Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lemon Crunch Cake

This simple yet addictive cake is quite simple and straightforward. It comes from The Book of Afternoon Tea, now out of print. You can find the recipe below.

When I made Lemon Crunch Cake this week, I had some Meyer lemons, so I decided to use them as an experiment.

I keep hearing all these great things about Meyer lemons, yet I have to say, I fail to see why they're such a big deal. Frankly, they smell and taste more like oranges than lemon to me. I've found that I get much more intense lemon flavor from regular lemons.

It's interesting that precisely because they had a lighter, less intensely sour flavor, Meyer lemons actually used to be considered reject lemons that got thrown away rather than sold.  I agree with the reject committee.  Maybe I'm missing something?

Whether you use regular or Meyer lemons, you can easily whip this up with ingredients you have lying around the house, butter, sugar, milk, and eggs, plus self-rising flour. Pour your batter into a parchment-lined 8 x 8 pan, bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

As soon as the cake is out of the oven, top with a mix of lemon juice and granulated sugar over the top. As the cake cools, the sugar-juice mixture forms a sweet crust on the top of the cake, hence the "crunch" in the title.

The cookbook suggests cutting the cake into cute rhomboid-like diamonds, but that seems a big waste of cake to me.  I just do squares.


1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
Finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon (or 2 lemons if you want more intense flavor--I do!)
1 1/2 cups of self-rising flour
1/4 cup milk


Juice of 1 medium lemon
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs, just to combine, then add lemon zest.  Fold in flour alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour.  Pour batter into prepared pan and level surface with metal spatula. Bake about 30 minutes, until well risen and pale golden.

Just before the end of the baking time, in a bowl, mix together lemon juice and sugar. Remove cake from oven when ready, and immediately spoon topping over hot cake.  Leave cake in pan until completely cold, then remove cake and cut into squares or diamonds.  Makes 16 squares.  Not sure how many diamonds you'd get.

1 comment:

  1. They do nothing for baked goods, but as lemonade they're sublime!

    Fun Fact: Scratch and sniff the peel - smell familiar? That's because Country Time Lemonade mix bases their formula on the flavor of... you guessed it! Meyer Lemons.