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Buttermilk Lemon Cake

The wonderful people at Food 52 posted this best lemon cake recipe with an accompanying video, complete with Dori Greenspan. They say it's foolproof and have also added it to their collection of "genius" recipes, as there are a few genius tricks in the recipe that are not to be overlooked - like buttering and coating the pan in breadcrumbs!

The cake itself isn't super lemony, it's the addition of a lemon juice glaze that pumps up the lip puckering flavour. The crumb is absolute perfection, especially on day 2 and 3. This is one of those cakes that are good on day one but best after sitting overnight.

It's light, moist, lemony, and lovely.

Genius, Foolproof Lemon Cake

Fine, dry bread crumbs, for dusting pan (we used panko)

Finely grated rind of 3 large lemons (juice will be used below for Glaze)

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 2/3 cups (354 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound (226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pan

2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 Tbsp lemon juice + milk)


1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup granulated sugar

Adjust a rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat oven to 350°F. You will need a tube pan with a 10-cup capacity (that is generally 9 inches in diameter); it can be a pan with a design or a 9 x 3 1/2–inch tube pan without a design. If you use a pan with a design, butter it (even if it is nonstick) and then dust it all over with fine, dry bread crumbs. If you use the plain 9 x 3 1/2–inch tube pan, butter it, line the bottom with parchment paper cut to fit, butter the paper, and dust all over with crumbs. With either pan, tap to shake out excess crumbs over a piece of paper. Set aside.

Place the lemon rind and 3 Tbps lemon juice in a small cup and set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar and beat until well mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, add the sifted dry ingredients in three additions and the buttermilk in two, beginning and ending with the dry. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula, and beat only until smooth after each addition.

Remove from the mixer and stir in the lemon rind and juice.

Turn into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a cake tester gently inserted into the middle comes out clean and dry. The cake will be deeply golden brown and will have begun to pull away from the sides of the pan.

While the cake is baking, make the glaze: Mix the juice and sugar and let stand, stirring occasionally.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Then cover it with a rack and very carefully turn over the pan and the rack and place it over a large piece of foil. Remove the pan. If you have used a paper lining, peel it off now.

With a pastry brush, brush the glaze over the top, sides and tube of the hot cake.

Let stand until completely cool.

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