1 3/4 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon lemon extract, optional
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Lemon Simple Syrup:
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 325º F and lightly grease a 9×5-inch baking dish.
Whisk together cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl until combined, then set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together ricotta, lemon juice and zest, and also set aside until ready to use.
In a large bowl or mixer, cream together butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes, or until fluffy and lightened in color.
Beat in eggs one at a time, then mix in lemon and vanilla extracts.
Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the ricotta mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and scraping down the bowl as needed.
Pour batter into greased loaf pan and place in oven.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean, but with a couple moist crumbs attached. Remove from oven and let cool.
Begin simple syrup while cake is in the oven by whisking together lemon juice and sugar in a small or medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, then reduce heat and gently boil for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.
Once cooled slightly, pour or brush over cake, making sure to cover all sides.
Optional: pierce cake all over with a fork for better absorption.
Let cake sit for 1-2 hours, or until syrup is fully absorbed, then top with powdered sugar, if desired, slice serve and enjoy.
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