Trying to find something to make for desserts is not always an easy thing, especially during the week when you may not have a lot of time to put something together. However, my philosophy is that anything you make at home, no matter how small, is going to be worth the effort and taste good. Unfortunately we are not lucky enough to a local bakery around here, leaving the only real choices for dessert to the supermarket bakery and whatever is on the shelf in the frozen food aisle, so that leaves making something yourself when you want to satisfy a sweet tooth. For me, I have always liked just a plain piece of pound cake. Pound cake makes a nice, easy dessert that goes well with a cup of coffee or tea, a little iced cream, some fresh fruit or even just by itself. When I saw this recipe from Melissa Clark of New York Times Cooking for a lemon drizzle cake, it seemed like the perfect combination of an easy dessert to make with a nice cake with some awesome lemon zing to it.
Lemon Drizzle Cake
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened, more for greasing pan
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 1/2 lemons
2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
Heat the oven to 325 degrees and place a rack in the center. Grease a 9-by-12-inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang on the long sides of the pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and half of the sugar (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until they are incorporated, then beat in the milk, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary (the mixture will look curdled, and that’s O.K.). Mix in the flour mixture until the ingredients are combined, then scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing the top of the batter.
Bake the cake until it is golden brown and springy, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then use the paper overhang to lift the cake out of the pan; transfer the cake to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and carefully remove the paper.
While the cake bakes, in a small bowl mix together the remaining half of the sugar (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) and enough lemon juice to make a runny mixture. While the cake is still warm, spoon the sugar mixture evenly over the top. The cake has to be cooled slightly to prevent the topping from melting, but warm enough so that it soaks into the cake, leaving a crunchy sugar coat on top. Let the cake cool, then cut it into squares.
As long as you have a few lemons on hand, the rest of the ingredients are things you likely have around the kitchen so that you could put this one together during the week if you like. The cake itself is much like a typical pound cake, but once you add the lemon topping to it and it glazes over the cake is bursting with flavor. If you like lemon, this one is for you. The cake ends up with a nice crunch once the glaze sets and cools, making each piece of the cake a lemony treat. I have loved having it with a cup of coffee for dessert or even a little piece for breakfast in the morning. This makes a pretty large cake in a 9 x 13 pan (I don’t have a 9 x 12 pan and have never seen one myself, but 9 x 13 worked just fine for me) so it is great for parties or to bring over to someone’s house for a potluck or you could even try freezing some of it and use it for different occasions. It’s definitely one worth remembering.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!