Wednesday, April 15, 2009

For The Love of Lemon

When did my love affair with lemons begin? I really can't recall because it seems like they have always had a constant presence in our kitchen. I love the tart, bright, fresh flavor the sunny lemon offers. As a kid I loved eating lemon cookies and drinking my grandmother's lemonade. And because of that particular memory I find myself squeezing a fresh glass of lemonade quite often.
As I became older and could bake on my own I found myself making lemon curd and lemon bars to satisfy my craving. I continued my quest for the love of lemon making cakes with luscious lemon butter cream frosting, candied lemon peel, and thick sour lemon sauces that I spooned generously over gingerbread.

I have a lot of great lemon recipes. The Lemon Cake from Ina Garten's book Barefoot Contessa Parties is one of my favorites. I seem to make it once I feel the warmth of Spring appear, there is something about her warmth, her freshness and vibrant colors that tempt me to make my favorite Lemon Cake.
Lemon Cake
Barefoot Contessa Parties
  • 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
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans.

Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, add 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.

Make a lemon syrup combining 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; pierce the cakes with a dowel or toothpick; 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. Let cake rest for 5 to 10 minutes and allow glaze to harden.

Lemons on Foodista


Heather said...

OH MY GOD! those look so lemony delicious! that icing is so decadent!

Aimée said...

Wow yum! I am with you on that lemon obsession. I'm nervous if I don't have at least 2 on my counter at all times.

Sharon said...

The glaze looks so divine! I'm a lover of all things lemon as well.

Kristen said...

What a delicious looking cake! YUM!

Alisa@Foodista said...

Yum!Ive been seeing a lot of lemony food in blogs lately, and I just love it!Hope you wont mind but I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your site, just add this little widget here to this post and it's all set to go, Thanks!

Claudia said...

I adore all things lemon - from sweets to the sauces to the drinks. This looks so wonderful I want to grab it off the computer. I will definitely make this. What a way to celebrate spring.

Bunny said...

Hi! You are my adopted blogger! I didn't see anywhere where I could email, you can email me at . My blog is Bunny's Warm Oven. Can't wait to get to know you!!

Meghan said...

I love the raised design on your cake! I've never seen anything like that before!