Texas Sheet Cake

Since this is one of those recipes that my mother gave to me, probably about thirty-five years ago, you can imagine my disgust when a famous cowboy-cookbook-authoress put it in one of her cookbooks and claimed it as her own.  I don’t even think she was born when this started making the rounds.

In an article in Texas Monthly, Courteney Bond writes that “Texans clearly have a proprietary interest in the enormous rectangle of thin, flat chocolate cake slathered in deliciously sugary, pecan-studded chocolate icing. But what exactly makes it a “Texas” sheet cake? Some say it’s simply because the cake is huge. Others maintain it’s because it’s flamboyantly rich. Still others point to the addition of Texas-y ingredients like buttermilk and pecans, or to the fact that the recipe is similar to one submitted to the Dallas Morning News in 1957 that subsequently swept the country.”  You can trace the timeline of this treat here, or have a look at the full range of the Food Timeline, tracing more treats.

The proportions may vary slightly.  Some use walnuts instead of pecans (it doesn’t really matter to my way of thinking), but all recipes include buttermilk and cocoa.  Yield: 1 half-sheet-cake pan (about 15″ by 10″), in less time than it takes to drive to the big box store and pick up a cake.

Here you can see the difference between the Dutch-process cocoa and regular cocoa powder. I think the taste difference is dramatic (think more chocolatey and rich).

Grease a half-sheet-cake pan: 15 1/2″ by 10 1/2″ by 1″  This is also known as a “rimmed cookie sheet.” [Note: some say to flour it too, but I never have.]

Sift into bowl:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
2 cups sugar

Bring to boil:
2 stick butter or margarine
4 Tablespoons cocoa (I like using Dutch-processed cocoa the best)
1 cup water

Pour boiling liquids over dry ingredients and stir.

2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

After cake comes out of oven, bring to boil:
1 stick butter
4 Tablespoons cocoa

Mix in: 6 Tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 -1/2 cups chopped nuts, pecan or walnuts

Combine and pour on slightly-cooled cake, spreading to cover evenly.

Cheesecake Diamonds – or – Squares

Mom used to make these long ago, and recently I had cause to resurrect them from the recipe graveyard.  Yes, they are really 1980-ish, but yes, they are really good.  I’ve updated the recipe to our more modern methods.

Cheesecake Diamonds, 9 x 13 pan (quantity can be halved)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor place:
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup walnuts
Process until walnuts are small bits, but still recognizable.  Melt 10 Tablespoons butter, then, with food processor running, pour melted butter into flour mixture, letting it mix about 20 seconds.  Don’t overmix–you want it to remain kind of loose.  Pour this out into a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Scoop out 1 full cup of this topping and reserve.  Press the remainder down firmly and evenly into pan.  Bake for 12-15 minutes in hot oven.  [NOTE: if using a glass pan, set oven temperature to 325.]

In a separate bowl, mix together:
2 softened 8-ounce packages cream cheese (I use Trader Joe’s), and 1 cup granulated sugar until creamy.

2 eggs
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup milk (4 Tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat well. Spread over baked bottom crust (crust doesn’t need to cool).

To reserved topping, add 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, mix.  Sprinkle over the filling.  Return to the oven and bake 25 minutes more.  Cool, then cut into diamonds or squares. Keep refridgerated.

To cut into diamonds, make parallel cuts the length of the pan.  Then cut across them at a 45 degree angle, forming diamonds.  There will be odd-shaped pieces in the corners: Cook’s taste!

Store in refridgerator.

(You know how to cut into squares.)

Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake with Buttermilk Icing

I found this on the web, by a librarian who was having her own personal Bundt Cake Pan challenge: a new cake a day made in her much, un-used bundt pan.  I think I happened on her post right on this day, downloaded the recipe, which originally came from Gourmet Magazine in November 2005.  It is a very moist cake, mild on the spices and it is good for fall baking, leaving a delicous aroma of pumpkin in the air.

