I've been craving cake lately, but it's a dangerous thing to have around. Somehow I can always justify a slice, which can then equal 3 slices a day. That's really bad because I know how much butter is in there, not to mention sugar and white flour and then the icing. It's a calorie bomb but who doesn't love cake? And would you take cake over pie? I would always take cake.
Anyway, my craving for cake sent me ripping through my many, many piles of magazine clippings. Honestly my office looks like one big shredded publication. I tear things out, stack them up and they are not in any order whatsoever. It's horrible and I hate it. Am I the only one who does this? Funny thing is, when I go back through a lot of those torn out pages, none of the recipes look good to me anymore. What's up with that?
So I found a recipe for a lemon bundt cake in an old issue of Food and Wine. However that recipe used rum and I didn't want rum in my lemon cake I wanted limoncello. And quite honestly the directions for making the cake were so kind of over-the-top I decided to simplify them. I've made enough cakes to know that massaging lemon zest into sugar was not going to make a noticeable difference. And that was only one of the things. So while a bunch of things from that cake are the same, many are different.
So here's why I love the way this cake turned out...it's not cloyingly sweet. It's such a perfect breakfast or after dinner cake. It's classy and has a total brightness to it. You can always add a dollop of sweetened whipped cream if you choose. It's moist and delicious and I love the almond extract in the glaze.
I always remind people when making cake from scrtach to not overmix the batter once you add the flour. This is easy to control with your Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. With a hand held it's a little harder.
And while I pride myself on not overmixing the batter, I did burn the limoncello syrup on the stove. Oh you know how it goes, the doorbell rang..it was the neighbors. We began discussing a variety of topics and then maybe a beer was opened and WHOOPS...burnt sugar on the stove. Yeah it was awesome. So be careful. This will be my only warning.
Is the inside not gorgeous? It looks kind-of-pound-cakey, but it's not. I also made this in my favorite Nordic Ware pan. The cakes just fall out this pan, never sticking and I love the details on the outside.
Limoncello Syrup Lemon Cake
For the Cake:
- nonstick cooking spray with flour (or dust with flour yourself)
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup lightly packed finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 3 large eggs, room temp
- 3 large egg yolks, room temp
- 3 Tablespoons limoncello
- 2 Tablespoons lemon extract
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
For the Limoncello Syrup:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon limoncello
For the Glaze and Topping:
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat your 10" Bundt pan REALLY well with nonstick cooking spray. If your spray has flour in it then you will not have to dust the pan with flour. Otherwise dust the pan with flour:).
- In a large bowl combine all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt. Sift ingredients together. (Do not skip this part.) Set aside.
- To the bowl of your stand mixer add vegetable oil, butter, confectioners' sugar and lemon zest. Beat on medium speed until mixture resembles a pale yellow; about 4 minutes. Add eggs, limoncello and lemon extract, continue to beat on medium speed for one minute more. Add the flour mixture and heavy cream in three alternating batches starting and ending with the flour. Scrape down the bowl if necessary and do not overmix here. Run the mixer enough to incorporate the dry ingredients.
- Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake in the middle tier of the oven for one hour, rotate the pan halfway through. Use a toothpick to make sure the cake is done and set on a cooling rack for 30 minutes before turning it onto your cake stand.
- While the cake is cooling make the limoncello syrup. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and heat over low heat to dissolve sugar. Should only take a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Poke holes all over cake with a skewer and brush the syrup all over.
- When the cake is completely cooled make the glaze. Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir until completely smooth. Pour over top of Bundt Cake, letting it drizzle down the sides. Top with almonds and let the glaze set.
Have a couple slices a day...who's going to know?
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