You have to suspect that some internet bakers post the best possible picture of their bake and the recipe because they took all the time to make it, but, in reality, it was only a so-so bake - soon forgotten.
I haven't gotten there and hopefully never will. I actually like writing about my failures (see the blog where I talk about my salt bialy disaster).
But, let-me-tell-you, this Lemon Drizzle is every bit as good as its best photo. You got friends, like I do, whose fav desserts are all lemon-based? Prepare to OWN them with this beauty of a cake. They'll be coming over and washing your car, mowing your lawn, and scooping up after your dog just to get a slice. Although, if they could just pick a handful of weeds every time they come over, I would keep the Drizzle flowing.
Let's get started!
For the Cake:
2 sticks BUTTER
2 cups (400g) SUGAR
4 room temperature EGGS
ZEST from 6 lemons (or however many you use to get necessary juice)
3 cups (375g) AP FLOUR
1/2 tsp BAKING POWDER
1/2 tsp BAKING SODA
1 tsp SALT
1/4 cup (60ml) LEMON JUICE (you'll need more for the drizzle and glaze - see below - be sure to zest all the fruit you juice and add to the cake batter)
3/4 cup (180ml) MILK
1tsp VANILLA EXTRACT
For the Drizzle:
1/2 cup (100g) SUGAR
1/2 cup (120ml) LEMON JUICE
For the Glaze:
250g (2 cups) POWDERED SUGAR
50ml (3-4 tbsp) LEMON JUICE
Let's get started.
1- Preheat oven to 175C or 350F. Prepare two standard loaf pans by greasing and flouring. (I also like to line with parchment at the bottom of each pan.) Combine the MILK and LEMON JUICE for the cake (1/4 cup or 60ml), and VANILLA in a small bowl and set aside. (Yes, you are making fake buttermilk with this step. I never have buttermilk around, if you do, feel free to go your own way.)
2- Add the BUTTER and SUGAR for the cake to your mixer and cream on medium for at least 4 minutes and up to 10. With the mixer still running, add the ZEST and the EGGS one at a time until incorporated.
3- Combine the FLOUR, BAKING POWDER, SALT, and BAKING SODA in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Reduce the mixer to slow, and alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures in a couple installments, scraping down the sides, and stopping the mixer as soon as all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
4- Split the mixture evenly between the two prepared loaf pans. Tap on counter to remove bubbles and even the mixture. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cakes reach 195F or 92C.
5- When the cakes are almost done, microwave or simmer on the stove top, the LEMON JUICE and SUGAR for the drizzle until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before using.
6- While the cakes are still very warm, turn them out BUT place them right back in the loaf pan. (This is just to check they will come out of the pans.) Place cakes in pans on a cooling rack, and spoon the drizzle evenly over both cakes. Allow to cool completely.
7- Combine the POWDERED SUGAR and LEMON JUICE for the glaze in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Remove the cakes from their pans, and pour over in whatever cool pattern you desire. Over the top and down the sides is traditional.
If you are trying to figure out how many total lemons and the volume of juice for the whole recipe, it's 1 cup (240ml) of lemon juice. Depending on your lemons, that could be as few as five or as many as nine. Given the choice, I'd go for medium lemons, so you can produce more zest for the cake batter. I giggle every time I write it - Drizzle.