Prep time - 30 minutes
Bake time - 1 hour
Yield - 1 loaf (one serving. Just kidding. Not really)
- 1 stick of butter, room temperature* (set out the night before)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature*
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (3 large lemons)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
|A grater for zesting lemons|
- 6 Tablespoons sour cream, room temperature*
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*note - it is best for the butter to be room temperature. However, I regularly forget to set the other two ingredients out, so I usually use them slightly chilled. It is still great!
For the syrup:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
For the glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) Cream the butter (don't throw the wrapper away; you'll need it in the next step) and 1 cup of sugar using an electric mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
|It's easy to see how this can be confused with cheese (see below)|
3) Grease and flour a loaf pan. HERE IS WHERE I CHANGE YOUR LIFE. I used to hate greasing pans, until I realized that after using a stick of butter, you can use the wrapper to grease a pan. Rub the loaf pan with the butter side of the wrapper, and then lightly flour. Magical? I think so. You're welcome.
4) With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, and the lemon zest (when zesting lemons, wash the lemon and grate just the yellow part of the skin).
5) Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine lemon juice, sour cream, and vanilla. Add the flour and sour cream mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
|Alternate between adding wet and dry mixture|
7) Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. If the top starts to brown towards the end but the cake is not done, I cover it with a piece of foil.
8) For the syrup, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
|Ready for the oven|
10) For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and the lemon juice. Pour over the top and allow to drip down the sides.
|Adding the syrup after the cake cools slightly|
- I don't like overly sweet things. The first time I made this, I threw away half of the glaze because I thought it would make it too sweet. It doesn't. The syrup combined with the glaze is delicious. I'm planning on making one of these some day like a Twinkie, with the inside filled with glaze.
|Correct glaze looks a little like glue|
- My kids like helping with recipes. This is a great one because there is a lot of combining and adding. However, if they help, I know that I have to let them lick the beater and bowl. It's a small price to pay for together time.
One final word of caution: please remember that this is cake. With syrup. And frosting. When I make it I really want to eat the majority of it, trying to convince myself that the vitamin C from the lemons makes this a healthy cake. It's not.