1 hr 10 mins
1 hr 40 mins
- 1 2⁄3 cups cake flour, can use all purpose,but it's not as good
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to 65 degrees f,about 2 hours
- 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar, superfine preferred but not necessary
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon, zest of (OPTIONAL)
- Set oven rack to center position and preheat to 325 degrees f.
- Grease a standard 9x5x3 metal loaf pan with crisco or softened butter-- dust with flour.
- Sift flour and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
- Place butter in your mixing bowl and beat until smooth, creamy and light colored-- 30 seconds on a stand mixer, 60 seconds by hand.
- Gradually add sugar and beat until butter is very white and fluffy.
- About 3 minutes on your stand mixer, 5 mins by hand.
- It's critical that everything is at room temperature at this point, feel the outside of the mixing bowl-- if it's too cool then allow it to sit until it reaches room temperature.
- Add the whole eggs, one at a time and beat for 20 seconds after each addition.
- The mixture should be dull and smooth at this point.
- If it appears grainy and/or curdled then the temperature is probably too cold for the eggs to combine properly with the butter.
- Allow it to warm then rebeat for a few seconds.
- This is critical for this cake as there is no chemical levener and having the eggs and butter properly mixed is the only thing that will give this cake structure and allow it to rise.
- DO NOT OVERBEAT, It will make the cake tough.
- Add vanilla extract and beat for a few more seconds.
- Sift the flour in three equal parts into the butter/sugar/egg mixture, folding gently into the after each addition until all the flour has been incorporated and the batter is well mixed.
- Be sure to scrape up from the bottom of the bowl frequently.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 70 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway thru the baking process.
- In 70 minutes test the cake with a wooden toothpick.
- If it's not done continue to bake and check every 5 minutes.
- Cool on rack for 5 minutes before removing from pan.