Lemon Velvet Squares, #The Cake Slice Bakers

The Cake Slice Bakers are a group of bakers from around the world. We vote on a recipe and then bake the sweet from the same cookbook every month. Our current book is Carole Walter's Great Cakes. This month's sweet assignment? Lemon Velvet Squares!


A buzz of excitement was in my chest. (A sensation akin to watching U.S. Olympic ice dancing champions, Davis and Waters glide to gold.) The blades of my mixer were swirling lemon and orange zest across cubes of cold butter. However, the results of the lemon-orange zest twizzle - required elements in Carole Walter’s Great Cakes Lemon Velvet Squares recipe - fell to a bronze for this Ninja Baker.

A Lemon Velvet Square with the Ninja Baker's Yuzu Glaze.
(Yuzu is a Japanese citrus which has a lemony-limey taste.)

I was awed by the lightness of the Lemon Velvet Squares’ pale crumb. (A wonder similar to seeing the silver ice dancing medalists, Virtue and Moir, Quickstep in Sochi.) But the citrus element of the Lemon Velvet Squares was oh, so subtle. The cake-like treats needed oomph – a way to make them shine. Fortunately, I’ve always got yuzu (a Japanese citrus) juice in my pantry. 

Carole Walter's Great Cakes Lemon Velvet Square recipe
produces a cake with a feather light texture...If you like a lemon pucker,
double or triple the required zest.

So, I whisked together a glaze similar to the one I made for yuzu scones. The Lemon Velvet Squares immediately garnered a gold medal! I’ve reprinted the recipe as seen in Great Cakes and at Food.com. I highly recommend doubling or tripling the teaspoons of zest. Love to hear how you score these lovely Lemon Velvet Square treats.

Lemon Velvet Squares

As seen in Carole Walter's Great Cakes and at Food.com, this Lemon Velvet Squares recipe will produce a light dessert.  My Japanese citrus yuzu glaze gives a squirt of lemon-lime flavor. But if you love a lemon pucker, double or triple the lemon zest.


For the Lemon Velvet Squares:

  • 2 ¼ cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • ½  cup (cold)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½  teaspoon freshly grated navel orange rind
  • 1 1/3  cups superfine sugar or 1 1/3 cups caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼  cup fresh orange juice

For the Japanese Yuzu Citrus Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2½ tablespoon yuzu juice
  • ½ tablespoon French Vanilla Half and Half
  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • Drops of yellow food coloring
  • Yellow sanding sugar (optional garnish)

For the Lemon Velvet Squares:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter or coat a 13” x 9” inch baking pan with butter flavored cooking spray.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.

In another bowl (for a stand mixer) place the butter and cream with the paddle attachment.

Add the lemon and orange zest. Beat on medium-high for 2 minutes.

Pour in the sugar - 1 tablespoon at a time. (Allow 5 to 6 minutes to incorporate the sugar with the butter and citrus.)

One at a time, whisk in the eggs at one-minute intervals.

In a small bowl, stir the water, lemon juice, and orange juice together.

Dividing the flour mixture into 3 parts and the liquid into two parts, add in the dry ingredients. Start and end with the flour. Mix well after each addition.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. When ready the cake will spring back with a touch. The surface will also be slightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean.

Cool the cake before drizzling with glaze.

Tip: Scrape the bowl often as ingredients are added and combined.

For the Glaze:

Whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, 2½ tablespoons yuzu juice, ½ tablespoon French Vanilla Half and Half and 1 tablespoon of meringue powder.

Add drops of yellow food coloring to brighten the glaze.

Drizzle the glaze atop the cake. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Cut the cake into golden squares.

Another treat: U.S. Gold Ice Dancing Olympians Meryl Davis and Charlie White.




Wishing you days of gold medal winning moments.

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.



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