For cake
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing bundt pan
2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15-ounce can; not pie filling)
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
For icing
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons well-shaken buttermilk
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
Special equipment: a 10-inch nonstick bundt pan (3 quart)


Make cake:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bundt pan generously, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Whisk together flour (2 1/4 cups), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together pumpkin, 3/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla in another bowl.

Beat butter (1 1/2 sticks) and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, then add eggs and beat 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour and pumpkin mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until batter is just smooth.

Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top, then bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then invert rack over cake and reinvert cake onto rack. Cool 10 minutes more.

Make icing:
While cake is cooling, whisk together buttermilk and confectioners sugar until smooth. Drizzle icing over warm cake, then cool cake completely. Icing will harden slightly.

Cooks’ note: Cake can be made 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.  I used the 2 1/4 cups flour it called for, but I believe 2 1/2 cups would be better.  I substituted in 3/4 whole wheat flour for a like amount of the white flour.

Summer Strawberry Cake

Oh, YUM!

Okay, now get to work and make this light and delicious strawberry cake.  I found it on Smitten Kitchen, a blog with great recipes, who had adapted it from Martha.  I changed it again, substituting 1/2 cup whole wheat white flour for part of the regular flour.  The interesting thing about this cake is how long it cooks: about one hour, although it’s very quick to make.  The strawberries become jam spots, the sugar caramelizes, and it all is a wonderful summer dessert.  While it is best served on the day it is made, it is still really good the next day.  For breakfast, maybe? And while the recipe suggests a dollop of soft whipped cream, my husband thought that ice cream was a great topping.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
1 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour (can swap 1/2  cup all-purpose flour with 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch deep pie (or cake) pan or 9-inch deep-dish pie pan (what I used). (Smitten Kitchen notes that this cake would also work in a 9- or 10-inch springform or cake pan. The 10-inch would make a thinner cake than pictured.)

Whisk flour or flours, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.

Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer (though I had to overlap a few to get them all in). Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.

Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes.  Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges. Serve with lightly whipped cream, or ice cream, if desired.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Yield: Makes about 4 cups, published by Bon Appétit, March 1999 (with some changes).  Originally made to go with Orange-Almond Cake.


1 3/4 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup unsalted butter
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Dutch cocoa)
4 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon (scant) almond extract


Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts and mixture comes to simmer. Remove saucepan from heat. Add chocolate and both extracts. Whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth.  I glazed my single layer cakes while it was still warm, but if doing the triple-layer cake, refrigerate frosting until slightly thickened but still spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Note: the original recipe called for 16 ounces bittersweet, but in reading the comments from the reviewers, they all said to go with a mixture.  I did.  Yummy!  You’ll be fighting over who gets to lick the pan.

Orange-Almond Cake with Chocolate Icing

How did I learn about this recipe? My friend Andrea made this cake for her birthday.  She’s a remarkable woman, always making some new delicious confection for her birthday.  She tries a new one each year, and I love reading on her Facebook posts what she’s chosen for that year.  The reason this cake intrigued me?  She wrote about this right as I was asked to be in charge of the food for our Women’s Conference (300 people!).  I hit on the idea that instead of making a three-layer cake, I’d keep the layers single, and glaze them with the chocolate ganache and serve them that way. Instead of serving 10 with one recipe, I could serve 30 (although they may all be fighting over any leftovers on the table).

To prepare, I made them last night.  I wasn’t too sure about this, until I had brushed on the “orange jam” and coated them with the chocolate ganache.  Oh, my!  Another cooking friend, Wendy, agreed to be my partner in desert-crime and help me make batches and batches of this for the conference.  So, thanks, Andrea for the idea and thanks, Wendy for always including me in your food adventures.  Here’s one for you.

Yield: Serves 10  Originally published in Bon Appetit, March 1999.  My changes are listed below.

Ingredients for Cake
3 large oranges
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, divided
1 cup whole almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Ingredients–Orange “Jam
1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice–approximately 3-4 oranges.  Use the juice from the three peeled oranges (above).  I had to add one more orange to get the juice I needed.
generous 1 tablespoon sugar

Chocolate Ganache Icing (click on link, or see below)

Additional whole almonds, small orange-slice triangles and mint leaves for garnish


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place pan on waxed paper, and using scissors, trace around the pan.  Cut out three layers of wax paper on the circle line.

