wire rack, making sure it doesn't touch other cake pieces. Repeat with remaining pieces. Let cakes dry 15 minutes. Repeat with a second layer of icing, except set cake pieces on top of the fork prongs (do not spear them). Repeat with a third layer of icing. If necessary, reuse the icing that has dripped onto the waxed paper, straining to remove crumbs. Tint any remaining icing with food coloring as desired and pipe or drizzle onto cakes.