Sunday, October 10, 2010

Martha's Lemon Cake Recipe


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for pans
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
2 cups sugar

2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 2 T fresh lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk
1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
  3. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack.
  4. While cakes are baking, bring remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add lemon slices and simmer 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lemon slices to a waxed-paper-lined plate. Stir remaining 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice into syrup.
  5. Using a toothpick, poke holes in warm cakes on rack. Brush with lemon syrup. Let cool completely. Prepare frosting, substituting 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for vanilla extract. Frost cooled cakes and top with candied lemon slices.

Lemon Curd Recipe

Makes 2 cups
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 8 large egg yolks (egg whites reserved for another use)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter (10 tablespoons), cut into 1/2-inch pieces


  1. In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, zest, and egg yolks; whisk in lemon juice and salt.
  2. Add butter and place pan over medium-high. Cook, whisking constantly, until butter has melted, mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and small bubbles form around the edge of pan, about 5 minutes (do not boil).
  3. Remove pan from heat while continuing to whisk. Pour curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl. Press plastic wrap against the surface of curd and refrigerate until cool. (To store, refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 2 weeks.)

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