Lemony taste and a liquid fruit flavour in the mouth. Spongy and moist texture with a hint of sourness to contrast the sweetness. If you like the colour yellow, lemons, a lightly acidic taste on the tongue and the authentic flavours of citrus, behold! for here is the easiest, the most perfect lemon cake!
While our lemon tree is getting relieved of its fruits, but still beautifully dressed-up in purple blossoms, a bag arrives, full of freshly-picked lemons from friends’ trees. A great gift, I must say. So, we start preparing all sort of lemonades, the traditional Greek Avgolemo (egg-lemon sauce), jellies, yellow and yellow-green ice cubes with mint, roast chicken with lemon and rosemary, even lemon-scented salt and sugar.
Finally, with the last 4 lemons, we made this moist lemon cake. Slightly syrupy, with a juicy bottom, super-scented, thanks to the lemon rinds, and with an extra sweet n’ sour taste that derives from the semi-translucent icing stippled with scattered poppy seeds.
Addictive, and therefore short-lasting, with a strong aftertaste, it has gained its well-deserved place amongst pandespani’s recipes. If the distinctive sharpness of citrus fruit is among your favourites, I strongly suggest you try it.
Do you like lemons? Try also our lemon cheesecake with ginger biscuits.
Juicy lemon cake with lemon syrup and lemon icing
Preparation: 20-30 minutes (1 hour overall). Be careful! Pour the syrup over the as soon as you remove it from the oven, while it’s still very hot. Also, allow the cake to cool and glaze it just before serving or the following day (if there is any cake left). Relatively easy recipe.
Ingredients (for 14 pieces – baking mold 24-26 cm diameter)
80 g unsalted butter in cool temperature and some extra for greasing the mold
230 g caster sugar
grated zest of 2 lemons
170 g milk
240 g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
3 egg whites
for the lemon syrup
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (50 ml)
60 g caster sugar
80 ml water
for the lemon icing
50 ml lemon juice
250g icing sugar
2 tbsp. poppy seeds for garnish
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
To prepare the cake: Put the sugar, butter and lemon zest in the mixer bowl and beat until well incorporated. Slowly add the milk, beating continuously until you get a relatively liquid consistency.
In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add it to the butter mixture or add it in 3-4 small doses. Continue beating for 4-5 minutes until you get a fluffy glossy cream.
In a clean bowl, use a hand mixer with clean dry beaters to whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed (if you flip the bowl the mixture stays put). Spoon 1/3 of the mixture and mix to incorporate with the cream.
Then add the rest of the mixture and fold with a few, relatively large and fast moves, taking the mixture from the bottom of the bowl and bringing it up, scraping the bowl (mix gently without stirring).
Pour the batter into a greased cake pan (do not grease if pan is made of silicone) and spread evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes (depends on your oven), until well risen and springy. (The cake will rise but will maintain its elasticity; the sponge bounces back when touched.)
To prepare the lemon syrup: While the cake is baking, put the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and the 80 ml of water in a small saucepan, and heat over medium (to low) temperature until the mixture has a watery consistency (2-3 minutes). Raise the heat and boil until it has reduced in half and has a thin syrup consistency.
When the hot cake comes out of the oven pour the syrup all over the top. Leave to cool slightly and absorb the syrup (10-15 minutes), then turn it out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
To prepare the lemon icing: Mix lemon juice and icing sugar in a bowl until you get a thick smooth mixture. If you prefer it thicker add a little sugar, if thinner add a little water. When the cake is cold, spread the lemon icing over the surface allowing some to drip down the sides. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
To serve: Put on a serving plate and serve with the afternoon tea or beverages. Or treat yourself a slice with your morning coffee (yes, coffee and lemon cake make a great match). Choose equally marvellous cookies and biscuits to serve with, otherwise, the lemon cake will overtake their flavour.