Maida Heatter’s Lemon Buttermilk Cake



A few weeks ago I was scrolling through Instagram and I saw a cake that Dorie Greenspan had posted on Food 52. It was a celebration to Maida Heatter(another mentor of mine and fabulous baker) and a shout out to her Lemon Buttermilk Cake. 

I was inspired. I had big batch of lemons that I was just gifted from a friend’s beautiful tree. I had buttermilk. I had cake envy. 

I got to work.

I have made a lot of lemon cakes in my days. I love Ina Garten’s Lemon Pound Cake and that has been a family favorite. I have made mini’s and loaves and bundt’s. This cake is now officially part of my repertoire and many of my family and friends will be receiving these – just because!




Maida Heatter’s Lemon Buttermilk Cake


228 grams | 8 oz. | 1 cup unsalted, grassfed butter (room temp)
400 grams | 14 oz. | 2 cups granulated sugar
3 large organic, whole eggs
3 lemons – zested and juiced (making at least 3 Tbsp. of lemon juice)
354 grams | 12 1/2 oz. | 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
240 grams | 8 oz. | 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

lemon glaze:
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
66.6 grams | 2.66 oz. | 1/3 cup sugar

serves 12-15 



• preheat oven to 350°F.
• butter a tube pan or bundt pan (about 9″ in diameter) and then dust with sugar. tap to shake out excess sugar and set aside.
• save zest for later and place 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice and left over rinds in a small bowl and set aside.
• sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.
• in the work bowl of your standing mixer, with the paddle attached – beat the butter until creamy and soft. add the sugar and mix well. 
• add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
• lower the speed and add the dry ingredients in three additions and the buttermilk in two, beginning and ending with the dry. 
• scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat until smooth. 
• remove bowl, scrape paddle attachment and set aside. add the lemon juice (remove the rinds) and the lemon zest and mix well.
• place batter in prepared pan and with an off set spatula, smooth the top. 
• bake 1 – 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden skewer is inserted into the middle of the cake and the stick comes out clean and dry. the top of the cake will be golden brown and will pull slightly away from the sides of the pan.
• while the cake is baking, make the glaze: mix the juice and sugar and let stand, stirring occasionally.
• remove the cake from the oven and let it stand in the pan for 5 minutes. then cover it with a rack and very carefully turn over the pan and the rack and place it over a large piece of parchment. remove the pan.
• with a pastry brush, brush the glaze over the top, sides and tube of the hot cake.
• let stand until completely cool.

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