First, I tried a lemon cake from scratch. While it tasted lemony, it'd also make you pucker--from the dry density of it and not the lemon.
Trial number two, while it's a cheat with a box mix, was a hit. Bonus is it's dense enough to hold up to frosting and fondant.
Cake mixes- A few brands are available here. On caking websites, everyone prefers Duncan Hines. I used the Classic White, Deliciously Moist mix.Lemon Cake
1 box of white cake mix
1 small Lemon Pudding (3.4 oz)
1 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup Water
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Mix everything. Pour into greased and floured pans.
Lower temp to 325F to bake in aluminum pans. This recipe yields about 5 cups of batter--real thick batter.
*To boost the lemon, I add zest from one.Strawberry CakeThis is also the recipe Gran used.
1 box White Cake mix
1 small box strawberry Jell-o
3/4 cup Vegetable Oil*
1/2 cup water
1/2 pint frozen whole strawberries, thawed & chopped finely in blender
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix cake mix and Jell-0. Add oil, eggs, and water and mix with mixer for 2 minutes. Add strawberries until well blended. Pour in greased and floured pans.
Turn oven down to 325F.
*3/4 cup Oil was too much. Your hand comes back greasy after touching the cake, so I downsized to half a cup and will probably use a little less next time.
So both cakes retain moisture and to give the taste a little boost, spray or dab it (using a paper towel) with simple sugar.
Simple Sugar is made by boiling equal parts sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. I tossed in lemon rinds and juice for a flavor boost.