* This post is sponsored by Holland House Cooking Wines. Holland House Cooking Wines are a great way to transform your favorite, familiar recipes into something extraordinary.
Growing up, my memories of Easter were always happy and bright, just like the colors of spring and the Easter eggs we used to decorate. Every year, we would start Easter morning by dashing into the living room and begging our mom to let us begin egg hunting. After we finished pushing each other over to find every egg, we would head to church. It sounds like an easy task, but to me that meant my sister had to pin me down to brush my hair and put a dress on me. Once church was over, we would head to my aunt Gerry’s house. She always hosted a big family Easter brunch and another egg hunt of course.
As a little kid the food always looked picture perfect at Easter. My aunt Gerry was known for her stunning and most delicious layered cakes. They were always under a glass dome, protected from us wild kids. To this day, I have her to thank for making Easter such a beautiful memory for me. These days are obviously different, since I am a grown-up now. (Insert thumbs down) Unfortunately, I have to put my own dress on, HIDE the Easter eggs, AND do the cooking. Thank goodness I still have my sister to help me!
As a chef, the food is what excites me the most at Easter. Spring makes me think of bright colors and fresh flavors. So when it comes to creating new recipes for Easter, I like to use my nostalgic childhood memories to inspire my creativity in the kitchen by tying bright fresh flavors and bold flavors that I already have on hand.
So with no further ado…is this stunning Lemon Cake with White Cooking Wine. This cake is delicious and has a great balance of flavor. This dessert reminds me of my aunt Gerry. Every year she made a beautiful carrot cake with piped carrots and whole pecans as decoration. Since a homemade carrot cake can be quite the task, I wanted to create a recipe that is a little less daunting. I chose Holland House White Cooking Wine with Lemon to enhance the flavor of my cake. With a bright, fresh lemon aroma and touch of tang, Holland House White with Lemon brings you a classic white-wine flavor with a citrus twist The vibrant citrus notes and tartness from the grapes play perfectly with the lemon flavors. The acidity and slight saltiness in the cooking wine balances the sugar and gives the cake a much more complex flavor.
We like to serve this lemon wine cake with fresh strawberries and lightly sweetened homemade whipped cream (see photos below J). The fresh strawberries bring a sweet tartness and spring color to the cake. Just as Easter egg hunts stretch the imagination of kids, I have my fun now by trying to open the minds and bellies of something unexpected but comforting around the Easter dinner table.
Holland House Cooking Wines are available in five flavor-boosting and versatile varieties: Marsala, Sherry, White, Red and White with Lemon. Be sure to follow Holland House on Facebook and Pinterest for more delicious recipes and tips!
Lemon Cake with White Cooking Wine Recipe
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 45–50 min
• ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) salted butter, room temperature
• ¼ cup of granulated sugar
• Zest of two lemons
• 1, 8oz. package of cream cheese, room temperature
• 3 large eggs, room temperature
• ½ cup Holland House® White with Lemon Cooking Wine
• ½ cup whole milk
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1 box white cake mix
Cooking Wine Glaze
• Zest of one lemon
• 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
• 1 tablespoon corn syrup, optional
• 3–4 tablespoons Holland House® White with Lemon Cooking Wine
For the Glaze:
In a mixing bowl, combine sifted powder sugar, lemon zest, corn syrup, and 3 tablespoons of Holland House White with Lemon Cooking Wine. Whisk until smooth. If glaze seems too thick, add an extra tablespoon of wine. The glaze should run smoothly off the whisk.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
Add butter, sugar and lemon zest to a mixing bowl (preferably electric) fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on high for approximately 3 minutes. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl in a downward motion. Add the cream cheese to the mixture. Beat for another 3 minutes on high, until light and fluffy.
Crack eggs into a liquid measuring cup. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time.
Combine milk, cooking wine and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup and add slowly to the mixer.
With the mixer on low speed, add the white cake mix. Mix until cake mix just starts to disappear into the mixture, avoid over mixing. Remove the mixing bowl and finish whisking gently by hand.
Pour batter into prepared bundt pan, evenly distributing the batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45–50 minutes, until a toothpick can be removed cleanly
Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Carefully invert the cake on to a cooling rack and allow cake to cool completely.
Spoon glaze over the cake, letting it drip down the sides.
Bonus Tip: We like to serve our Lemon White Cooking Wine Cake with fresh whipped cream and strawberries.