Oh hey, how is your summer going?
I stepped out of the kitchen for a bit, but I am back. Where have I been, you ask? What could take me away from this? I didn’t intend to be gone for so long, but I got swept away with life. I spent March and April on the lacrosse field. Well, not really ON the field, but you know what I mean. Both my boys were playing this past season and it was my oldest boy’s senior year so I made a point not to miss a bit of it. I took thousands of pictures…want to see them?? haha – maybe later, right?
May always arrives with a bang as we hit the final stretch of school. We raced around to attend sports banquets, award assemblies, and end of the year parties after surviving the dreaded exams. In the middle of the craziness, I headed out on a quick road trip to pick Sous Chef up from school. Then there was graduation. My oldest son graduated from high school and we had a huge celebration. Two days after graduation, we headed off to Mexico!
Whew, so here I am. It’s good to be back in the kitchen. How have you been? Summer is in full swing here in Virginia with temperatures that are supposed to soar up to 100 degrees today. Ordinarily I would have found that to be a good excuse not to turn the oven on, but I have been itching to get back here, so I baked something light and lemony to beat the heat with. I love lemon desserts in the summertime. I have this theory that since they look cool and taste cool, they must make me cool.
I have made this lemon cake once before, but it has been a long time. For some reason, I thought of this cake a couple of weeks ago and have been looking forward to making it for you. The buttermilk makes for a denser cake, almost muffin-like, and the glaze is both sweet and tart. This is a cake you will love! The recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Stonewall Kitchen Favorites by Jonathon King, Jim Stott and Kathy Gunst.
Lemon-Vanilla Glaze Ingredients:
2 tablespoons lemon zest (2 lemons)
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one 8 inch cake pan and set aside. Zest one lemon in a small prep bowl and set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar and buttermilk. Add the eggs, vanilla and lemon zest. Gradually blend in the flour mixture until smooth. Add the oil and mix briefly. Pour into prepared pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool slightly about 5 minutes.
To make the glaze, zest one lemon and squeeze 2 lemons for lemon juice. Add all the ingredients together in a small saucepan: lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently for about 4 minutes. Reduce to simmer and let cook for another 4 minutes until reduced and thickened.
Remove the cake from the pan and move to a large cake plate. Brush the top of the warm cake with the glaze. Wait five minutes & repeat. Glaze the cake until it’s saturated with the glaze. Save the remaining glaze to pour over each slice when serving. Serves 6 – 8