Saturday, October 13, 2012

Saturday Eats: Lemon Buttermilk Cake

I love lemon cake.  I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten and really like it.  Next time, I will do it 5 minutes less, but, this is delicious.  You can also do the glaze (see recipe at the end.)

Delicious Still Warm From The Oven


Fresh Lemon Juice and Zest

Two 8" x 4" Loaf Pans

The Surface: Golden and Moist

Cooling on the rack

Adapted from Ina Garten's recipe:

Lemon Buttermilk Cake Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup grated lemon zest (4 to 6 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
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract (orange works too, and you can use Grand Marnier in the final glaze for a delicious change of pace)

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (or orange, or try Grand Marnier for a more "grownup" taste.)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans. You may also line the bottom with parchment paper, if desired. I cut it to almost fit the bottom and it works great.

Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest. (You can also use orange in place of lemon in this recipe and it turns out really well too!)

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. Be sure not to over do it or it will be drier than you want.

THIS STEP IS IMPORTANT:  Skip the final glaze if you want, but don't skip this one:  Combine 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; 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.

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