- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs , at room temperature*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Grated zest of 2 lemons
- 1 cup sour cream , at room temperature
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Zest of 1 lemon
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together; set aside. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a hand-held electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and zest. On low speed, add the flour in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl often with a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the pan.
Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours.
Bring the lemon juice, zest, water and sugar to a boil over high heat and cook until it is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes. Allow syrup to cool before drizzling onto the cake.
Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Drizzle half the syrup over the cake. Invert onto the rack and brush with the remaining syrup. Cool completely.
Recommended technique: If a recipe calls for room temperature eggs, place the uncracked eggs in a bowl of hot water for 5 minutes so they can lose their chill.