Triple Layer Lemon Cake
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 - 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice* (to taste)
3 - 3½ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 4" X 12" fluted tart pans with removable bottoms. You may also line the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.
2. Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 22-25 minutes until golden brown or a cake tester comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool.
4. For the Lemon Glaze: Put lemon juice in a medium size microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds. Add confectioners sugar and whisk until dissolved and smooth. Return to microwave if needed for an additional 15-20 seconds. Whisk in butter and lemon zest. Continue whisking to smooth out lumps. Allow to sit and thicken slightly. It should coat a spoon and not drip off for a couple seconds. Add additional confectioners sugar if the glaze is too thin.
5. Carefully remove one cake from a pan and place it on a serving tray. Spread lemon glaze over the top. Add second cake and center on top of the first cake. Repeat layer of glaze. Place last cake on top and cover with glaze allowing the glaze to drip down the sides of the cake. Garnish with fresh lemon zest if desired.
TIP: If using a Meyer lemon reduce the sugar by 1/2 cup