Grease (or butter) the bottom and sides of three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Place the wax paper circle in the bottom of the pan and grease that.  Dust with flour; tap out excess. I say to grease the sides, because a) it comes out easier, and b) it’s prettier if you are using the cake as a single layer.

Using vegetable peeler, remove peel (orange part only) in strips from oranges.  Coarsely chop enough peel to measure 1/2 cup.

Combine flour, 1 cup almonds, baking powder and salt in food processor; blend until finely ground. Transfer to medium bowl.

Place 2 cups sugar and orange peel in processor (left); blend until peel is finely minced (right).

Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until blended. Add sugar mixture and beat until fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix milk and both extracts in small bowl. On low speed, beat flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with milk mixture in 3 additions each.

Divide batter among prepared pans. It’s pretty thick.  Smooth it out.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes, and cakes begin to pull away from sides (touch test with finger didn’t work).Don’t overbake. Cool cakes in pans on racks 8 minutes. Loosen cake around edges with narrow spatula, then turn cakes out onto racks, remove wax paper from bottom, and cool completely. They are a bit fragile when warm.

Boil 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice and remaining generous 1 tablespoon sugar in small saucepan until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes (watch carefully and stir occasionally). Brush warm juice mixture over tops of cooled cakes.

For the Women’s Conference, I poured about 1/2 cup warm ganache over the cake and using an off-set spatula, smoothed it over the cake, letting it run down the edges (I had them on a rack to do this, although not that much dripped over that you couldn’t just do it on a plate).  If you need more icing on the edges, smooth some on with the spatula.  It makes a silky-looking glaze, but who cares how it looks?  It is delicious, and sets up after about 30 minutes.  Transfer to plate, decorate with almonds and oranges, or whatever you choose.

Their photo, in a three-layer cake version:

Place 1 cake layer, orange syrup side up, on cake platter. Spread 1 cup Chocolate Icing over. Top with second cake layer, then 1 cup icing. Top with third cake layer, syrup side up.

Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and store at room temperature.)

Arrange additional almonds, orange triangles and mint leaves around top edge of cake. Slice cake and serve.

Chocolate Icing also from Bon Appétit, March 1999

Yield: Makes about 4 cups–enough for two batches of cake.  If you are only making one cake, I advise you to double-glaze it, or else cut the ingredients down by at least 1/3.


1 3/4 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup unsalted butter
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Dutch cocoa)
4 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon (scant) almond extract


Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts and mixture comes to simmer. Remove saucepan from heat. Add chocolate and both extracts. Whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth.  I glazed my single layer cakes while it was still warm, but if doing the triple-layer cake, refrigerate frosting until slightly thickened but still spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Note: the original recipe called for 16 ounces bittersweet, but in reading the comments from the reviewers, they all said to go with a mixture.  I did.  Yummy!  You’ll be fighting over who gets to lick the pan.

Old-fashioned Gingerbread Cake

Merry Christmas to all!

Perhaps there is no more evocative scent for Christmas than that of ginger–specifically baked into shaped cookies, houses and cakes.  I’d always made a gingerbread using oil, but this year I took on the challenge to make it without oil.  It was a switch I should have made a long time ago, and I was glad for the chance to try a new recipe.  As you can see, we haven’t cut into it yet, but the batter was yummy (yes, it’s true that I come from a long line of beater-lickers).  Serve with Elizabeth’s Lemon Butter Sauce, and maybe a dab of soft home-made whipped cream?  I wish you visions of sugarplums dancing in your head.

This is from the yellow Gourmet Cookbook, edited by Ruth Reichl.  It’s a winner to have in a collection.

Old-fashioned Gingerbread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup)  real butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
2/3 cup hot water


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sift together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt into a bowl.

Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at moderately high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in molasses. (Batter may look separated.) Mix in flour mixture at low speed, then water, mixing until batter is smooth, about 1 minute.

Pour batter into a buttered 9-inch square metal baking pan (2 inches deep). Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack, about 20 minutes, then serve warm with Elizabeth’s Lemon Butter Sauce.

