Lemon Cake | A Barefoot Contessa Variation

posted on: Friday, April 17, 2009

The Barefoot Contessa and I were on a break but now our relationship is mended. I have been so sick with this pregnancy. Early on in the pregnancy I was craving one of her dishes. My husband made me the dish and it made me so nauseous. I could'nt even smell it. Now I'm finally feeling better (second trimester is a charm) and Ina and I are on good terms again. So much so that I busted out her wonderful cookbook this week and made some lemon cake. Of course it was totally scrumptious because all her recipes are scrumptious. I added walnuts and made some minior modifications. Here is my recipe below inspired by the Barefoot Contessa's original Lemon Cake recipe.


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups crushed walnuts

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


(Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pan.)

    1. Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.  
    2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, add crushed walnuts to the top and smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean. 
    3. Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over them. Allow the cakes to cool completely. 
    4. For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides. 


  1. Yum, Damaris! How did you know that I am craving lemony cakes?

  2. I'm so glad you are feeling better! When are you due? Did you find out if it's a boy or a girl yet? Totally down with the tutu! Let me know!
    Cake looks delish!

  3. Mmmmm, I love anything and everything lemon! I'm going to have to try this!


Related Posts with Thumbnails