New This Month

Sour Lemon Cake


This tart treat from "Martha Stewart's Christmas" makes a thoughtful food gift -- if you can resist eating it yourself.

  • Yield: Makes two 6-inch round cakes

Photography: Rob Tannenbaum


For the Cake

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • Zest of 2 lemons

For the Glaze

  • 1/3 cup Cognac
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar

For Decorating


  1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter and flour two 6-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with milk, mixing well after each addition. Stir in lemon zest.

  4. Place 2 3/4 cups batter in each prepared cake pan. Transfer to oven and bake until a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly in pans; invert cake onto a wire rack.

  5. Make the Glaze: In a small bowl, mix together Cognac, lemon juice, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Brush glaze over cake and let cool completely. Serve with candied lemon slices and kumquats.

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