Don't let the mild-mannered photos fool you. This might be one of the most delicious/addictive things I've ever baked.
I know. I usually go for decadence over simplicity. The more peanut butter, marshmallows, caramel, and chocolate, the better, but seeing that "Lemon Bliss Cake" was one of the top-rated recipes on King Arthur Flour, I figured I'd give it a shot. I mean really, how good could it be? Then again, among the 2,613 recipes on the site, a boring "Lemon Cake" must be pretty good to beat out Chocolate Cream Pie.
I was in trouble.
This is to die for.
Moist, soft, and delightfully lemon-y. Then you add a lemon-sugar glaze on top that creates a perfect crust.
I followed this recipe almost exactly.
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup milk
finely grated rind of 2 lemons OR 3/4 teaspoon lemon oil (I used rind of 2 lemons AND 1/2 teaspoon of Fiori di Sicila)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10" tube pan, or a 9" to 10", 9- to 10-cup capacity bundt-style pan. (I didn't have a bundt pan - seriously - and just used a 9"x13" pyrex dish)
1) Beat together the butter, sugar, and salt, first till combined, then till fluffy.
2) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3) Add the baking powder, then add the flour alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until smooth. Stir in the grated lemon rind or lemon oil (or Fiori di Sicilia).
4) Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
5) Bake the cake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. (It took 45 minutes in my over with the 9x13 pan)
6) While the cake is baking, make the glaze by stirring together the lemon juice and sugar. Set it aside.
7) Remove the cake from the oven, and set it on a rack. After 5 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen, and turn the cake out onto a rack. Place another rack on top, and flip it over, so it's right-side-up. (I acutually skipped this step and just glazed it right in the pan)
8) Poke the hot cake all over with a cake tester or toothpick.
9) Stir the glaze to combine, and immediately brush it on the hot cake. Let it sink in, then brush on more glaze, continuing until all the glaze is used up.
10) Allow the cake to cool before slicing.
11) Try not to eat all of it in one sitting.