As long as you have the basic refrigerator and pantry staples on hand, you can whip up this buttery-sweet classic. This recipe even skips leaveners like baking soda and baking powder; instead, you give the cake its requisite lift by beating the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until fluffy. The endlessly adaptable cake is lovely with a simple lemon glaze ( 2 cups confectioner’s sugar until fluffy, The endlessly adaptable cake is lovely with a simple lemon glaze ( 2 cups confectioners’ sugar whisked with 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice until smooth). or you can serve it with fresh or roasted fruits, lemon curd, chocolate sauce, or ice cream. It goes without saying that its heavenly on its own, too
Makes Two 9-by-5-inch cakes
Vegetable oil cooking spray
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
11/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces (1 bar) cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Lemon glaze (optional; see note above)
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Generously coat two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
- With an electric mixer on high, beat butter and cream, cheese until smooth. Gradually add sugar, beating until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Mix in vanilla. With mixer on low; add flour mixture in 2 batches, beating until just combined.
- Divide batter between prepared pans. Tap pans on counter; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake until golden and a cake tester comes out with a few crumbs attached, 70 to 85 minutes (tent with foil if tops brown too quickly). Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool completely, about 2 ours. (Cake can be stord wrapped in plastic at room temperature, up to 3 days. Or wrap in plastic and freeze up to 3 weeks; thaw, wrapped, at room temperature) Set rack over a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pour lemon glaze, if using, over cakes, letting it drip down sides. Let set, about 30 minutes before serving.