From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Despite practicing polite refusals for most of the summer, I let my guard down, just for a moment mind you, and said "yes" to a request for cakes for a large holiday picnic. That would not have been so bad, but it also happens the picnic was scheduled for the same day I was having company of my own. Sheet cakes and freezers proved to be my salvation. Starting mid-week, I began my version of a baking marathon and by week's end I had made two Texas sheet cakes and four of the lemon buttermilk cakes I want to share with you today. I really think the lemon lovers among you are in for a treat. This is a wonderfully moist cake that has a rather remarkable sugar crust that sets it apart from other cakes of its type. It also happens to be remarkably easy to make. The recipe was developed for Cook's Country magazine and it is simple to follow, but I want to stress how important it is to use fresh lemon juice if you decide to make it. No substitutes, please. The cake, covered with plastic wrap, keeps well at room temperature for a day or two, but I don't think you'll have any problem with leftovers. If you are still looking for a holiday cake, why not give this treasure a try? It would be a wonderful way to end a barbecue. Here is how the cake is made.
Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Cook's Country magazine
2-1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
3 tablespoons grated lemon zest from 3 lemons
1/4 cup lemon juice from 3 lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cup granulated sugar
12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 egg yolk, room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and set aside.
2) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3) Combine buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla in liquid measuring cup.
4) In bowl of a stand mixer beat granulated sugar and lemon zest until moist and fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer 1/4 cup of the sugar mixture to small bowl, cover, and set aside. Add butter to the remaining sugar mixture and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs and yolk, one at a time, until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of buttermilk mixture, and mix until smooth, about 30 seconds.
5) Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer cake to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.
6) To Make the glaze: In a medium bowl whisk confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and buttermilk until smooth. Using an offset spatula, spread glaze over warm cake and sprinkle evenly with the reserved sugar mixture. Cool completely, at least 2 hours. Yield: 16 servings.
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