Tomorrow, New Year's Day, I'm headed to my parents for lunch to celebrate the new year with them and some of my mom's relatives. Most Filipinos, especially (cough) the older generation, don't care for sweets. No chocolate, no sugar, nothing overtly sweet at all. So I settled on a citrus cake as a safe bet that hopefully they won't consider too sweet. I like this cake because it has a nice tender crumb but also the texture of a good pound cake. The orange flavor blends nicely with the butter flavor and the glaze, with bits of orange zest, tops it nicely. I like to take about half the glaze and cover the cake with it while it's still a little warm (not hot). The glaze melts into the cake without sliding off too much. Then once it's completely cool, I cover it with the rest of the glaze. The first layer of glaze that somewhat melted into the cake gives it added moisture and flavor into the cake - yum.
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
Grated zest of 2 large lemons
Juice of 1 large lemon (about 2 ½ tablespoons)
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups to 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, well sifted
Finely grated zest of 1 large or 2 small lemons
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 ½ tablespoons)
Additional unsalted butter, at room temperature, for greasing the pan
1. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Grease a 10-inch Bundt pan and set aside. Using a wooden spoon, or the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until fluffy and pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl.
2. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Don’t overmix; just fold gently until the batter looks well blended. Fold in the lemon zest and juice.
3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Bake the cake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, and the cake has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze.
4. For the glaze: in a medium-sized bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sifted sugar and the combined zest and lemon juice, alternating one then the other, until a creamy, pourable consistency is achieved.
5. In cake onto a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Spoon the glaze over hot cake and allow to cool completely before cutting. Best the day it is made, it will keep fairly well, in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 3 days.