This is the frenchman's favourite cake - not so much for the cake part but for the lemon icing that is drizzled over it. If it were up to him, I would just give him a bowl full of just the icing and a spoon!
Zingy, sweet and sour, this cake is light and tasty and a new addition to my regular baking list. The cake is versatile enough to cover any sort of icing or fruit you desire, just alter the amount of lemon zest you put into the batter.
Lemon Icing Butter Cake
125 gr Butter
185 gr Sugar
250 gr Self-Raising Flour
125 mls Milk
Lemon zest from one lemon
2 tbsp Vanilla extract
Zest of one fresh lemon
Juice from your zested lemon
*Depending on how much juice your lemon squeezes out, you will need to adjust the amount of icing sugar to ensure the consistency of the icing is just right.
Whip together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and make sure you mix them in good. Grate in your fresh zest and add the vanilla extract to add some much needed flavour and zing! Fold in the sifted flour and milk alternatively with a spatula until just combined - don't go nuts at this stage and mix the crap out of it otherwise your cake may be tough and lifeless. Pour into a buttered and sugared tin. I used cinnamon sugar to give the crust a hint of spice.
Bake at 180 degrees (celsius) for about 40 minutes or until you poke a skewer into the thickest part and it comes out clean. Also, make sure the top of the cake is golden and not pastey-white, even if the cake is "done". Nothing is worse than an underbaked top that is slightly soggy tasting and looks horribly pale underneath the translucent icing. Trust me - no pastey tops! ; )
Let the cake cool completely before drizzling with the icing otherwise the icing will just slide right off onto your plate. Remember the rule: Cool cake = icing on cake not plate.
Squeeze out the juice of your lemon and add in the grated zest. Warm the juice in the microwave for a few seconds (say, 10 seconds) and whisk in enough icing sugar to make a runny paste (think wood glue consistency). If it is lumpy, just heat it in the microwave until it is just hot (maybe another 10 seconds) and whisk again. Drizzle it over the cake and let harden before serving.
This cake keeps for about 3 days covered and can be made in almost any tin, but I find it works best in a round bunt or even a loaf tin as it ensures maximum icing to cake ratio!