Step 1To make the cake, heat the oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the lower third. Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) tube pan (with 12-cup / 2.8L capacity) and dust with bread crumbs, tapping out the excess.
Step 2In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Step 3In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until well incorporated, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula. The mixture might look curdled — don’t worry.
Step 4With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the milk in two additions, and beat only until incorporated after each addition. Stir in the lemon zest by hand and scrape the batter into the tube pan. Level out the batter by rotating the pan briskly back and forth, a bit like a steering wheel.
Step 5Bake until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean or with just a few crumbs clinging, 65 to 70 minutes.
Step 6Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes, then cover with a rack and invert the cake onto the rack. Remove the pan, leaving the cake upside down on the rack. Place the cake and rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
Step 1To make the glaze, in a small bowl, stir together the sugar and lemon juice. Immediately brush it all over the hot cake. The cake will drink it up.
Step 2Cool the cake completely and then transfer it to a cake plate. Wait a few hours to cut the cake if you can, to give the glaze more time to absorb. Store leftovers airtight at room temperature.