Julia's Lemon Cakes

No, not that Julia. This recipe comes from my friend and once-upon-a-time housemate Julia. There were lots of reasons living with her was a blast, not least of which was coming home to find treats like these waiting on the kitchen table with a mug of tea and the latest issue of More Magazine to giggle over. I never met a thing Julia baked that I didn't like, but this decadent lemon cake with its bright citrus flavour cutting through the luxurious buttery richness was quite possibly my favourite... along with the drunken Guinness chocolate cake that appeared on my 27th birthday! She wrote the baking instructions out in her impossibly perfect hand on the sweetest old-fashioned recipe card, and it's a good thing she did, because around the Spring Cottage there's been some talk that Julia's Lemon Cakes might be as good if not better than pumpkin pie... and in case you didn't realise, that's a real coup!

Recipe: Beat 1 cup butter with 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy • Beat in 4 eggs, 2 tbs grated lemon rind, and 1 tbs vanilla • In a separate bowl combine 3 cups flour, 1 tbs baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt • Stir dry ingredients into butter mixture alternately with 1 1/4 cups milk, making three additions of flour mixture with two of milk • Pour batter into greased and floured 10 inch bundt pan and bake in centre of 350F (180C) oven for 50 minutes* • For glazed topping whisk together 1/2 cup icing sugar, 2 tsp grated lemon rind and 1 tbs lemon juice • Let cakes cool and drizzle with topping for extra lemony sticky sweetness •

* I made cupcakes instead of a cake using two sizes of silicone baking moulds, cooking the smaller cakes for about 15 minutes and the larger for about 30, watching carefully. Mini cupcakes are a very nice way to keep a handle on your portion with irresistibly rich treat!