Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Citrus For Cake Slice Bakers January Cake

It's always gratifying when you make a cake for someone for their birthday and they love it. I did that for the January Cake Slice Bakers challenge by making The Best Damn Lemon Cake in a small Bundt pan for a good friend who is 90+ this year...I won't tell you how many years plus, because a lady doesn't talk about that, right?

Here is what my friend wrote after she and her family had enjoyed the cake, "The lemon bundt cake was without a doubt the best dessert I've ever eaten. It really hit the spot. I think I liked it better than my favorite brownie. I did share it and they all agreed. So much so  - we need the recipe. I can see this as being a household must for all the time."

So there you have it...a cake good enough for a party, but a must for all the time...and it is pretty easy to make, too. The only wild card is that you must have a full ounce of lemon extract on hand...and lemons, of course.

Be sure to visit the other Cake Slice Bakers to see what great cakes they made this month. There were so many good choices that I made another one...which will get posted in a day or so.

An update on Sweetie...he went to the doc this morning and was told that he was healing well and was lucky to have escaped with nothing broken and no impacted disc on his back either. He is feeling much better and back to modeling. Right now he is working on the masts for a wooden ship...really awesome.

The Best Damn Lemon Cake
from Maida Heatter's Cakes

1/2 cup blanched almonds  (I used 1/2 cup almond flour from King Arthur Flour)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter (I used non-dairy margarine)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (I used soy milk)
one 1-ounce bottle lemon extract
finely grated rind of 2 extra-large or 3 medium-sized lemons
(most of the juice will be used for the Glaze)

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Note: The recipe calls for a 6-cup loaf pan to be used, but I used two small Bundt pans and the batter was about 1/2 cup short in each pan, so they were smaller cakes but still delightful.

Adjust a rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/4-inch loaf pan with a 6-cup capacity. Dust it all with fine, dry bread crumbs (I used almond flour put through a very fine strainer), invert over a piece of paper, and tap firmly to shake out excess. Set the pan aside.

The almonds must be ground very fine. It can be done in a food processor or a nut grinder, or use almond flour made from blanched almonds. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, almonds (Maida does not include the almonds here, but folds them in at the end. I also mixed the grated lemon peel into the dry mixture rather than fold it in at the end). Set aside.

In a small, heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. (Can be done in the microwave, too.)

Transfer the melted butter to the large bowl of an electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat a bit to mix. On low speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating only to mix well. (At this point I added the lemon extract and beat it in just to mix.) Then, still on low speed, add the sifted dry ingredients in three addition alternating with the milk in two additions, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula and beating until mixed after each addition. Mix in the lemon extract (if not already added).

Remove from the mixer. Stir in the grated rind and then the ground almonds (if not already added).

The mixture will be a rather thin mixture. Turn it into the prepared pan(s).

Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, until a cake tester carefully inserted into the center of the cake, all the way to the bottom, comes out just barely clean and dry. If using a pan that is long and narrow, the cake will bake in less time than if it is short and wide. If using two small pans as I did, check after 30 minutes and every two to three minutes after that until cake tester test works. During baking, the cake will form a large crack or two on the top; this is fine and crack(s) will remain light in color.

Two or 3 minutes before the cake is done, prepare the glaze.

Stir the sugar and juice in a small, heavy saucepan over moderate heat only until the sugar is dissolved; do not boil the mixture.

When the cake is removed from the oven, let it stand for 2 - 3 minutes. Then, with a brush, brush the hot glaze very gradually over the hot cake(s). The glaze should not be applied quickly - it should take about 5 minutes to apply it all. (If putting on two small cakes, try to divide it evenly.)

Let stand until tepid, not quite completely cool. Then, gently invert the cake onto a rack. (If the cake sticks in the pan, cover it loosely with foil or wax paper, turn it upside down onto your right hand, tap the bottom of the pan with your left hand, and the cake will slide out.)Turn the cake right side up for loaf pan. Leave with fancy part up for small bundt cakes.

When the cake is completely cool, wrap it in plastic wrap or foil and let stand for 12 to 24 hours before serving. Or place it in the freezer for about 2 hours, or in the refrigerator for about 4 hours, before serving. This is wonderful with fresh raspberries served on the side.

This cake could probably be easily made into a gluten free cake, but I was making it for gifts, so used regular flour. If making with gluten free flour mix, use a long, narrow pan to bake it in and reduce the baking time a bit.


  1. It looks lovely baked in the bundt pan.

  2. Lovely! I really like a good lemon cake and this seems to be just it! Going to try!

  3. Mmm, purty. I must give this one a shot -- and am surprised to see the almond flour again! But, I do believe that might help it retain a dense and pound-cake like texture -- looks amazing.

  4. Very pretty results you got there baking it in a bundt pan! Picked up an extra 10 points! Love that crumb!