I’m never getting off this baking buttermilk bandwagon (say that three times fast then LOL at yourself).
The original recipe for this is from the CIA (the cooking school in Hyde Park, NY, not the spy guys in Langley, VA) obviously.
I mean for one thing, we’d never get the spy guys’ recipe. If they even have one for lemon buttermilk cake, which they probably do underwraps, but it’s probably super secret, classified even; unlike Hillary’s hacked risotto revelations.
But, the CIA, the one in Hyde Park, regularly disseminates their secrets and prized, classified recipes. Which makes us all better in the kitchen.
I had a little CIA Intel situation of my own going on. I made it once, and this covert CIA wannabe decided the recipe needed a lot more lemon juice and zest. I confess. I did the unthinkable. I altered a CIA recipe/brief. Whoops sorry, not sorry.
Here’s what I did. First I sprinkled the pan with sugar instead of flour. Enter a nice carmalized outside. I doubled/tripled the lemon zest and juice, pucker up! Then with the glaze; who wants water when, that’s right, LEMON is right there at your now zesty fingertips.
So - Sugar, on lemon on buttermilk, on more lemon on sugar gets you a really crunchy, tart and sweet on the outside, soft and lemony on the inside CAKE.
Sorry CIA I didn’t pay attention to orders. I deviated from the plan of attack and I think the mission was successful.
Makes 1 9-inch cake
1 cup (2 full sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature plus more for pan
1 ¾ cups sugar, plus more for pan
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
3 lemons, zested
10 tablespoons lemon juice from zested lemons (may need a bit more to make up 10 tablespoons)
4 large eggs, room temperature
For the glaze
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 lemons zested and juiced
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter Bundt pan and sprinkle sugar around to coat the inside, tap out excess.
Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl, set aside. In another bowl whisk buttermilk, lemon juice and zest together, set aside.
Add butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, beat well and scrape down bowl after each addition. Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients to the egg mixture alternating with the buttermilk mixture in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until incorporated, and batter is smooth, do not over beat.
Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth with a spatula. Bake 1 hour until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when touched. Check after 50 minutes just in case.
Let cake cool completely on a wire rack and make the glaze. Whisk confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and zest together in a small bowl until smooth. If glaze is too thick, add more lemon juice, too thin? Add more sugar. Invert cake onto plate and spoon glaze over cooled cake. Let glaze harden, then cut and serve at room temperature.
Note: Adapted from Baking At Home With The Culinary Institute Of America