Makes two 5 x 9 loaf cakes or one 12-cup bundt cake
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
Zest from 2 lemons
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly butter and flour two 5 x 9 loaf pans. Alternately, you can use a 12-cup bundt pan.
Mix the sugar and the lemon zest in a small bowl and rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers. The warmth from your fingers will release the oils from the zest and flavor the sugar. Set aside.
Place the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar, increase the speed to high, and beat until light and airy, about five minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the vanilla and lemon extracts. Then, add the flour and salt all at once. Mix just until incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and shake lightly to even out the top. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours.
Cool the cake(s) on a rack for 20 minutes. Remove the cake(s) from the pan(s) and let cool completely.
Serve at room temperature.