Recipe: Southern Lemon Cake

I recently read “Under the Tuscan Sun” by Frances Mayes. A rather excellent book I must say. Lots of food and recipes and Italy in general. I was deeply enthralled from page 1.

I have since discovered that she does sell the oil produced in her Italian home (though I don’t know if its exclusively her olive trees at work for the oil if you read the page). And only $285 including shipping for a CASE (12 bottles in 500 ml size – $23.75 a bottle) of olive oil. Not too bad really. And its a cold press olive oil too. Hard for me to resist. Really it is. And since the deadline is Dec 10 I still have time for this year’s harvest. Hmmm.

Anyway I digress. In her book she had a recipe that I knew I had to make as soon as I read it. I just changed it a bit to suit me since I really rather dislike lemon zest. But my love of lemon is too much. This was an awesome cake. In her book Mayes suggested serving with pears, cherries or strawberries. Any and all of those would have been delicious but it was very good on its own!


1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup lemon juice

Glaze – 1/4 cup butter (I used real butter for this)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Cream together the butter and sugar. Beating in slowly 1 egg at a time.
In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Starting with a little bit of the flour mixture and alternating with the buttermilk add a little of each at a time.
Add the lemon juice.
Bake in a greased and floured tube pan at 300 degrees for 50 minutes. I didn’t have a tube pan with me so I just used a plain rectangular cake pan. It was fine I assure you, but the tube pan would have been A LOT better…the glaze would have poured over and coated instead of just pooling onto the cake.
Once the cake is cool mix together the glaze and pour over the cake. Serve.


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