Arnold Palmer Cake Recipe for Father's Day

Photo by Emily Moiseeff

Golfers – and there are a lot of you out there – know Arnold Palmer as "The King." But the rest of us thank him for a delightful soft drink that has become wildly popular – the Arnold Palmer. It's a delicious concoction of iced tea and lemonade.

Because of my fondness for the drink, my daughter Audry made me an Arnold Palmer cake for Mother's Day, which I hope she'll reprise for Father's Day.

Audry found the recipe on Honey & Jam, and the cake is moist and tart and perfectly complemented by the tea frosting.

My only word of caution is to take the direction to strongly brew the tea seriously. The lemony tartness of the cake needs that counterbalance to marry the flavors properly. Make the tea strong and sample as you blend – and stop when it suits your taste.

The decorative lemon slices are optional, but so pretty they are worth the effort. The kids (of all ages) peeled them off the cake and ate them like candy – which they are.

This is a great cake to try for Father's Day, blending sweet and tart to duplicate a favorite drink.

Lemon Cake


  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. pure lemon extract


  1. Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch by 2-inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
  4. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
  5. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full three minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
  6. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture; then, beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous; finally, add the last of the dry ingredients.
  7. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cakes are well-risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean.
  9. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about five minutes. Next, run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up.
  10. While still warm, poke each layer all over with a fork, and pour over lemon glaze (recipe below). When cool, frost cake with black tea frosting and garnish with candied lemon slices (also below).

Iced Tea Frosting


  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup strongly brewed black tea
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup strongly brewed black tea


  1. Beat egg whites in a mixing bowl until foamy and thick; they should mound, but not peak.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cream of tartar, black tea and salt. Bring to a boil. Boil for three to four minutes, or until a candy thermometer reads 242 degrees F and all sugar is dissolved.
  3. Begin beating the egg whites again and slowly pour in boiling sugar syrup in a slow steam. Continue to beat on high for seven minutes or until stiff peaks form.
  4. Add a quarter of the black tea by the tablespoon, beating after each addition.
  5. Continue beating until frosting reaches desired consistency; about two minutes. Use immediately.

Lemon Glaze


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon juice; stir with a fork.

Candied Lemon Slices (from Martha Stewart)


  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup sugar


  1. Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut lemon into 12 paper-thin slices; discard seeds and ends of rind.
  2. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and add lemon slices; stir until softened, about one minute. Drain and immediately plunge slices into ice-water bath. Drain.
  3. Bring sugar and one cup water to a boil in a medium skillet, swirling to dissolve sugar. When liquid is clear and bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low. Add lemon slices, arranging them in one layer with tongs. Simmer (do not let boil) until rinds are translucent; about one hour.
  4. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Let stand until ready to serve.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -


Fun Things to Do with Metro Detroit Kids This Weekend

Looking for some family fun? Check out our list of events and other things to do this weekend.

Macomb County Sprint and Splash Event Offers Running, Kayaking and Paddle Boarding on Lake St. Clair

Brought to you by the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development and the Macomb Intermediate School District

Why Summer Learning Matters for the College-Bound Kid

Brought to you by Michigan Education Savings Program

Watch Free Outdoor Family Flicks at Metro Detroit’s Movies in the Park Events

Pack a blanket and enjoy a family movie night at metro Detroit parks this summer.

- Advertisement -