This is a recipe that I adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Parties! cookbook. I didn’t infuse the cake with the lemon syrup or glaze it. In doing so, it turned out like a coffeecake or sweet bread rather than a cake. Not too sweet, but great flavor and texture. Great treat along with a cup of tea or coffee.
Yield: 2 (8-inch) loaves
½ lb or 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6-8 lemons)
3 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¾ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 ½ x 4 ¼ x 2 ½) loaf pans.
Cream the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time and then the lemon zest.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine ¼ cup lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternatively to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans, smoothing the tops. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
When loaves are done, remove from oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes. Remove from pans and let them completely cool on a wire rack. Slice with a serrated knife and serve plain or with fresh whipped cream.