Servings: Makes two 8-inch loaves
Ingredients 1/2 pound unsalted butter2 1/2 cups granulated sugar4 extra-large eggs (at room temperature)1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)3 cups all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon kosher salt3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice3/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract2 cups confectioners' sugar3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 -inch loaf pans. Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, and the lemon zest.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 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 evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves and makes a syrup. When the cakes are done, let them cool for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a rack set over a tray, and spoon the lemon syrup over the cakes. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the top of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.
From the book Barefoot Contessa Parties!