Yield: 6-8 servings
Time: 70 minutes
I have been meaning to replicate this recipe for many years. It’s probably one of the best lemon cakes I have eaten. It can still taste it after so long. Where did we encounter this marvel? At the 140 years old and still “baking” Dunvegan Bakery & Coffee Shop, on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Homemade, utterly scrumptious, moist and with that tangy kick of lemon. We needed something sweet after our single malt whiskey tasting at the Talisker Distillery on Skye. As they say in Scotland “The king o’ drinks, as I conceive it, Talisker, Isla, or Glenlivet!”.
After many trials and so-so results, I think I’ve got it – the secret is the butter, only the best will do. I let the cake ripe overnight for extra lemony flavor.
- 1 cup (225 g) best quality unsalted butter (like Plugra in the US)
- 1 cup (225 g) sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1 (225 g) self-raising flour
- zest of one lemon
- 2 Tbsp sliced almonds ( optional)
- 1 Tbsp sugar (optional)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup (90g) confectioner’s sugar
Preheat oven 350ºF/180ºC.
Butter and flour a 9 1/2″ x 6″ (24 x 15 cm) baking pan. Set aside.
Cream butter with sugar until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add 1 egg at the time, mixing it gently through. Add vanilla extract. The mixture will look curdled. Not to worry! Add flour and lemon zest. Mix until all is combined. Spoon batter into pan and smooth top with a spatula.Bake for about 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
While the cake is cooling in its pan, prepare the lemon drizzle. Mix lemon juice with the confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl and stir it until well combined and smooth. Prick cake top all over with a skewer. Drizzle lemon-sugar mix on top of the cake slowly. Drizzle will drench the cake and form a crispy topping.
Optional: Caramelize sliced almonds with a tablespoon of sugar over medium-high heat and stir it until sugar is dissolved and coats the almonds. Let almonds cool. Sprinkle almonds on top of the cake.