Joy the Baker

Lemon-Drenched Lemon Cake

January 9, 2009

Lemon Soaked Lemon Cake

Lemon-Drenched Lemon Cake.

For this cake, simple loaf pans just don’t measure up. After one slice of the perfect, absolutely perfect cake, it became clear that when I next bake this cake (tomorrow morning), I’ll need to devise some sort of pillow shaped cake pan.

This cake is going to be my new pillow. Forget goose feathers, cotton fluff, memory foam… I want, I need, I’m not sure how I’m going to live without a Lemon-Drenched Lemon Cake Pillow.

For serious.

Lemon Soaked Lemon Cake

Lemon Soaked Lemon Cake

Lemon Drenched Lemon Cakes

adapted from Dorie Greenspan

Print this Recipe!

Think of this cake as a classy version of the store bought, chemical filled version of Sara Lee pound cake. The density is only matched by the soft, moist and lemony crumb. Sara Lee? Yea, I had my suspicions too, but this cake is without a doubt, the best pound-type cake I’ve ever encountered. Love. Love. Love.

I doubled the ingredients for the syrup and spread them between the two cakes. I liked lots of syrup.

For the Cakes:

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of salt

2 1/3 cups sugar

1/2 plump, moist vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved, or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

6 large eggs, preferably at room temperature

2/3 cups heavy cream

zest of two lemons, finely grated

1 stick, plus 7 Tablespoons (15 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the syrup:

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

juice of two lemons

Lemon Soaked Lemon Cake

Making the cakes:

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8 1/2-4 1/2-inch loaf pans, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Even if the pans are nonstick, it’s a good idea to butter and flour them. Place the pans on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular sheets stacked one on top of the other.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Put the sugar and the lemon zest in a large bowl, working with your fingers, rub them together until the sugar is moist and thoroughly imbued with the fragrance of lemon. Add the vanilla bean seeds and work them into the sugar. If you are using vanilla extract, add it later, after you have added the eggs.

Add the eggs and whisk them into the sugar, beating until they are thoroughly incorporated. Whisk in the extract (if using), then whisk in the cream. Continuing with the whisk, or switching to a large rubber spatula, gently stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions; the batter will be smooth and thick. Finish by folding in the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions. Pour the batter into the pans, smoothing with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. As soon as the cake goes into the oven, make the syrup. After about 30 minutes in the oven, check the cakes for color- if they are browning too quickly, cover them lightly with foil tents.

Making the syrup:

Stir the water and sugar together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar melts, then bring to a boil Remove the pan from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl and let cool.

When the cakes test done, transfer them to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before unmolding them and turning them right side up on the rack. Place the rack over a baking sheet lined with wax paper and, using a thin skewer, cake tester or thin-bladed sharp knife, poke holes all over the cakes. Brush the cakes all over with the syrup, working slowly so that the cakes sop it up. Leave the cakes on the rack to cool to room temperature.

Lemon Soaked Lemon Cake


113 Comments Add A Comment

  • You have a beautiful blog! This is a must try recipe for me. I love lemon anything so this cake is calling my name. Lovely.

  • What gorgeous photos you have! Thank so much for your friend request on Foodbuzz. You have a beautiful site!

  • Love at first sight! This is definitely going in my pile of goodies that must be baked…and soon. As always, thank you for sharing :-)

  • You have a wonderful blog. Keep up the good work.

  • I make a very lemon-y lemon glaze cake similar to this, but it calls for far fewer ingredients, key of which being Lemon Jello. It is quite possibly the most moist, squishy, gooey lemon cake ever. I still have friends from my Navy days who drool about it when we talk on the phone. Ahh, the good ol’ days!

  • I love the tart and tangy taste of lemon desserts. I finally bought some meyers lemons and have been search for just the right dessert to showcase them perhaps this is just the one. (I’ve never tried meyer lemons so don’t know how they differ in taste to regular ones)
    ~ingrid

  • Looks fantastic! I love lemon anything!

  • Phoo-D- These cakes would be absolutely lovely with Meyer lemons!

    Michelle- This cake might just work as a Bundt. Give it a shot and let me know!

    Alison- I understand not liking lemon! If you’d like to leave the lemon out, instead use 2 plump vanilla beans to rub into the sugar instead of the zest, or 1 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract. You might also want to add 2 1/2 Tablespoons of dark rum into the batter. You’ll also leave the lemon out of the syrup and instead at 1/4 cup of dark rum after you dissolve the sugar over the fire. Or you could just leave the rum out and go nutty with a pure vanilla cake.

  • OK…I will probably say something blasphemous…but I don’t do lemon baked goods. I don’t know why…they are just icky to me and I just can’t. Would everything be allright if I left out the zest and the syrup?

  • do you think this would work as a bundt?

  • OMG! I’d like a pillow of that cake too! Count me in…

  • Dorie can do no wrong. Seriously. That woman is like Jesus in the kitchen.

  • wow, I want some! I really really want to devour that with some fresh whipped cream.

    OK hungry now. :)

  • That looks absolutely mouthwatering.

  • Okay, so I’m now drooling on my keyboard! That looks amazing. Do you think that Meyer lemons would be too subtle in flavor for the cake? In case you haven’t stopped by, I’m working my way through a big box of them now!
    Phoo-D

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