Lemon Cake

by Melissa on April 28, 2009

When I saw this cake, I figured it would be a vanilla cake with a hint of lemon. But I was wrong, this is a full blown lemony lemon cake. With lemon zest in the batter, fresh lemon juice syrup poured on top and a sweet lemony glaze, this cake will be a hit with the lemon lover in your life.

I used one of these loaf cakes to make individual lemon berry trifles for my sister’s bridal shower and sent the other one to work with my husband. To make the trifles, I mixed fresh blueberries, raspberries and blackberries with a bit of sugar and layered the berries in individual dishes with the cake and whip cream. The tangy lemon cake with the fresh, sweetened berries and whip cream was a delicious combination!


Lemon Cake

  • Cake:
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 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 freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Glaze:
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

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.

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.

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.

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.

Source: Barefoot Contessa Parties, as seen on Smells Like Home.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

vincent April 28, 2009 at 12:15 pm


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Tara April 28, 2009 at 12:16 pm

i LOVE the idea of using this cake for trifle!!! so glad you enjoyed it! isn’t Ina the greatest?! lol


joelen April 28, 2009 at 1:22 pm

This looks wonderful and perfect for spring!


thecookingnurse April 28, 2009 at 2:08 pm

This looks delicious, I love lemon cake!


snooky doodle April 28, 2009 at 2:37 pm



Renea April 28, 2009 at 9:27 pm

This looks like a very moist cake. I love lemony cakes!


krystal April 29, 2009 at 10:46 am

Oooohh, I’m totally bookmarking this! I have a meyer lemon tree aching for me to bake something new..YIPEE! Thanks!


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