Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lemon-Glazed Butter Cake

The first weekend of spring could not possibly be more beautiful this year. The hubs and I spent almost all day outside tilling the garden and prepping a few new planting areas, and I couldn't have been more content to spend my day any other way. To top it off, I have the evening to play with my lemon stash, which I'm finally starting to put a dent in.

Today, I am trying a lemon cake recipe from this month's issue of Gourmet, which couldn't have come at a better time: the dessert section this month features, of all things, lemons. Hallelujah! The Lemon-Glazed Butter Cake recipe looked simple enough to not require a lot of thought or work, which, after a day spent digging and tilling in the garden, sounds perfect. Instead of the suggested 8x2" round cake pan, I split the batter between two 8x4" loaf pans for two thin cakes. They turned out perfectly, with the edges just shy of crunchy and a delightfully moist crumb. I can't help but smile when I experience the combination of sunny yellow color, satisfying mouthfeel, and perfect interplay of lemon and butter. I love how this cake's humble looks belie the lemony goodness inside. This cake is delicious on its own, but it would be fantastic dressed up with fresh berries and whipped cream (or my personal favorite, gingered whipped cream).

Lemon-Glazed Butter Cake
(from Gourmet)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
rounded 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp whole milk
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs at room temp. 30 minutes
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Garnish: confectioner's sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in middle. Butter and flour an 8x2" round cake pan.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir together milk, zest, and vanilla.

3. Beat together butter and granulated sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until each addition is just incorporated.

5. Pour batter into cake pan and smooth top, then rap gently on counter to release any air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes.

6. Whisk together confectioners sugar and lemon juice until smooth.

7. Turn out cake onto a rack set over a baking sheet, then reinvert. Brush top and side of cake with all of glaze. Cool completely.

This cake can be baked and glazed one day ahead and cooled at room temperature.

1 comment:

  1. I can't even look at this. If I do, I know that I'll want to make it and then I'll end up sitting on my bed, worried look on my face as I sift through a dozen bread/cake recipes, knowing I can only make one, maybe two a week, and being extremely sad that I might have to wait three or four weeks before I can even get to the ones that made it later on the list... *sigh* Why can't this stuff have all the vitamins and nutrients we need? I wouldn't be in this conundrum then...