I developed this recipe for folks who can't seem to get enough lemon. The addition of candied lemon zest lends some texture and gives the cake a beautiful appearance. I've added rosemary to highlight the tangy flavor of the citrus, but you may substitute chopped thyme if you prefer. The cake is finished with a "lemonade" soaker, which gives it tang and keeps it very moist.
- Yield:12-14 people, makes two 8-inch round cakes
- Active time: 45 minutes
- Total time:1.5 hours
- ½ pound butter, softened
- 2 ½ cups sugar, divided
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- ¼ cup candied lemon peel, chopped, plus more, left whole, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary, plus more for garnish
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup plain yogurt, room temperature
- ¾ cup lemon juice, strained and divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8 inch round cake pans, or two loaf pans and line with parchment.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
Cream butter and 2 cups of the sugar together for 3-4 minutes, until very light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.
Add the vanilla, rosemary, candied zest, and salt. Beat well for 15 seconds, then scrape down the sides and beat for an additional 15 seconds.
With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the bowl in two additions, alternating with the yogurt. Mix until just incorporated.
Add ½ cup of the lemon juice and mix until just incorporated. Scrape down sides of the bowl and mix for five seconds. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.
Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, combine the remaining half cup sugar and the ¼ cup lemon juice in a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Allow the liquid to cool.
Allow the cakes to cool for 20 minutes in the pan. Drizzle or brush the lemon mixture over the tops, allowing it to soak into the cake. Let the cakes sit another 10 minutes before unmolding and allow them to finish cooling.
Garnish with candied zest and a sprig of fresh or candied rosemary.