Last year I tried many different lemon cake recipes, with lemon juice or zest, with cream or yoghurt, with icing or not, etc. I got very frustrated because I was never happy with the result and decided to forget about it for a while. Recently I read about Pierre Hermé's lemon cake recipe, tried it, and loved it!
The cake is easy to prepare and has a wonderful lemon taste with all the zest in it and the lemon syrup covering it. It is very refined and easy to eat as snack, dessert or even for breakfast :-) To make it lighter you could replace the cream with some yoghurt and if you do not like rum you can use another liquor or skip it entirely (although the cake after baking does not smell nor taste like rum at all).
You can keep the cake for a few days wrapped in plastic and you can also freeze it down. The recipe below is for a 35-38 cm long cake pan but because I like my cakes high I used a shorter form. You can also half all the portions and use a 19cm cake pan. Try it and enjoy!
**For the Orange cake version, click here**
Recipe for a high 30cm-long lemon cake
400 g sugar
zest from 3 lemons
190 g cream
3.5 tbsp rum
375 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
150 g melted butter, room T
For the lemon glaze / syrup:
150 g water
65 g sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
Mix sugar and lemon zest and leave to rest 10-15 min. Add eggs and beat until while and foamy. Add cream, rum, mix. Slowly add flour + baking powder + salt (pre-mixed) while mixing to have a nice homogenous batter. Last add melted butter (cooled down to room T), mix, and transfer to a buttered + floured 30cm cake pan. Bake in the oven 90 min at 160C (or until a knife comes out clean of it). (you can also use a longer cake pan and in that case you'll bake the cake in less time: e.g. 60 min for a 38cm-long cake pan)
While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup. In a saucepan heat up sugar and water until it boils. Let it cool down and then add lemon juice. When the cake comes out of the oven, glaze it with the lemon syrup/glaze with a brush (it will seem like a lot of syrup but the cake acts as a sponge and will absorb it all). Let the cake cool down and then take it out of the cake pan.