Lemon Cake

by Sara on June 3, 2009

Lemon Loaf

I confess that I’ve held back on this recipe for a few months now, mostly because I’ve made this type of cake in several ways, with varying results. The orange pound cake is good (just swap orange juice and zest for the lemon), but the lemon cake lacked depth when I made it with Meyer lemons. However, with regular lemons, it’s a hit.

What I really enjoyed about these loaf cakes is the versatility in serving them. A plain slice with a cup of tea or coffee makes the perfect mid-afternoon treat. A slice of lemon loaf adorned with raspberries or a compote, or a slice of the orange loaf served with cranberry sauce make a wonderful addition to a holiday brunch menu.

lemons lemon batter
lemon loaf lemon loaf with fruit preserves

If I were to throw an afternoon tea party for my girlfriends, I would certainly serve the lemon loaf cake. The sweet-tart combination is the perfect pick-me-up, and will tide you over nicely until dinner.

Lemon Cake
from Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Ingredients
For the cake:
1/2 lb unsalted butter (room temp)
2 c sugar
4 large eggs
1/3 c grated lemon zest
3 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 c buttermilk (room temp)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the syrup:
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c lemon juice

For the icing:
2 c powdered sugar
2 T milk
1 1/2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions
For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease the bottom of two 8.5×4.5×2.5 inch loaf pans.

Cream butter and sugar in large bowl for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. With mixer on medium speed, add eggs one at a time, and the lemon zest.

Sift flour, baking powder and soda, and salt in a bowl. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the lemon juice, buttermilk, and vanilla. Alternate adding the flour and buttermilk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

For the syrup:
Combine the sugar and 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 cooling rack set over a tray. Spoon the lemon syrup over the cakes. Allow to cool completely.

For the icing:
Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk 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.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

donna June 3, 2009 at 10:21 pm

I Love this lemon cake. It is my favorite and it freezes so well too!

Emily June 3, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Wow! That cake looks delicious! :D

Jackie @ PhamFatale.com June 4, 2009 at 1:59 am

I love Ina Garten. You also try the same cake with grapefruit, it is as divine ;~)

Sara June 4, 2009 at 9:44 am

I bet it would be wonderful with grapefruit – such a pretty color, I imagine!

Laurie January 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Can’t wait to try this!! Yummo!!!

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