Well where did January go? I must admit I no longer really comment about how fast time flies since that’s become a bit of a norm these days, but this does feel like one of the most tiring January’s I’ve ever encountered. I honestly feel like I’m developing migraines or something. Stress at work has been high, and so my birthday felt just like any other day of the year.
Not that it bothers me that much since I’m not one to make a big deal out of my own birthday, but for sure on this space, there was a lack of cake. And birthdays without cake just feels downright strange!
Which is why I’m writing about cake right now, to end my January on a high note. (This was supposed to go up last night but due to technical difficulties I’m a day late!) And I thought I might as well go all out and talk about a cake flavour that I adore and which really brightens up my mood.
If you’ve been with me on this blogging thing for a while now, you would know how much of a sucker I am for anything lemon-flavoured. I’ve mentioned it like a kajillion times before. But this my friends, is not just any regular lemon cake. This is a Lemon-Drenched Cake recipe that will make my fellow lemon-lovers go oooooh.
Lemon. Drenched. I’m puckering my lips just thinking about it!
The thing about this cake, apart from being drenched in a lemon syrup, is that the cake itself has a lot of lemon loaded into it. Along with that there’s marzipan too, so it’s kind of like an almond cake in a way, but mostly you get that awesome zing.
Some people aren’t such huge fans of that much lemon. They like desserts that offer just a hint, just the scent. But I personally feel like when you call something a lemon dessert, there should be that punch; that citrusy buzz that tickles your tastebuds. And you get a lot of that here. It starts with a cake that’s been loaded with both lemon and almond flavour from the marzipan, but then fresh out of the oven you pour in some lemon syrup you’ve made and already you can imagine how lemony this will be as the cake sits and soaks it all in.
Now because of that syrup as well this cake has an amazing texture. It’s got quite a moist crumb that oozes lemon in every bite. And just to make sure it’s all lemon through and through, I decided to brush a bit of lemon-sugar glaze on top. However it’s totally unnecessary. This cake is lemon enough without that glaze, but I felt like taking that lemon flavour all the way up there. I can’t say I regret it.
Lemon-Drenched Lemon & Marzipan Cake
For the Lemon-Marzipan Cake
- 1 cup 225 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup 225 grams granulated sugar
- Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 150 grams marzipan, chopped into small chunks
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 1 Tablespoon, 150 grams all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup 100 grams ground almonds
For the Lemon Syrup
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
For the optional Lemon Glaze
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C), setting the rack at the middle portion of the oven. Butter and flour a 6- or 10-cup capacity bundt pan, making sure that every nook and crevice is covered. Tap out excess flour.
- 2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and juice.
- 3. Sprinkle in the marzipan pieces to keep them from sticking together as much as possible. Mix briefly to combine. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. The mixture will probably curdle because of the lemon juice but that’s normal. It will come back together when the flour is added. Beat in the vanilla.
- 4. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir the ground almonds through the sifter as well, then beat everything together briefly until smooth.
- 5. Transfer the batter to the bundt pan, levelling the top with a spatula. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to (325°F) 170°C. Bake for an additional 50 minutes. Tent the top of the cake with foil if it begins to look too dark, but only after it's been cooking for 30 minutes.
- 6. About 5 minutes before the end of cooking time, make the drizzle. Heat the lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming. Stir in the sugar and cook for 1 minute, until dissolved and the mixtures looks like thin syrup. Remove from the heat.
- 7. Once the cake is finished, pierce it all over with a skewer and gradually pour the syrup on the cake. Waiting for the cake to absorb the syrup before pouring more. You might not use all the syrup.
- 8. Once all the liquid has been absorbed, cool the cake completely in the pan. Carefully run a knife around the bundt pan and invert onto a plate. Shake the cake slightly if it doesn’t drop to the plate immediately. (If the bundt pan was buttered and floured properly there shouldn’t be any problems unmolding the cake.)
- 9. If making the glaze, mix all glaze ingredients in a bowl and brush all over the surface of the cooled cake. Let set for a bit before slicing in.
And I don’t know if you can spot just how moist this cake is thanks also to that syrup. Piercing the cake has helped the syrup make its way into the heart of the cake, turning it into a sponge where the lemon flavour lays in wait, ready to burst. Every bite is literally a bright sunny citrus. I live for that zing in lemon desserts!