Cook’s Note: When I doubled it, I put it into a greased 9″ x 13″ x 2″ pan and baked it for 45 minutes, or until it tested done with a toothpick.  There will be a slight sinking in the middle, but it’s not pronounced.

Peach Upside-down Cake

Once again, Dorie Greenspan writes a winner recipe.  This time it is a recipe for a peach upside-down cake, but it’s lighter than usual, and uses a granulated sugar mix for the fruit, rather than a brown-sugar mixture.  We had a few extra peaches (okay–confession–I bought extra just so I could make this), a few raspberries and when it came out of the pan, Dave and I couldn’t resist taking a small slice.  (Okay.  Confession.  We each had one more right then, promising to save the rest for later on tonight.)  I like the lightness of this–not so gooey, sicky sweet like that old pineapple standby.  (But I confess I liked that too, in its day.)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 sticks (14 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature (mine was neither unsalted nor room temperature)
granulated sugar, divided into 6 Tablespoons (part I) and 1/2 cup (part II)
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk (we only have skim milk around here, so I poured in about 1 Tablespoon cream into a measuring cup and filled up the rest with skim milk)

3 large peeled and pitted peaches, sliced
a few raspberries for color (optional)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Put an 8×2-inch pan on a baking sheet.  Warning!  This is taller than the usual pan we have in our cupboards.  I bought mine at Michaels last time they included a coupon in the newspaper.

Whisk together dry ingredients.

Melt 6 TBLS of the butter in a small saucepan.  Sprinkle in 6 TBlS of the sugar and cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil.  Pour this evenly over the bottom of the cake pan, then scatter the raspberries over the butter mixture.

Beginning at the outer edge, ring the pan with the peach slices, ending at the center, fitting the raspberries in and around as you go.  (I had to take a picture of this step–it looks very pretty just sitting there.)  Set aside.

Working with a stand mixture, fitted with a paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer in a large bowl), beat the remaining stick (8TBLS) of butter on medium speed until smooth.  Add in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and continue to beat until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes.  (Don’t fret if yours doesn’t do this–mine didn’t either, but I think it was because the butter was cold.)  Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed.  Pour in the vanilla/almond extract.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and half of the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the batter. Mix in the milk, then the rest of the dry ingredients, scraping the bowl as needed.  Spoon the batter over the fruit, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove it from the oven and run a blunt knife between the sides of the pan and cake.  Let sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the peach juices to absorb into the cake, then invert on a serving platter.

Yum! This is one of those recipes that isn’t terribly glamorous, but that will disappear very quickly, as you can see by our photo above.  Very quickly.  Greenspan, who wrote the book from which this recipe was taken (Baking From My Home to Yours), made this first in a cranberry-nut version.  You can bet I’m going to try that come fall, when the cranberries hit the shelves.  Check back for that one, but in the meantime, go buy Dorie Greenspan’s book.

Angel Food Cake

The first time I made this was when my parents were visiting.  It was summer and we needed a light dessert for a hot day.  Gale Gand’s recipe seemed to fit the bill: it’s a from-scratch angel food cake speckled with fresh blueberries with a bit of lemon to freshen the flavors.

Dave has requested it often for his birthday, preferring this to his other old favorite of German Chocolate Cake (I never could make that one very well–his mother did it better than I, I’m sure).

The taste of the homemade angel food cake is different than the store bought, although that one has its merits.  It’s like the difference between any manufactured object and something that has had a human touch.  Try it and see what you think.

I’ve included a lot of photos to show how the mixture begins to peak; my apologies to those who find photos tiresome.

Blueberry Angel Food Cake–yield 8 servings (although we always get more out of it)
Gale Gand, from Cooking Light

1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup sifted cake flour (I used regular)
12 large egg whites (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 Tablespoons sifted cake flour
1 Tablespoon grated lemon rind

Note on grating rind: you want to just skim the yellow rind off the lemon, leaving the white pith behind (it can be bitter).  If I have a whole crop of lemons, I grade the rind onto a square of wax paper, then fold it up to the inside, place the packet into a small ziploc sandwich baggie and label it with the date.  I’ve used frozen rind for as long as 9 months without noticeable drop in quality.

