Monday, November 19, 2007

Ina Garten's Lemon Cake

At our brunch on Saturday, my friend Joan L. brought the most delicious, flavorful, lemony cake imaginable. Come to find out it's Ina Garten's recipe. From her cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Parties! (which I don't have), but the internet, being the internet, I found dozens of copies of it on multiple websites. Lots of other food bloggers have done a write-up about this, but my copy came from Oprah, when she had Ina Garten on her show some while back.

It uses the zest from 6-8 lemons plus a LOT of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Not only in the cake, but in the syrup and the frosting. No wonder it's lemony flavored. And it has the lightest texture. Most likely from the addition of buttermilk. These are made in loaf pans, then you dribble a lemony syrup all over the cakes that sinks in, and once completely cooled you drizzle it with a white icing.

No question, this is a great cake. If you're blessed with a lemon tree, this is a must-bake for you. Our Meyer lemon tree doesn't have ripe lemons yet. I have juice in the freezer, but not any zest. And have you seen the price of lemons, even here in Southern California? I think I paid 89 cents apiece for them. Joan, thank you for bringing this wonderful cake!

Ina Garten's Lemon Cake
Recipe: Barefoot Contessa Parties!
Serving Size : 16
1/2 pound unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 whole extra large eggs -- (at room temperature)
1/3 cup 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 lemon juice -- freshly squeezed
3/4 cup buttermilk -- at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice -- freshly squeezed
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease two 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½ -inch loaf pans. Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, and the lemon zest.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine ¼ 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 an hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
3. Combine ½ cup granulated sugar with ½ cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves and makes a syrup. When the cakes are done, let them cool for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a rack set over a tray, and spoon the lemon syrup over the cakes. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
4. For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the top of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.
Per Serving: 416 Calories; 14g Fat (29.7% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 69g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 94mg Cholesterol; 259mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Fruit; 2 1/2 Fat; 3 Other Carbohydrates.
To print a PDF recipe, click title at top.


Deborah said...

I love Ina Garten! Her recipes are wonderful - although, at times, a tad rich. That's a beautiful picture!

kari b said...

WOW! What a lemon-y cake! It was delicious--I made 4 mini loaves and gave them out for Thanksgiving treats to some friends--but did leave them with a lemon warning! I love it with a nice strong cup of coffee or tea!