Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Grated zest of 2 large lemons (reserve the juice for
the lemon syrup)
5 eggs, divided (5 yolks and 5 whites)
1 1/2 cups sour cream or plain yogurt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Pinch of salt
Juice of 2 large lemons, from above
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the oven
rack in the middle of the oven or just below. Spray a
large tube pan (9 or 10 inches) with nonstick spray.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until light
and fluffy. Slowly add 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and
beat until it dissolves and the mixture is very
light and airy. Stir in the lemon zest. In a separate bowl,
thoroughly whisk the egg yolks with the sour cream
or yogurt and the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolk
mixture to the butter mixture and beat until light
In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking
powder and baking soda three times. Reduce the mixer
speed to low and carefully add the flour mixture to
the batter within one minute. Do not overmix.
Beat the egg whites with the salt until frothy.
Gradually beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar
and continue beating until the mixture is stiff but
Carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the batter
just until blended. Spoon the mixture into the
prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake 1 hour or
until the cake is golden and a wooden pick
inserted near the center comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, prepare the lemon syrup.
In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice,
water, sugar and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil,
then reduce the heat and simmer until it is slightly
thickened, about 8−10 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire
rack 10 minutes. Loosen the sides of the cake with a
knife and invert the cake onto a plate with a rim.
Reheat the syrup and spoon it all over the surface of
the hot cake. Serve the cake warm or at room
Makes 16 servings.