I haven’t made anything sweet in a while and it was starting to feel strange. And I’ve been intrigued by Ina Garten’s lemon cake for quite some time. I saw her make it on her show a few months ago, and then I saw it again in one of her cookbooks recently; it reminded me that I’d wanted to make it some day. It looked easy and classic, and I’m always up for anything lemon.
Lemon Cake (recipe adapted from Ina Garten)
For the cake:
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- Lemon zest from 3-4 large lemons
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher/sea salt
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the glaze:
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour.
While the cake is baking and filling your house with lemony goodness, combine 1/4 cup of sugar with 1/4 cup of lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cake is done, let it cool for 10 minutes. Remove it from the pan and set it on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over the top and bottom. The top will get all nice and shiny. Then allow it to cool completely.