Lemon cake…sweet, moist, tart lemony goodness.
Still on my quest for all things lemon, I came across this cake by Ina Garten. I’d had great success with her recipe for homemade lemon curd, so when I saw this cake, I had no doubt it would be just as delicious. This recipe makes two loaves, and my kitchen smelled absolutely wonderful all morning! There’s just something about a cup of coffee in the morning with a warm slice of lemon cake…all warm and fuzzy, just like your favorite PJs!
makes 2 loaves
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar, divided (use part for the cake and part for the syrup)
4 large eggs, 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 (use part for the cake and part for the syrup)
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 full sized loaf pans with Bakers Joy (or grease and flour by hand). Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper and then spray the top of the parchment paper, too. This keeps the cake from sticking to the pan. Not necessary, but helpful.
Cream butter and 2 cups of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the lemon juice, the buttermilk and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide evenly between the 2 pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 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 cakes from the pans and set on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan. Poke holes in the tops of the cake and spoon the lemon syrup over. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
- The recipe calls for a lemon glaze to be drizzled over the top of the cake (2 cups powdered sugar, sifted, mixed with 3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice). I omitted this as it was plenty sweet to my taste without it.
- Instead of zesting the lemons (which is SOOO time consuming), I use a shortcut by peeling my lemons with a vegetable peeler (do this lightly so as not to get any of the white pith). Add the peel along with the sugar to a food processor and blitz until the peel is finely chopped. Then add this lemon sugar to the butter and cream until light and fluffy. SOOO much faster! You can also use this lemon sugar to make a scrub…Just add heated coconut oil and voila! You have a lemon scrub that smells GREAT! 🙂
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