I got this basic recipe from Ina Garten. I made a few adjustments so it isn't her original recipe but I wanted to give her credit as I started with her recipe. If you want a very flavorful lemon tea cake this is it. I have a real weakness for lemon and this one satisfies all my cravings. In fact I am eating a piece of it right now and it is pure lemon heaven. OK, I licked my fingers, had a sip of coffee and now I am ready to share the recipe with you.
LEMON TEA CAKE
8 Ounces Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1/3 Cup Lemon Zest (use a microplane for fine zest)
4 Large Eggs (room temperature)
3 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Four
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed and strained)
3/4 Cup Buttermilk (room temperature)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
For the Syrup
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed and strained)
For the Frosting
2 Cups Powdered Sugar (sifted)
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed and strained)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line with parchment paper two 8 1/2" X 4 1/2" loaf pans.
Put the 2 cups sugar and the lemon zest in a bowl and rub it between your fingers to release all the lemon oil into the sugar.
Cream the butter and the 2 cups lemon-sugar in the bowl of a 5 quart stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, scraping a couple of times. Add the eggs one at a time and beat to incorporate.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine the 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter between the pans. There was about 1 pound 9 ounces batter per pan.
Bake for 45 minutes to one hour or until a toothpick comes out clean when checking. Do not overbake.
While the tea cake is baking combine the 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until the syrup thickens slightly. Set aside to cool.
When the tea cakes are done remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 15 minutes before inverting them. Poke holes in the bottom of the tea cakes with a thin skewer, then ladel the syrup over the holes to soak in a little. Turn the tea cakes over and ladel the remaining syrup over the tops of the tea cakes. Let cool completely before frosting them.
While the tea cakes are cooling make the frosting. Whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice to make a smooth but slightly loose frosting. Pour over the cooled cakes and let sit at room temperature for the frosting to crust over.
These can be served right away or wrapped well and refrigerated. I like to eat the cake slightly chilled but it is also good at room temperature.
Great with coffee in the morning or tea in the afternoon. My husband likes it with vanilla ice cream. YUM!!