Friday, 30 July 2010

A Cake with Scent - Lemon Cake

Lemon cake is one of the regular cakes that I bake even before I started blogging. It is one of those cakes that always turned out perfect with no flaws to talk about. It is simple to prepare, nothing fancy and it is loaded with refreshing lemony flavour - just perfect for a tea or even dessert. That being said, I am not a tart or tang loving person myself, but I love indulging myself a little when it comes to lemon cake. It’s not really tang, and the cake has perfect balance of sweetness and the whole lot of citrusy flavour to get you hooked to it. This is my better half’s favourite cake; now you know why it makes a regular visit in my kitchen. I normally bake lemon cake from Joyofbaking and that is one recipe that had never failed me. I made this version of lemon cake for the ongoing photography event @ Leites Culinaria and I was so thrilled and exited and got carried away with photography and stuffs apart from the regular chores. I love any food photography contests since that opens way for me to research a bit on photography and styling. This is one of my entries for the contest.

This recipe is taken from Leites Culinaria and the amount given was for two loaves and for a micro family like mine, one loaf was more than enough. So I easily halved the recipe to suit our need and it just worked fine and came out perfect. The cake was super soft and moist and if you love citrusy flavours, you will get hooked to this one, I bet. Meanwhile make your way to Leitus Culinaria and see their wonderful creations. I should tell you, I came to know about the contest from a fellow blogger and I had to rush myself into choosing recipes. Since they had plenty of collections I felt like a lost kid. I had tough time choosing the recipes and spend major chunk of two days on choosing recipes. You can view the original recipe at Leitus Culinaria.

113g slightly salted butter at room temperature
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
3 medium eggs at room temperature
2 ½ TBSP grated lemon zest
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
5 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 TBSP water
6 TBSP buttermilk, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla essence

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar (Icing sugar)
1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the lemon curd:
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp sugar
½ Tbsp lemon juice + ½ TBSP water (Use 1 tbsp lemon juice if you like it srong)
½ tsp lemon zest
30g butter


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease one 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pan. (I used a 1 liter pan)

2. Cream the butter and 1 cup 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.

3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 2 TBSP lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Pour the batter into the pan, smooth the top, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

4. Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar with the remaining 3 TBSP lemon juice and 1 Tbsp water 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. Prick the cake all over with a skewer and spoon the lemon syrup over the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely.

5. 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.

6. For the lemon curd: Mix egg yolk, sugar, zest, water and lemon juice and cook on low flame for 5-6 minutes stirring continuously. Strain the mixture, add butter to it and heat until butter has melted completely, by continuous stirring. Pour it in a small bowl, cover and chill until required. I used this just to drizzle on the cake. It is just optional.

I also granished the cake with sugar frosted flowers. For that,  brush the petals with egg whites using a paint brush and sprinkle with castor sugar. Let them dry by placing them on greaseproof paper for few hours until it is completely dry. I placed it in the warm oven (30 degrees) for 1 hour. This frosted flowers stores indefinitely in an air tight container.


1. If you like it more lemony, substitute add 4 tbsp of lemon juice instead of 1 tbsp water plus 3 tbsp of juice.

2. The recipe also calls for unsalted butter and then adding on salt later on. But since I used salted butter, I have omitted salt in the recipe.
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