I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. I’d much prefer a big plate of french fries to a slice of cake or pie. But my one real exception (besides chocolate chip cookies) is all things flavored lemon. I love tart combined with sweet. The kind that makes you pucker! When I went to Norway, I remember gorging on candy, they were huge on the sour candies and I just couldn’t help myself. I brought bags of candy back for my sour candy loving mother and ate them all within 2 days of getting back to Seattle (sorry mom :().
This cake is a perfect blend of tart and sweet and a tad buttery. So delicious!
recipe courtesy of Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Parties!
makes two 8-inch loaves
1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar (separated)
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature (I’ve used large and it’s still been great)
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6-8 large lemons)
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (separated)
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
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease, flour, and line the bottom of two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pans with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and 2 cups of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one 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, let them cool for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a rack set over a tray, and spoon the lemon syrup over the cakes. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the top of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.
Try not to eat in one sitting.