Perfect Lemon Cake
Yields: 1 loaf cake
  • 1½ cups (200 g/7 oz) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk (see above post for substitutions)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1½ tablespoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (175 g/6.2 oz) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick/113g) butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons water
Glaze (optional):
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350F/180C. Grease an 8½ x 4¼-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, mix together buttermilk and lemon juice. Set bowls aside.
  3. In another small bowl, toss together sugar and lemon zest until combined. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar mixture on medium speed for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Occasionally scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture in 2 additions, starting and ending with the flour. Do not over mix.
  4. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 40-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. If the top is browning too fast while baking, cover pan loosely with aluminum foil.
  5. For the syrup: While cake is in the oven, prepare the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, lemon juice, and water. Cook on medium-low heat until sugar dissolves and syrup forms. Set aside to cool.
  6. When the cake is done, allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and set on a wire rack. Place a tray or pan underneath the wire rack. Poke cake with a toothpick, then brush top and sides with syrup. Allow cake to cool to room temperature.
  7. For the glaze: In a small bowl, combine sugar, lemon juice, and milk, and whisk until smooth. Add more lemon juice or sugar as necessary until you get a thick yet pourable consistency. Pour over top of cake and let drizzle down the sides. Allow glaze to set, 15-30 minutes.
  8. Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cake can be frozen without the syrup or glaze for up to 2 months. Once thawed, heat the syrup and drizzle hot over the cake, then proceed with the rest of the recipe and make the glaze.
Recipe by Pretty. Simple. Sweet. at