This cake is a favourite of mine and definitely a crowd pleaser - for those who like lemon of course. It is very lemony and has lemon zest in the batter, lemon syrup added after baking and lemon glaze for a finishing touch....how is that for lemony? The recipe is adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook. (I own all her cookbooks!) The recipe makes two loaves and when Fern, my mother-in-law and Dan's brother Bob were visiting us in Toronto, I served it to them...and yes they loved it. I brought a piece to my dad in Montreal this past week too, but, I think he loves everything I bake because I am his daughter! I did put some aside for Leslie but sorry Les...didn't see you... and it got eaten up! I promise I will make it for you again! Isn't it pretty?
Here is the recipe:
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar (Divided - 2 cups and 1/2 cup)
- 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (Divided - 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup)
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the glaze:
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
DirectionsPreheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; Poke holes in bottoms with a wooden skewer or whatever you think would work and spoon the lemon syrup over the loaves. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.
Now cut into it and enjoy!
Until we bake again...