My husband and I both really like lemon cake, however we have different favorites. His favorite is the so-called Lemon Drizzle Cake, which is a lemon cake that contains a little bit of almond flour and is topped with a lemon juice-sugar-drizzle. My favorite is the classic lemon madeira cake with a plain lemon juice icing. I will post both recipes soon.
The recipe for Lemon Drizzle Cake is by Felicity Cloake (http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2013/jan/23/how-cook-perfect-lemon-drizzle-cake).
Adapted to American measurements.
1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
3/4 cup of caster sugar
2 unwaxed lemons
3/4 cup and 1 tablespoon of self-raising flour
3/4 cup of ground almonds
A little milk
1/2 cup of demerara sugar
1. Pre-heat the oven to 355 C Fahrenheit. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Beat together the butter, caster sugar and the finely grated zest of 1 lemon until light and fluffy. Add a pinch of salt and the eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined before adding the next.
2. Sift over the flour and fold in, followed by the almonds. Add just enough milk to bring the mixture to a dropping consistency (so that it falls off the spoon), then spoon into the prepared tin and even out the top. Bake for about 50-55 minutes, until a skewer comes out dry (crumbs clinging to it are fine).
3. Briefly mix together the remaining lemon zest, and the juice of both the lemons with the demerara sugar, then poke holes all over the top of the warm cake and pour over the drizzle, waiting for the cake to absorb one lot before adding the next.
4. Allow to cool in the tin before turning out.
The second recipe, for Lemon Madeira Cake, is by Jane Asher and was also featured in The Guardian, which is not only one of my favorite newspapers but also a splendid source for recipes! Here I adapted it to American measurements. http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2006/jul/05/features11.g21
1 1/4 sticks or 10 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup castor sugar
4 medium eggs
1.5 cups of self-raising flour, or 1.5 cups of flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 tsp baking powder
Rind and juice of an unwaxed lemon
(Optional: I like to add the juice of one more lemon to the dough as well)
1 cup icing sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Break the eggs into a bowl or large cup and beat lightly, before adding little by little to the butter/sugar mix, beating well after each addition (if you use a food mixer or processor keep it on a high speed and add the eggs while it’s running). Sift the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt together in a separate bowl, then stir it into the cake mix. Add the grated rind of the lemon and mix well. Grease and flour a six-inch-deep cake tin, spoon in the mixture and bake for 60-70 minutes until firm to the touch or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let it cool for a couple of minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack and leave until completely cold. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into a small bowl or jug, making sure no pips go into it, then gradually add the sieved icing sugar, little by little, until you have a thick, pouring consistency. Pour the icing over the cold cake, starting in the centre and allowing it to drizzle over the sides. When almost set, add a few crystallised violets and place on a paper doily on a pretty plate.