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Simple Lemon Cake

Recipe photo courtesy of Anna Williams

Whole lemons are the base of this rich, citrusy batter. Precooking the fruit removes the pucker and makes for an intensely flavored cake.

Source: Everyday Food, April 2011
Total Time Prep Servings



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How would you rate this recipe?
  • mleachl
    31 MAR, 2018
    I made the recipe dairy free by using pure coconut cream in place of the buttermilk and palm kernel shortening in place of the butter. The cake was moist and delicious . I'm going to make it again and add one extra egg white to stabilize it. I thought the flavor was delicious and the recipe very easy. I served it with candied lemon slices, whole raspberries, powdered sugar and a drizzle of homemade raspberry brandy syrup.
  • m_benellyyahoo
    23 MAR, 2018
    I have not made this recipe but I will. It looks simple and delicious but I would like to bake in a bundt pan - has anyone tried baking it a bundt pan?
  • bhavsrinivas
    15 JUL, 2017
    Amazing recipe! I suspect that the bad reviews are a matter of taste - this will be a bitter, fairly dense cake. But if you like old-fashioned marmalade and savoring small slices, this cake is fantastic. I also used small, homegrown lemons, which seemed to be juicier and have a thinner skin than most store-bought lemons. I was attracted to this recipe because none of the fruit is wasted - I even saved the cooking water to make a bitter lemon and honey jelly to drizzle over the cake. My mother won't stop gushing about the cake, and my grandmother took one bite and said "God bless you."
  • jbtomo38comca
    8 JAN, 2016
    Guess I missed all the hub-bub of recipe changing and bad experiences. In spite of the negatives, I made this last night and received stellar reviews from my DH. Served with the raspberries sans cream. Yum Meyer Lemon heaven.
  • caiticlaire
    17 FEB, 2015
    I substituted the buttermilk for Greek yogurt and added 1 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract to boost the flavor, it turned out delicious! Light as a feather. Baked in a 9 inch springform pan for 42 min.
  • DMDC
    5 MAR, 2014
    Followed the recipe word-for-word. I was hopeful that, per the previous comments, the new and improved recipe on the site would be better than what had been printed in the magazine. Alas, it was a complete dud. The cake was dense as a brick, and the pureed lemons gave it an intensely bitter flavor. Would not make again.
  • Michael Denner
    30 MAR, 2013
    i made this recipe (ok, NOT this recipe, but the recipe from the magazine, which, as others have noted, is significantly different.) i thought it was pretty good. very easy. i agree with the one reviewer who says not to overcook it. i used a pick and removed it from the oven after about 30 minutes, much less than the 40 minutes directed in the magazine. i added a T of limoncello and subbed buttermilk for milk. otherwise, made it as directed. great, moist texture...
  • donnareed6332331
    15 APR, 2012
    I agree with PattiPatti. Just made the cake according to the April '11 magazine. It just didn't brown very nicely and is very heavy. Thought I'd check for comments and noticed the very different recipe here. This was goes to hubby.. I'll try again using the "real"recipe...
  • PattiPatti
    3 MAR, 2012
    Found recipe in Martha's Everyday Food mag.April 2011. I am experienced baker. Made TWO cakes, one to keep one for gift. Followed recipe exactly. I had to throw both away. I was so mad to waste all of those ingredients $!$ After looking at the recipe posted HERE they obviously made changes to the recipe and did not let the readers know. 1 1/2 C butter,2 c flour, 3/4lbs lemon, 2 c sugar, only bkg powder, 2/3 c milk,2 tsp vanilla & oven temp 400*. Shame on you Martha! I feel betrayed and broke$!
  • Veyane
    22 FEB, 2012
    Sorry guys wrong receipe.

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