Incredible Lemon Cake

Total Time
1hr 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr

If you like lemon, you're going to love this cake! Saw this recipe being made by the Barefoot Contessa on FoodTV and just had to have it. Not being overly experienced, I was a bit intimidated by the recipe. However, it is not very hard, looks great and the taste is incredible! Cook time does not include time for the cakes to cool.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans, lining the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.
  3. Cream, using paddle attachment, butter and 2 C granulated sugar in bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. With mixer on medium speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.
  5. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl.
  6. In another bowl, combine 1/4 C lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla.
  7. Alternately add flour and buttermilk mixtures to batter, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  8. Divide batter evenly between pans, smoothing the tops.
  9. Bake 45 minutes- 1 hour, until tester comes out clean.
  10. When cakes are done, cool 10 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, combine 1/2 C granulated sugar and 1/2 C lemon juice in small saucepan, cooking over low heat until sugar dissolves.
  12. Remove cakes from pans and set on wire rack over jelly pan (best to set upside down on rack so that syrup is spooned onto the bottom of the cake as it will absorb better than spooning over the top).
  13. Spoon lemon syrup over cakes.
  14. Allow cakes to cool completely.
  15. Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with whisk until smooth.
  16. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow to drizzle down the sides.
  17. Garnish with 2 lemon slices and some greens (e. g., Italian parsley or mint leaves), as desired.
Most Helpful

Wow! You better like lemons for this recipe. I loved it. A tip from the show - to get 1/3 c grated zest easily, remove the zest with a vegetable peeler in strips. Put the zest and the amount of sugar for the recipe in your food processor. Use the sugar as directed in the recipe. This makes quick work of all that 'grating'!

Connie K January 28, 2006

The first time I made this cake, I didn't read the instructions properly (missed that "divided") and put the whole 3/4 c lemon juice in the batter, then (when I realized the mistake) added 1/4 c milk instead of the other way around. I don't make it any other way now. I love the glaze, but don't bother with the syrup (with all that juice, it's very lemony by itself). Having said that, this has become my go-to cake for just about any occasion, and I get requests for it all the time. I've always meant to say thanks for the recipe!

Scaithach March 05, 2011

A delicious lemon cake! Moist and lemony. I made mine into a layer cake, omitted the syrup and the glaze, and made a butter cream lemon frosting. Delish!

Olive* July 26, 2010