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Lady Bird's Famous Lemon Cake

A popular lemon butter cake made famous by Lady Bird Johnson, the late wife of the 36th US President, Lyndon Johnson. This cake is unexpectedly light, moist, tender, and refreshingly tangy with the citrusy flavours of lemon zest and juices. (Source: "Bundt Cookbook" by Nordic Ware, edited by Dorothy Dalquist).
Course: Cakes, Dessert, Snacks and Treats
Cuisine: Western
Servings :1 (One) 9-inch bundt cake
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 25 mins
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  • 3/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Grated zest half a lemon
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Some confectioner's sugar (optional) for dusting


  • Pre-heat oven to 160 deg C (325 deg F) with oven rack in the lower one-third of the oven. Lightly grease and flour a 10-cup capacity Bundt pan, or a 9-inch cake pan. Tap out the excess flour.
  • Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed (speed 3 on a Kitchen Aid mixer) until light and fluffy, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, sift the flour, then measure out 2 1/2 cups, keeping the rest. Then sift together the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt. Re-sift three times.
  • In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks with a hand whisk until light and lemon coloured. Blend into creamed butter mixture, using low speed (speed 2 to 3). Add the sifted ingredients in thirds, alternating with milk. Add vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes.
  • Pour out into the prepared pan, and level the surface evenly around the pan. Tap the pan lightly a few times on the countertop to eliminate air pockets. Bake for 60 minutes,or until a metal or bamboo skewer inserted into the centre of the cake emerges free of sticky batter.
  • Remove pan from oven and let cake cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack, and allow cake to cool completely. Sprinkle top with confectioner's sugar, if desired. Slice and serve as desired.
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