Lemon Velvet Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

For the Cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup butter-flavored shortening
2 large eggs
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon extract
1 heaping tsp lemon zest
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/3 cup hot lemon water 2 tbsp lemon juice mixed with 1/3 cup hot water
4-6 drops yellow food coloring optional
For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 oz cream cheese softened
8 tbsp unsalted butter softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp lemon extract
1 1/2 heaping tsp lemon zest
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tsp lemon juice if needed
4-5 drops yellow food coloring optional


Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
In a bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, beat the sugar, oil, shortening, eggs, vanilla, lemon extract and zest until light and fluffy.
Alternate mixing the dry ingredients and buttermilk into the wet ingredients until just combined.
Mix the vinegar and hot lemon water together, then stir into the batter along with food coloring if using.
Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake 25-30 mins until centers are just set.
Let cakes cool in pans 10 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Mix in extracts, zest and powdered sugar until smooth.
Frost cooled cake layers with lemon cream cheese frosting. Garnish with lemon slices if desired.
For ultimate lemon flavor, use fresh lemon juice and zest.
Don’t overmix batter once the wet and dry ingredients are combined.
Check cakes a few minutes early and remove when centers are just set but still slightly jiggly.
Let cakes cool completely before frosting.
Frosting can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.