King Arthur Flour's 2017 Recipe of the Year is a lovely golden lemon cake, extra-moist and nicely tangy due to its fresh lemon juice glaze. Baking this cake in a Bundt pan turns it from everyday to special-occasion, perfect for everything from birthday parties to an elegant dinner. Our thanks to Maida Heatter, grande dame of delicious desserts, for the inspiration behind this recipe.
16 tablespoons (1 cup) unsalted butter*, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup milk, whole milk preferred
Finely grated rind of 2 medium lemons OR 3/4 teaspoon lemon oil
* If you use salted butter, reduce the salt in the recipe to 3/4 teaspoon.
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice; the juice of about 1 1/2 juicy lemons
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat together the butter, sugar, and salt, first until combined, then until fluffy
and lightened in color. For a visual of what this should look like, see our video,
how to cream butter and sugar.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides
and bottom of the bowl once all the eggs have been added, and beat briefly to re-combine
Measure the flour by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.
Whisk the baking powder into the flour. Add the flour mixture to the batter in three
parts alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the flour. The batter
may look slightly curdled when you add the milk. That's OK; it'll smooth out as
you add the flour. Mix until everything is well combined; the batter will look a
bit rough, but shouldn't have any large lumps. Stir in the grated lemon rind or
Thoroughly grease a 10- to 12-cup Bundt pan. Spoon the batter into the prepared
pan, leveling it and smoothing the top with a spatula.
Bake the cake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted
into the center comes out clean. A pan with a dark interior will bake cake more
quickly; start checking at 40 minutes.
While the cake is baking, make the glaze by stirring together the lemon juice
and sugar. Microwave or heat over a burner briefly, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
You don’t want to cook the lemon juice, so microwave just until very warm, but not
uncomfortably hot — less than 1 minute should do it. Set the glaze aside.
Remove the cake from the oven, and carefully run a knife between cake and pan
all around the edge. Place the pan upside down on a cooling rack. If the cake drops
out of the pan onto the rack, remove the pan. If the cake doesn’t drop onto the
rack, let it rest for 5 minutes, then carefully lift the pan off the cake. If the
cake still feels like it's sticking, give it another 5 minutes upside down, then
very gently shake the pan back and forth to loosen and remove it.
Brush the glaze all over the hot cake, both top and sides. Let it sink in, then
brush on more glaze, continuing until all the glaze is used up.
Allow the cake to cool completely before icing and serving.
To ice the cake: Mix the sugar and salt, then mix in 2 tablespoons of the lemon
juice, adding just enough additional juice to create a thick glaze, one that's just
barely pourable. Drizzle it artfully over the completely cool cake.
Store the cake, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for
Yield 12 to 16 servings | Prep 20 to 30 min | Bake 55 min to 60 min
Tips from our bakers:
Bundt pans that have an intricate design, or older pans that aren’t non-stick,
need to be carefully greased in order to ensure your cake comes out of the pan intact.
Melted vegetable shortening applied with a pastry brush is your best bet for a “challenging”
For stronger lemon flavor, use the grated rind of 2 lemons + 1/2 teaspoon lemon
Want to make this cake gluten-free? Substitute our gluten-free Measure for Measure
Flour, 1:1, for the all-purpose flour in the recipe. Bake the cake for 60 minutes.
For cake that’s slightly more tender, with a slightly finer crumb, substitute
our unbleached cake flour for the all-purpose flour in the recipe.
Want to make this recipe into 20 standard-size cupcakes? Line 20 wells of a couple
of muffin pans with papers; grease the papers. Scoop the batter into the wells,
using a slightly heaping 1/4 cup for each. Bake the cupcakes in a preheated 350
degree F oven for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of
one comes out clean. Put the glaze into a small bowl, and dip the top of each cake
into the glaze repeatedly, until the glaze is used up. Add icing if desired.
Nutrition Information: Serving Size 1 piece - Servings Per Batch 16 - Amount
Per Serving: Calories 390 Calories from Fat 110 Total Fat 13g Saturated Fat 8g Trans
Fat 0g Cholesterol 75mg Sodium 230mg Total Carbohydrate 65g Dietary Fiber 1g Sugars
48g Protein 5g
* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA
Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted