Once upon a time there were three daughters that lived in a house and wanted cake. Wait,that's almost daily! It seems like at least one of these girls has a craving for something almost everyday.
A few weeks ago, Rudy, had an instant craving for lemon cake. It didn't take very long until we were all on board with that same craving. We were having a lazy weekend, so we searched to find that perfect recipe that would satisfy us. It had to be super moist, not too heavy, sweet and tart, with a little drizzled glaze for the top.
When I set out to find a new recipe, my first thought is always, ALWAYS, my hero. The Contessa. You know, THE Contessa, Ina Garten. Ahhhh. That's where we found our dream lemon cake that day, and she did NOT disappoint. Tons and tons of lemons let me tell you, lots of butter, good vanilla and you've got your recipe for the best lemon cake you'll ever want to eat. Similar to a lemon pound cake, but softer and fluffier and lemonier than any other lemon thing in the world. It may be Fall around here, even cold and slushy outside, but this lemony piece of heaven will bring warmth and sun shiny brightness to the depths of your soul. Stretching it a bit much??? Go grab a bag of lemons and let's get started.
WHAT YOU NEED:
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons- yes, I know)
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup plus 3-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla (we use Mexican vanilla)
WHAT TO DO:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour 2 loaf pans (appx 8 1/2 x 4 1/2)
Cream the butter with 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 of the lemon juice,
the buttermilk, and vanilla.
Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter,
beginning and ending with the flour.
Scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time.
Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops,
and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour,
until a toothpick (or ice pick) comes out clean.
While the cake is baking,
you'll want to make the lemon syrup.
Combine the remaining granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
with the remaining lemon juice (1/2 cup) in a small saucepan.
Heat on low/medium until sugar is completely dissolved.
When the cakes are done, remove from the oven
and let cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes.
Remove cakes and place on a cooling rack
that's been placed over wax paper or a cookie sheet.
Drizzle the lemon syrup over the cakes slowly
using all of the syrup. Let cool completely.
Now, prepare the lemon glaze.
FOR THE GLAZE:
2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
Mix the sugar and lemon juice together in a bowl
with a wire whisk until smooth.
Pour the glaze over the tops of the cakes
and allow it to dribble down the sides.
This my friends is deliciousness at it's finest.
We started eating ours right off the cooling rack.
For leftovers, you may cover yours with a tight fitting cake dome
or place it in a good Tupperware container,
so as not to disturb that lovely glaze.
Now, I will mention we did indeed use a whole lotta lemons.
A whole bags worth, but you will be glad you did.
Rudy learned how to zest a bunch of lemons,
as well as, how to get the juice out of them.
We had a lemony lesson and learned lots and lots.
It is crazy the amount of zesting and juicing
that took place for this slice of sunshine,
but I don't believe it could get any better.
Impress your friends, impress your neighbors,
or just stuff your family's face. Yum.