My Motto

May the muffin rise to greet you, may your friends be always at your door, and until we meet again, warm a single-malt in the palm of your hand and make something homemade for someone you love.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lemon Cake

"Martha Stewart showed up at Manhattan FBI headquarters to have her fingerprints taken and pose for a mug shot.  Then Martha explained how to 
get ink off your fingers using seltzer water and lemon juice."
~Conan O'Brien

I like winter, I really do, but this 6-week succession of snow storms has my mind turning to spring, sunshine and all that goes with it.  Fresh berries for instance.  I can't wait for them to come back in season.  The next best thing that speaks fresh and sunshine, is citrus.  Lemons are plentiful now.  They looked great and were half price at my market.  I'd been eying this recipe in the Essential New York Times cookbook, because it was touted as being seriously lemony and that's how I like my lemon goodies.  The recipe called for two loaf pans, but when I went to pour the batter in, it looked like it would be skimpy divided between the two, so I took my chances and poured all the batter into one loaf pan, for one big, fat loaf instead. The increased loaf size called for 15 extra minutes of baking time as well.  

Everyone was crazy for this and I'll be making it again soon.  It was fantastic alone but otherworldly served with lemon curd and whipped cream.
Lemon Cake 

For the Cake:
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2-sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (from 4-6 lemons)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Lemon Syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)

For the Lemon Glaze:
2 cups confectioner's sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 8 1/2-by-4 1/4-by-2 1/2 inch loaf pans, and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Into a medium bowl, measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar for 5 minutes.  Mixing at medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, and then the lemon zest.
3. Combine the lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla in a small bowl.  Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the butter and sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
4. Divide the batter evenly between the pans and smooth the tops.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
5. Meanwhile, to make the lemon syrup, combine the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat.
6. When the cakes are done, let them cool for 10 minutes, then remove the parchment and invert them onto a rack set over a tray.  Spoon the lemon syrup over the cakes.  Let cool completely.
7. To make the glaze, combine the confectioner's sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a whisk until smooth.  Pour over the top of the cakes, and allow the glaze to dribble down the sides.


astheroshe said...

I love lemon and that looks soo luscious! I love how you start off each post with a related quote. I do exactly the same on my blog :) ..and yours are soo funny :)

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Thanks! We really loved it...I almost made it again today, but am having a dinner party and ran out of time! Thanks for visiting :-)

Chow and Chatter said...

oh my adore citrus cakes like this yum

Anonymous said...

mhhhhhhhhhhhh- looks delicious!


Lisa said...

Wow, you really know how to take a picture of a cake! That looks exquisite and with all that delicious topping on it, yum. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog right now called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by this weekend and link your gorgeous cake up.

Joy (The Herbed Kitchen) said...

Oh my! With that much lemon zest it's now wonder it's so delicious! I need to get my hands on some lemons next time I head into all that white stuff on the ground.

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Chow and @Elbori: Thank you!

@Lisa: Thank you so much...I tried to link up at your site, but couldn't figure it out, sorry. Just 6 months ago, I didn't even know what a widget was!!!! Have a great weekend.

@Joy: The zest makes a big difference and a good microplane zester makes the job easy! Thanks for stopping by!

dejavucook said...

Lovely beautiful cake, love lemon cakes of all kinds. You inspire me, think I will make a lemon jelly roll cake - now. Have fresh Bearrs lemons from a friend's tree.

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Wow...lemons fresh from the tree..that's awesome!

Indonesian In Turkey said...

I love your Lemon cake.. thx for sharing the recipe. And thx for visiting my blog.. U have lovely page here ^_^

Di said...

Catching up on my blog reading... Mmm, I can't wait to try this cake! I -love- lemon anything.

Irish Centre Online said...

Thanks for posting a wonderful looking recipe, i will give it ago sometime

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe. What was the size of the pan you actually used?

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

You're welcome - thanks for visiting! The pan size was 9 5/8 x 5 1/2 x 2 3/4.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Margaret!

Laura Ahern said...

Would this fantastic looking recipe work in a bundt pan?

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

You can certainly use a bundt pan. Fill it about 3/4 full. If you have batter left just make a few muffins with it.