Saturday, June 2, 2012

Cake, the Great Motivator

Mary Jane's Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Every year Michael and I head to Tucson to help our good friend Mary Jane with a giant charity/book sale event. The set-up can be grueling, but MJ has figured out one great method of motivating volunteers, cake! She makes three of her most fab Bundt cakes; Poppy Seed, Spice and my favorite Lemon Buttermilk, sets them before us like jewels works; or rather we work, like crazy, and then reap our rewards in cake.

Of course, you know where I am going with this; feeding my volunteer work crew has been this week's theme. So, I turned to my favorite. This delicious cake is no-fuss, with a rich pound cake consistency. Thanks Mary Jane! It works!!

Lemon Buttermilk Cake
Mary Jane McKitis

Preheat oven to 350°
Grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan

In a large bowl, sift together and set aside:
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt
In your stand mixer, combine and cream together until light and fluffy:
1 cup unsalted butter (2-sticks) softened to room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
Then add, one at a time:
3 large eggs - blending after each addition
Next, alternating the flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 additions, add:
1 cup buttermilk (room temperature)
Flour mixture
Stir into the mixture:
3 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of two lemons

Turn into a prepared pan and smooth the top. Give it a good whack on the counter
to make sure there are no air bubbles in the mix.
Bake for approximately 1 hour, test with cake tester at one hour. (My cake is always done at 55min....altitude?)

To prepare the glaze - mix together until dissolved:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar

When the tester comes out clean, remove cake from the oven, let stand for about 5 minutes then turn out onto a rack that sits on top of a jelly roll pan so it can catch the lemon glaze.

With a pastry brush, brush the glaze all over the top and sides of the warm cake. Let stand at room temperature until completely cool.
Keep in a cake-keeper three days, (and then some in a dry climate). Freezes well.

This is a perfectly balanced lemon cake, but sometimes I make a double batch of the glaze and drown it in the stuff, mmmm....lemony goodness!! Enjoy!

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