1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and levelled), plus more for pan
¾ cup low-fat buttermilk
Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp. (up to 4) fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350º, with rack in lowest position. Butter and flour two 4 ½-by-8-inch (6-cup) loaf pans. In a small bowl (or liquid measuring cup), combine buttermilk with lemon zest and juice. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three parts alternately with the buttermilk mixture in two, beginning and ending with flour; beat just until smooth (do not overmix). Divide batter evenly between pans; smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes (tent with foil if browning too quickly). Cool 15 minutes in pan. Turn out cakes onto a rack; cool completely before glazing.
To make glaze: Place confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup; stir in lemon juice (glaze should be thick, yet pourable). Add more sugar or lemon juice, as necessary, to achieve desired consistency. Set rack with cakes over a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Pour glaze over cakes, letting it run down the sides; let dry, about 30 minutes. Recipe makes 2 loaves.