Copyright 2001 by Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa Parties)
Makes two 8-inch loaves
1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeeze lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease, flour, and line the bottom of two 8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pans with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and 2 cups of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, and the lemon zest.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning an ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over ow heat until the sugar dissolves.
When the cakes are done, let them cool for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a rack set over a tray, and spoon the lemon syrup over the cakes. Allow to cool completely.
For the glaze, combine the confectioner's sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the top of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.