1/2 lb unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup lemon, zest of, grated
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Preheat oven to 350F.
2 Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans, lining the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.
3 Cream, using paddle attachment, butter and 2 C granulated sugar in bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.
4 With mixer on medium speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.
5 Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl.
6 In another bowl, combine 1/4 C lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla.
7 Alternately add flour and buttermilk mixtures to batter, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
8 Divide batter evenly between pans, smoothing the tops.
9 Bake 45 minutes- 1 hour, until tester comes out clean.
10 When cakes are done, cool 10 minutes.
11 Meanwhile, combine 1/2 C granulated sugar and 1/2 C lemon juice in small saucepan, cooking over low heat until sugar dissolves.
12 Remove cakes from pans and set on wire rack over jelly pan (best to set upside down on rack so that syrup is spooned onto the bottom of the cake as it will absorb better than spooning over the top).
13 Spoon lemon syrup over cakes.
14 Allow cakes to cool completely.
15 Glaze: Combine confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with whisk until smooth.
16 Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow to drizzle down the sides.
17 Garnish with 2 lemon slices and some greens (e. g., Italian parsley or mint leaves), as desired.