Lately the skies are sunny, springtime is in the air, and summer is on the horizon! This time of year for me is bright & fresh, and this also spills-over into my cooking. When it comes to keeping things fresh in the kitchen, I can’t think of any ingredient more appropriate than lemon. If luck should have it and they are meyer lemons, even better! Sweet & tart, meyer lemons are not only reserved for your neighbor’s lemonade stand, but a staple for roasting, marinating and baking.
I’ve had the urge to make something summer-worthy, and when I came across a bunch of very ripe meyers, I decided to skip my usual lemon bars—though a favorite—and try a cake. I wasn’t sure how much lemon to incorporate at first, but I played around with both the zest & juice, and achieved citrus success.
Typically, I’m not a fan of lemon cakes. You know the ones at the store right? Sticky & overly sweet, puckering your palate like Lemonhead candies, colored like a bright highlighter, and smelling of dishwashing fluid? Ugh, I’d rather skip dessert all together! Not our cake, not this time. We want it
highlight on flavor—not too sweet, and not too tart. In fact I’m drinking a lemon iced tea right now! I’m psyched, let’s bake. . . .
- 1.5 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1.25 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- ⅓ cup fresh meyer lemon zest (about 5 lemons worth)
- ⅓ cup meyer lemon juice
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (like Rodelle)
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 1 T lemon infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil (if available)
- ¾ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) sweet variety like koroneiki or arbequina preferred
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Whisk the flour, salt & powder together in a bowl.
- In large bowl of electric mixer, blend the sugar and eggs on medium until well combined (about 2 mins).
- Add vanilla, lemon zest and buttermilk, blending on low unit well combined (may have to scrape sides of bowl with spatula).
- Next, add in the lemon juice gradually, while mixer is on low.
- Add in dry ingredients ½ cup at a time, incorporating fully.
- Liberally grease & flour a small bundt pan or loaf pan, and pour batter evenly.
- Bake cake for ~35-54 mins (ovens may vary time), until toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for about 20-30 mins,or until completely cooled.
- Invert pan onto flat plate or cutting board and remove cake from pan (may have to loosen edges with a knife first).
- Sprinkle cake with powdered sugar.
High-quality, extra virgin olive oil (in lieu of butter) worked well for this texture and flavor-wise. I also featured this substitution in another dinnervine dessert—Blackberry Lemon Thyme Olive Oil Cake —which I found to have an ever-so crisp crust & very moist center. In our lemon cake this time, I used buttermilk just because I had some on-hand, but you can easily substitute whipping cream of half-and-half. I didn’t opt to ice this or make a glaze, just had it plain & simple (not that some delicious vanilla buttercream frosting hurt anybody—just saying).
While baking, this little blast-from-the-past popped into my head—The Lemonheads: If I Could Talk I’d Tell You . . . and I’d much rather listen to the Lemonheads than eat them. Have a slice for yourself, enjoy a little dessert and even some vitamin C.Pin It