Heat oven to 325 (160 C) degrees. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 –inch loaf pan with non-stick spray and line with a piece of parchment paper so that it overhangs on the two long sides.
Put ¼ cup of the sugar in a pie dish or shallow bowl. Add the lemon zest and ginger and massage the two together with your fingers. You can also use a small wooden spoon or a fork, but you will miss the aromatic therapy!
Beat the 2 sticks butter in a heavy-duty standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Add the ginger-lemon sugar and beat for a few seconds before adding the remaining 1 cup sugar. Beat 2 minutes, until lightened and fluffy.
Lower the mixer speed and drizzle in the eggs and salt. Beat on medium-high speed for 2 more minutes – the mixture might look curdled but don’t worry. Slow the mixer to stir, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add half the flour. Mix about 15 seconds before adding the remaining flour. Mix just until there’s no more flour visible.
Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake 1 hour. Insert a toothpick or skewer into the middle of the cake. If wet crumbs cling to the skewer, bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes. The edges of the cake should pull away from the pan slightly.
Cool the cake in the pan on a rack 15 minutes before carefully loosening the sides with a blunt knife. Turn the cake out onto the rack to cool completely.
To store the cake, keep covered at room temperature 2-3 days.
To freeze, wrap the cake in a layer of plastic warp and a piece of foil. It will keep for up to a month.