Wow. I can’t believe it’s been nearly a month since I posted on here. And that last post was really a cheating post, since there was no actual recipe.
I don’t even know if anybody’s even reading this blog anymore. Which is sad. Because this lemon cake that I’m posting today is INCREDIBLE. I love lemon desserts. But if I’m going to spend time zesting lemons, and my fingers in the process, I want to taste lemon. I don’t want a hint. No pansy lemon desserts here. I want every bite to burst with tart lemony goodness. And that’s exactly what this cake did.
You start with a bag of lemons. I’m not even kidding. I think I used nine lemons in this cake. Six of them, you zest.
Is there anything sadder than a bunch of zested, naked lemons? But when I put that zest in with my batter, my word, the smell was amazing. I wish I could put that smell on this blog. Because it? Was amazing!
Oh, and I got to use my new KitchenAid. I love that thing. I would marry it, and have its babies if I could. Wait, is that weird?
OH, and another thing. I discovered a baking secret. It’s probably not really a secret, but whatever. Have you heard of powdered buttermilk? I love this stuff! I always buy buttermilk, then can’t use it fast enough, and end up throwing half of it away. But powdered buttermilk is just that. You mix the powder with water, and use it in place of regular buttermilk. How did I not know about this?
See this guy? He’s my new best friend.
Okay, mix mix mix, stir stir stir, dump in the bundt pan. You could also do this in two loaf pans, but I just think bundt cakes are so darn pretty!
You pop the cake in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour. I know that’s a big gap, but I live in Colorado, where there is no oxygen, and cakes do weird things. So, I usually start peeking in the oven pretty early (I don’t open the oven door, so quit your yelling at me about letting out the heat. Sheesh.)
Just a few minutes before the cake is ready, you mix up a lemon syrup. Cut apart some of those poor naked lemons, and squeeze ‘em. After I squeezed the lemons, I noticed that they kind of looked like little mouths.
But I absolutely DID NOT talk to my lemons. That would just be crazy.
Here’s my lemon grave yard. I told you there was a lot of lemons!
After the cake is a nice golden color, and a toothpick comes out clean, carefully turn it out onto a plate, and poke it all over with a toothpick, or a fork. Then, carefully pour the lemon syrup all over the cake. This part kind of got tricky. The cake didn’t absorb all of the syrup, so it kind of pooled onto the plate, and cemented the cake in place. So, I actually did this on some wax paper, let it cool there over night, then peeled it off in the morning and put it on a plate.
The last step is the glaze. Mix more lemon juice with powdered sugar. Carefully pour onto cooled cake.
Seriously? I think this was the best lemon cake I’ve ever eaten. Try it…you won’t regret it. Unless you don’t like lemon desserts. And that would just be un-American. And sad for you.
Adapted from ”Barefoot Contessa Parties!” by Ina Garten, and smittenkitchen.com
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup plus 3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted.
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 1/2-by-4 1/4-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pans or one bundt pan, and line the bottoms with parchment paper (no parchment paper if you’re using a bundt pan).
2. Cream butter and 2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Mixing at medium speed, add eggs, one at a time, and lemon zest.
3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla. Add flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to butter and sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Divide batter evenly between loaf pans or one bundt pan, smooth tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
4. Combine 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat until sugar dissolves.
5. When cakes are done, carefully Invert them onto a rack set over a tray, and spoon lemon syrup over cakes. Let cakes cool completely.
6. For glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar and remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a whisk until smooth. Pour over top of cakes, and allow glaze to drizzle down the sides.