lemon cake and time for mother’s day

lemon cake

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone! I Know I’m a few days late so let me offer a brief explanation as to why: bloggin ain’t easy!  I absolutely love doing it but every day I’m learning something new.  This past weekend I learned that it’s not possible to cook food for an event and then photograph the food as a blog post.  Unless of course you are  equipped as an octopus.

 So, I carefully planned a menu for this luncheon and was all set to share everything as a blog post but soon found out there was no way I was going to be able to cook and style food to photograph and not compromise the foods I would be serving.   So, I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t share my Mother’s Day with you.  Not to worry though, the food was such a hit and I got so many requests for recipes that some of them will be future posts.

I don’t know about you but for me Mother’s Day means taking time for myself.  Mostly to relax and do only what I want to do.  My time is so precious to me I try my hardest to use it wisely.  I can’t sit around idle when there is work to do, so I am constantly doing something.   I look forward to Mother’s Day the one day out of the year where I put in a request to spouse and kids to just leave me to myself.   One guilt-free day where I can lie in bed surrounded by books, magazines a good mug of coffee and possibly a sweet, sticky pastry.  It’s not much to ask and to my family’s credit they usually oblige. 

Speaking of time,  I’m all for anything that makes great use of time.  Take for instance this lemon cake recipe-in the time it takes to mix up a batter for one cake-you get two cakes!  Two beautiful icing laced lemony cakes for the time it would take to make one.  I like to think of it as a giving recipe.   You can keep one for yourself and give the other to a friend or neighbor.  Cake and a good deed.  You can’t beat that!

This is an Ina Garten recipe from her book Barefoot Contessa Parties.  The lemon syrup creates a tart crunchy crust beneath the sweet glaze, so make sure you don’t skip that part. 

Lemon Cake


  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the glaze

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans. You may also line the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.

Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 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 1 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. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over them. Allow the cakes to cool completely.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.




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