This simple lemon cake recipe from Joy of Baking calls for only nine ingredients and follows the simple and familiar format of creaming the butter and sugar, adding eggs and vanilla, mixing in dry ingredients and lemon juice, and baking. There is also a simple two-ingredient lemon glaze.
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 F. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by buttering the pan and lining the bottom with parchment paper.
Using either an electric stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat together 1 cup of room temperature unsalted butter and 1 cup of white sugar for about 3 to 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and then add 4 room-temperature eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.
In another bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the zest of 1 large lemon. Measure out 1/4 cup of lemon juice. To combine the wet and dry ingredients, add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture, and then add 1/2 of the lemon juice. Repeat until all ingredients are combined. Mix until the batter is smooth.
Pour the batter into a pan, smoothing the top. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until a toothpick poked into the center of the cake comes out with no crumbs attached.
For the lemon glaze, combine 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 to 4 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Pour glaze over cooled cake.