"There's a big, a big hard sun…"
There is nothing more basic in my baking repertoire than this lemon cake recipe. I think I have posted it before, but I have not made it very frequently of late. I have no idea why because it is really quite addictive for most who eat it. In fact, my former love Ph does not like most baked goods very much, but he loved this lemon cake. To me, that speaks volumes. Everywhere I have taken this cake, people have fallen in love. (Yes, fallen in love with the cake, not with me. :).) The cake is very simple and bright lemon flavor shines through above all.
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
grated zest of 1 large lemon
1 cup sour cream (you could also use plain yogurt, buttermilk or Icelandic skyr)
Preheat oven to 325F°. Butter and flour a 10-inch bundt pan. (I usually make this in a bundt pan, but you can see that I have used smaller cupcake-like pans as well.)
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in one bowl; set aside.
Cream butter and sugar on high speed until mixture is very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down side of bowl. Mix in lemon zest. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Scrape sides of bowl frequently.
Pour batter into prepared cake pan; bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes (this usually takes about 25-30 minutes or less with cupcakes), or until a wooden pick inserted near the center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Carefully turn cake out onto a platter or plate. (Use glaze while still warm, if you intend to use glaze.)
If you want to make a glaze, you can. I think this cake is perfect without adding anything else to it. Pure, unadulterated… but here's a glaze recipe nevertheless.
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
Combine ingredients, blending until smooth; drizzle cake evenly with glaze.