“Life handed him a lemon,
As Life sometimes will do.
His friends looked on in pity,
Assuming he was through.
They came upon him later,
Reclining in the shade
In calm contentment, drinking
A glass of lemonade.”
-The Optimist, Clarence Edwin FlynnI think of this every fall, when we’ve got loads of these beautiful bright yellow orbs of sunshine hanging on the Meyer lemon tree and piling up in the kitchen. Life is literally handing me lemons. I’m up for the challenge. I always start with limoncello, because you need to zest them before you juice them. Of course I make lemonade. I freeze the juice. I also love lemon curd.
And when those lemons keep rolling in…. It’s time to bake a cake! First off, line your loaf pan with a parchment sling like you see here ?. You can always run a butter knife around the edges if they stick, but if the bottom of a cake sticks, that’s really annoying. Leave a little overhang so you can lift the cake right out.This cake is a Meyer lemon triple threat. The cake itself is speckled with a few lemons worth of zest. I wish I could squeeze a whole bunch of lemon juice right in the batter, too, but that just won’t work if you want a tender, buttery cake. It’s science.Instead, I used a sneaky trick to add more lemon all the way inside the cake once it’s baked. First, poke the cake all over with a skewer, and then brush on a simple syrup made with lemon juice and sugar. Once it’s completely cool, add a beautiful lemon glaze on top, allowing it to drip all over the sides.And sprinkle on more Meyer lemon zest, for good measure.
Pure sunshine, inside and out.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, plus an additional tablespoon for greasing the pan
- 1 ½ cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest, plus another teaspoon to sprinkle on top
- 2 teaspoons Meyer lemon juice
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Grease a 9"x5" loaf pan with butter. Cut a 5-inch parchment sling to line the bottom, with an inch or so overhang. Grease the parchment, too.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Melt the two sticks of butter in a measuring cup.
- Place the sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the lemon juice, eggs, and vanilla. Pulse a few times more. With the machine running, slowly drizzle the butter through the top chute.
- Transfer this mixture to a large bowl. Slowly stir in the flour mixture one third at a time, mixing until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the pan. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool while you make the lemon syrup.
- Combine the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium. Allow it to come to a boil, then turn off the heat.
- Once the cake has cooled about 10 minutes, run a butter knife around the edges, then gently use the sling to lift it out of the pan.
- Poke the top and sides of the cake with a toothpick or skewer, then brush on the lemon syrup.
- Allow it to cool to room temperature while you make the glaze.
- Whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a bowl until smooth. Spread glaze over cake, allowing some to drip down sides.
- Sprinkle the additional teaspoon of lemon zest over the top of the cake.
- Allow the glaze to set for 15 minutes before slicing.
- *Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated
I can’t believe it’s that time of year already. I love your Meyer Lemon creations!
I’m brewing limoncello for you right now, Bt! ????