Lemon Sourdough Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 sticks salted butter(1/2 cup)
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sourdough starter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Lemon Syrup:
1/2 cup sugar

½ cup of the above prepared lemon juice

Confectioners’ sugar to sift atop


Make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf or one tube/bundt (8.5”x 4”deep) pans.

Using paddle attachment, cream all of the butter and 2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. At medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then the lemon zest.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, buttermilk, sourdough starter and vanilla. Add the flour and wet mixtures alternately to the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. My oven runs high, so 45 minutes is enough.

Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over them. Allow the cakes to cool completely.

Sift Confectioners’sugar atop soaked cake and serve.

Lemon Sourdough Cake (pay no attention to my indigo-stained fingertips!)