When life hands you lemons

Meyer Lemon Cake

Two words: cookbook overload.

It’s an overwhelming glut of new information to absorb, and even during the long holiday weekend, I’d find myself no sooner cracking the cover of one of them when I’d be called off to do something else. Bake this. Go to that martini party. Drink all this gin. My life is so hard. Boo hoo.

There is very little time in life to sit down with a cookbook, guys. I get a lot of my leisure reading done on the subway ride into and out of work via my Kindle Fire. It’s great because no one can judge you by the book you’re reading (not that I don’t read anything but fine, fine literature). If I whipped out a thick hardcover cookbook on the subway, people would just look at me funny. So I don’t. Even if I really want to.

Anyways! I am so totally into lemons these days, which is weird, because I’ve never really cared much for them like at any other point in my life up until now. I wasn’t even into lemon chicken. Go figure.

Meyer Lemon Cake

Do you know how difficult it is to find amazing produce in Boston? Sometimes it’s pretty damn difficult. You can forget about quince. Does not exist here. Or blood oranges. We didn’t start getting kabocha squashes until this past winter, seems like. Thus, it was amazing — amazing! — for me to stumble across a bag full of Meyer lemons at a grocery store I never ever get to go to, and thus will never have the opportunity to have Meyer lemons again.

But, while I did have them, here is what I made. And it was delicious. And incredible. Moist and oh-so-lemony. For more lemon goodness, I whipped some craime fraiche and lemon curd together to make a tangy lemon frosting.

Meyer Lemon Cake

Meyer Lemon Cake
(Modified only very, very slightly from here.)


1 tbsp. butter, plus 8 tbsp. melted
1/2 cup almond flour and 2 tbsp. almond flour
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. fine salt
1 1/3 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
2 tbsp. lemon extract
Zest and juice of 2 Meyer lemons


1. Heat oven to 350°. Grease a loaf pan measuring 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ x 2 3/4″ with 1 tbsp. of the butter and dust it with the 2 tbs of almond flour. Invert and tap out excess crumbs; set aside. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

2. Put the remaining butter into a large bowl and add 1 cup of the sugar. Mix with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just long enough to incorporate, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture and milk mixture in 3 batches, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until mixed after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, about 3 minutes total. Mix in the lemon extract. With the spatula, fold in the lemon zest and 1/2 cup of almond flour. (The mixture will be thin.) Turn batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and dry, about 65 minutes.

3. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack. Prepare the glaze: Combine remaining sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. (Do not boil.) Brush the glaze over the hot cake. (The excess liquid may pool along the sides of the pan; it will absorb completely as it sits.) Once the cake has absorbed all the liquid, turn it out of the pan and allow it to cool upright on a rack. Once it’s cool, wrap the cake with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours before serving.

Please, please make this cake soon. And then invite me over to eat it with you.



  1. Ahhh, just when I’ve used up my meyer lemons! We also have difficulty getting any of this good “exotic” stuff in to our grocery stores. These meyer lemons were a first and hopefully not the last because I’d like to try making this!

    • I commiserate! I see all these fabulous recipes that call for ingredients that are just impossible to get. You would think Boston would be pretty good about these kinds of things too.

  2. Pingback: Baklava « Sweet Synthesis

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