Ciao'd while catching up on Big Little Lies.

Buccellato is a Tuscan cake that accompanies the ritual of a child's confirmation. Confirmation is the sacrament that completes the process of initiation into the Catholic community. Marcella Hazan's recipe comes from Lunigiana, an area nestled between the mountainous districts of Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, and Liguria. She calls it "a good, simple cake." And it is. I like to serve the buccellato in the spring as an alternative to shortcake, with the first, sweet strawberries and poofs of whipped cream.  Marcella's recipe calls for mixing in a food processor. I used a mixer. 


Makes one 9-inch round cake (serves 8 to 10)

3 cups flour, plus flour for dusting the baking pan
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus butter for greasing the pan
The grated peel of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup whole milk

Turn the oven on to 350 degrees.

Smear the inside of a round 9- by 2-inch cake pan liberally with butter, sprinkle all over with flour, then turn over the pan, tapping it against a work surface to shake off excess flour. 

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Do not let it simmer. 

Combine in a mixing bowl, the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. 

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until the pale yellow and fluffy. Beat in the melted butter, grated lemon zest, and the lemon juice, and continue beating. Beat in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour until the batter is smooth.

Pour the batter into the pan; give the pan a shake to level off the batter; and bake in the upper middle level of the oven until the top of the cake has become colored a deep gold and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 50 minutes. 

Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely. Adapted from Marcella Cucina, Marcella Hazan, HarperCollins, 1997.