Lemon Cake

Posted by: Julie W.

My wonderful friend Julie brought this cake to CreativeFest ’04. It is TO DIE for, truly delish!

Every time I have lemons now, I think of the great fun and inspiration the CreativeFest brings to my writing.

Julie’s Lemon Cake
(This is my version of a cake I saw the Barefoot Contessa make)

2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp)

2 cups superfine sugar

4 eggs (use pasteurized eggs if you want to lick the bowl!)

lemon zest from 4 or 5 lemons

3 cups cake flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon coconut extract (I think it adds to the buttery flavor. Yum.)

Syrup-glaze

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup water

½ cup sugar

4 tablespoon butter

Bake at 350 degrees. Grease and flour (2) 8″ loaf pans (Thatâ 1 to keep and 1 to share!)

Cream the butter and sugar until it lightens in color. Add the eggs slowly, then the zest. (No tasting yet!)

Whisk the dry ingredients together. Mix the liquid stuff (lemon juice, buttermilk, extracts) in a container with a pour spout. It makes the next step easier. (I use my big glass measuring cup.)

Alternate adding wet and dry to the fluffy sugar. End with dry ingredients–it makes the batter smoother. Divide the batter into the two loaf pans and smooth it flat. (Oops! Is there batter left on the spatula? Better lick that clean before you put it in the dishwasher. You wouldn’t want to clog the machine.)

Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour and enjoy the scent of lemons, sugar and butter wafting through your home. No tasting yet! The cakes need to cool at least 10 minutes or they will mush and crumble when you try to take them out of the pans.

While you’re standing around drooling, make the syrup glaze! Melt the sugar, water and lemon juice over low heat. Bring it to a simmer, and watch it reduce and thicken. (You baking know-it-alls probably recognize we are making a simple syrup with lemon juice for extra zing.) Plop the butter in a tablespoon at a time.

Spoon the syrup over the cakes. Poke some small holes to let the liquid seep into the cake. (Use a toothpick or a kabob stick. No fingers!) Don’t try to sauce the cakes while they are in the pan. The syrup gets hard and sticky fast. You’ll have to scoop and scrape the cake to serve it. Not a fabulous presentation. (Although no one in my household complained.)

Dust with powdered sugar just before you serve it. Enjoy!

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