Sunday, March 27, 2016

An Easter Tradition

Apart from the yearly shopping trip for Easter dresses, one of the only Easter traditions we really had in my family growing up was lemon cake for dessert. It just seems so springy and refreshing, doesn't it?! Of course, in those days, we bought a box of lemon cake mix and a can of lemon frosting. Since I have graduated to being able to make cakes from scratch, I have made several types of lemon cakes, and not just at Easter. I have posted the recipe for a favorite in the past.

I first made this recipe about four years ago when we went down to Alabama to stay with our good friends at their house on the Black Warrior River. So I was surprised not to be able to find it here when I looked to make it again for Easter this year. George has requested it several times but I guess I went back to my Barefoot at Home cookbook for the recipe. Barefoot at Home has a version that calls for yogurt and oil, but this version from the Food Network calls for butter and buttermilk which to me is preferable.

Lemon Cake

1/2 lb. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 c. sugar, divided
4 eggs, at room temperature
1/3 c. grated lemon zest- from about 5 large lemons
3c. flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4c. freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
3/4c. buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract

- Preheat oven to 350. Grease two loaf pans and line with parchment (allow overlap on sides to lift cakes out later).
- Cream butter and 2 cups of sugar in bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy, about five minutes.
- With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time and the zest.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
- Combine buttermilk, 1/4c. lemon juice, and vanilla in a separate small bowl.
- Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.
- Divide batter evenly into loaf pans and bake for 45-60 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan on wire racks for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, lift the cakes out of the pans and place on a cooling rack inside a rimmed baking sheet, then spoon syrup over top.
- To make the syrup, combine remaining 1/2c. sugar and 1/2c. lemon juice in a small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves.
-Spoon syrup over tops of warm cakes and allow cakes to cool completely

2c. confectioner's sugar
3 1/2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice

- stir confectioner's sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl until smooth
- drizzle glaze over top of cooled cakes and let drip down the sides

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