With a mixer, beat 3/4 cup butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating to blend well with each addition. Beat in lemon peel and anise extract.
Mix 1 1/4 cups flour with baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to batter, mixing slowly to incorporate dry ingredients, then beat at medium speed until well blended.
Scrape batter into a buttered and flour-dusted 4 1/2- by 8-inch loaf pan. Spread level.
Bake in a 325° oven until cake is golden and just begins to pull from pan sides, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack about 15 minutes. Invert cake onto a plate and serve warm or cool, cut into thin slices.