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Inspired by the multitude of fresh strawberries at our local farmstands, and a lemon cake presented by Emeril awhile ago, this super-flavorful combination of strawberries, lemons, and ice cream just screams "IT IS ALMOST SUMMER!!!"
- 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter (add more for pan, all room temperature)
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 large lemon, zest of, coarsely grated
- 2 eggs
- 1 1⁄4 cups flour (can also use self-rising and omit baking powder & salt)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup sugar (I use extra fine baker's sugar but regular granulated ok)
- 2 large fresh lemons, juice of (~ 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
- 4 cups sliced strawberries, macerated at least 2 hours in sugar (to taste)
- 1 quart good French vanilla ice cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until fairly fluffy. Add the ¾ cup of sugar, and the lemon peel, and beat well. Slow mixer to low. Add one egg, then half of the flour, then remaining egg, then flour. Pour into square pan. It will be thick. Bake for apx. 35 minutes – testing with a toothpick to come out very clean.
- While the cake is cooling in its pan on a rack, place remaining ½ cup of super-fine (or regular granulated) sugar in a bowl, and add lemon juice. Do not heat, simply whisk until sugar is dissolved. When cake is cool, use a skewer to poke a multitude of holes in the top of the cake. Use a tablespoon to drizzle the lemon syrup evenly, over the cake, and let it soak into the cake. (This is why you want to be sure your cake is completely cooked and cooled – if not, it will turn to mush. If it’s done right, it will turn into a slice of HEAVEN). Can cover cake with plastic wrap at this point, and refrigerate.
- To serve, cut into 8 pieces, cover each with strawberries and their juice, and top with vanilla ice cream. Garnish with a mint sprig if company is coming. YUMM!