Easter is just a few days away, and I’ve been charged with bringing the dessert for our family’s celebration. Nothing says “Spring” to me, more than the bright, tart flavor of lemon. This cake is one of my family’s favorites: I get requests for it year round but especially in Spring and Summer. It’s very easy to make from pantry staples, and it’s finished with a simple glaze of sugar and lemon juice that is just sweet enough without being cloying. It’s a nice grown-up alternative to the Peeps, jelly beans, and chocolate bunnies that the kids will be noshing on!
This is a fabulous and beautiful dessert, but it’s also appropriate in place of a coffee cake for brunch or breakfast. It stays moist and delicious for a couple of days, so you can easily make it up ahead of time. The leftovers (if there are any!) are especially good along with tea or coffee for an afternoon pick-me-up.
If you don’t have a Bundt pan, or just have terrible luck getting cakes to come out of the Bundt pan, you can go ahead and use two loaf pans. I don’t recommend large round or rectangular pans because this is a very dense cake and the middle won’t cook very evenly. (If you’ve ever wondered why Bundts have a hole in the middle, it’s so that thick batter will cook all the way through. Plus they look pretty!)
Fresh lemons are a must for this recipe, even better if you can find Meyer lemons at your grocer. It is equally good with limes, too! Don’t be weirded out by the cornmeal in this recipe-it gives the cake its unique texture and a depth of flavor.