Monday, July 3, 2017

My Favorite Lemon Cake Recipe


  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 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
  • 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


Directions


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans. You may also line the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.  Or use 3  9-inch cake pans, greased and lined with parchment paper. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.  For 9-inch pans, bake 25-30 minutes. 
  4. 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; spoon the lemon syrup over them. 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.


Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • the zest from 1 lemon (just the yellow part not the white pith)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • coconut flakes and/or blueberries, for garnish, optional

  1. Beat cream cheese, butter together 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in zest and lemon juice. 
  3. Beat in confectioners’ sugar a cup at a time and continue beating on medium speed about 5 minutes until thick and fluffy. 
  4. Frost cake when completely cooled, store in refrigerator.

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