Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lemon Buttermilk Cake # 2

Looks can be deceiving. That's the case with this simple unassuming looking cake. It's lemon all the way. The cake pan is greased and then dusted with dry bread crumbs. This is only the second time my baking adventures have required me to dust with bread crumbs. (the first time can be found here) The result is excellent.
I found this recipe in Maida Heatters New Book Of Great Desserts. As with each recipe, Maida always tells you a little story about the recipe. The name of this cake includes the number two for good reason. Her first Lemon Buttermilk Cake which was published in her first dessert book, was apparently wrought with demons and the cake a failure. She wanted to recall each cookbook. Of course, this wasn't possible so she redeemed herself this wonderful version in her second New Book of desserts. The book was published in 1982 so it's not new anymore. New to me though.
Maida goes into great details with instructions to every recipe. I paraphrase her instructions. The ingredients and instructions are the same.

Lemon Buttermilk Cake #2

Finely grated rind of 3 lemons
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2sticks) butter
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large or extra large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
dry bread crumbs for the pan ( I made my own, it's pretty easy)

  • Preheat the over to 350 degrees and arrange the oven rack one third of the way up in the oven.
  • You will need a tube/bundt pan with a 10 cup capacity.
  • Grease the pan (even if it is nonstick) and dust with dry bread crumbs, tapping the sides to remove loose crumbs.
  • Place the lemon rind and juice in a small bowl and set aside
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt together and set aside.
  • In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until it is slightly soft.
  • Add the sugar to the butter and beat until well mixed.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • In 3 additions add the sifted dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk in two additions, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula and beating only until smooth after each addition.
basically do this, add 1 cup of dry ingredients, mix to incorporate, scrape your bowl, add 1/2 cup of buttermilk and mix to incorporate, scrape your bowl, add 1 cup of dry ingredients and mix to incorporate, scrape your bowl, add remaining buttermilk and mix, scrape the bowl, then remaining dry ingredients and mix. I think this instruction was painstakingly wrote out because her first version didn't work. Nonetheless, I followed these instructions to the letter.

  • Stir the juice and rind into the batter.
  • Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
  • Bake for one hour to one hour and fifteen minutes. (Mine only took 50 minutes)
  • A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean and dry.
  • As soon as the cake goes into the oven mix up the glaze.
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar.

Mix the juice and sugar and let stand, stir occasionally while the cake is baking.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it stand for minutes. Turn out onto your cake plate and using a pastry brush, glaze the cake with every drop of the syrupy delicious glaze.

You won't end up with a frosted looking cake. Trust me though the glaze is fantastic and after you taste it, you won't mind the plain look.

Buy a whole bag of lemons. I used 7 lemons to make this cake. I had lemons and buttermilk that needed to be used up so it was a perfect cake for me to bake today.

I hope you will try this one. It's really great.

Who should I give this cake to? I might try freezing it and see what happens. If it lasts that long.

Yeah, I'm classy, I use paper plates for dessert.


  1. You've been making all my favourite cakes! Sugar cake, Brownstone front...and a Maida! You made a Maida! The blueberry pie in that book is wonderful too.

    I've had really great luck freezing half cakes (they need to be unfrosted) by wrapping them in wax paper, then tightly in cling film. Always thaw the cake wrapped, so it won't dry out.

  2. Thanks for the freezer tip. We are trying not to be fat kids at my house. Low-fat, sugar free baking blows. The only options are to give some away or freeze it.

    The Maida cookbook haunts me daily. I want to bake them all.

    The Brownstone front is pretty yummy! I read your blog a lot and try not to copycat. The similarities between our worlds continue to be a little spooky. Right down to the subject of Wondra. Where's that camera hidden. LOL!