1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Sift together 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup flour (I just whisked them together).

In a large bowl, beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until foamy.

Add cream of tartar and salt; beat until soft peaks form.

Add 1 cup sugar, 2 Tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.

See the tip of the peak bending over like a wave?  Not quite done.

This peak stands straight up–it’s done.

Sift flour mixture over egg white mixture, 1/4 cup at a time; fold in.  Here’s a video on folding egg whites into another mixture; it’s the same technique.

Fold in vanilla. . .

. . . and blueberries. If you’ve never seen an angel food cake pan before, it has three tabs sticking up from the sides, and a removable bottom (to which the center tube is attached).

Combine 2 Tablespoons flour and lemon rind; toss to coat. Sprinkle over egg white mixture; fold in.

Spoon the batter into an UNGREASED 10-inch tube pan, spreading evenly. (Note:the recipe says to smooth out the top, but I like mine with more peaks and valleys, as shown here.  But I was a good girl, and smoothed it out so you could see what the end result looks like in a later photo.)

Break air pockets by cutting through batter with a knife. Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.

Invert pan; cool completely.  Yes, turn it upside down and balance it on those tabs until it is REALLY COOL to the touch.  No warmth anywhere.  That’s why it’s best to make this in the morning, if you plan to serve it that night.

Loosen the cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula.

Invert cake onto plate. (I re-invert it so the top will show.)

To prepare the glaze, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Calories: 297 (1% from fat)
Fat: 0.2 grams (sat. fat 0g, mono 0.1 g, poly 0.1 g)
Protein: 6.6 grams
Carb: 68.2 grams
Fiber: 1 gram
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Iron: 1.1 mg
Sodium: 232 mg
Calcium: 8 mg

Glazed Lemon Cake

I remember the first time I ate this cake.  My brother’s wife, Rachel, served it for one of her parties.  Rachel is the consummate hostess, always perfectly dressed complete with accessories, her house spotless, her children well-mannered, and the table set like you were in a House Beautiful spread.  It was an Occasion–a birthday celebration–and we were invited.  The food was amazing, but when this cake came out, I wanted to drop all pretense of manners and have another piece.  And another.  I think I did eat two.  I could have eaten more, but then I wouldn’t have been a good guest.

Rachel, while formal and gracious, is warm and inviting.  I always glean ideas for decorating from her house, pick up a new recipe or two, and this was one of those.  I phoned her after we got home and she sent me a copy of the recipe.  It’s from the Silver Palate cookbook, and in her notes at the top, she writes: “Worth owning.”  So I went out and bought a copy.  So should you.

We use a fancy bundt-style pan we call “The Cathedral Pan.”  It makes for a wonderful presentation and no one knows how easy this was to make.  We bought ours from Williams-Sonoma, but I noticed that Sur La Table had some last time I was there.

Be sure to use fresh lemons and real butter for the full effect.  (Of course.)

1/2 pound (2 sticks) sweet butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, stirred or sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 tightly packed Tbls. grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
2 Tbls. fresh lemon juice

Lemon Icing (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt (I just stir them together).  Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture alternatively with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.  Add lemon zest and juice.

Pour batter into prepared tube pan.  Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until cake pulls away from side of pan and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool cake in the pan, set on a rack, for 10-15 minutes, then gently loosen top edge of cake from pan all the way around.  Invert onto a rack, then spread immediately with the Lemon Icing, using a pastry brush to smooth out if needed.  Below is the cake, fresh from the pan.  At the very top is the cake with the lemon glaze all over it.

Lemon Icing

2 cups (1/2 pound) confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
1/2 stick (4 Tbls) sweet butter, softened
2 Tbls. packed grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Cream butter and sugar thoroughly. Mix in lemon juice and zest; spread on warm cake.  It helps to lay down some wax paper underneath the rack where the cake sits.  This catches the drips from the frosting.  You’ll definitely have some run-off.