meyer lemon cake

A combination of the cold weather blues and second-semester seniordom has left me with zero motivation to do anything remotely academic. Instead, this past week I've preoccupied myself with "job hunting" (taking field trips to every bakery/cafe/froyo place around here), practicing piano, and finding something to make with my first-ever bag of Meyer lemons!

What's the big deal about Meyer lemons? They're sweeter than regular lemons (something like a cross between a lemon and an orange), they're perfect to bake with, and they were on sale. Really, it was the last part that did it.

This cake from Baking Bites will add some citrus-y zing to your dreary winter days. It's light and fluffy, full of lemon zest, and crisp on the outside. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and enjoy.


Meyer Lemon Cake

for the cake:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
/2 cup buttermilk*

for the streusel:

1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp lemon zest
pinch salt
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9-inch square pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and lemon zest. Stir in one third of the flour mixture, followed by the lemon juice. Stir in another third of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk. Stir in remaining flour mixture, mixing only until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Pour into prepared pan.

Make the streusel: In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, flour, lemon zest and salt. Add in melted butter and lemon juice and stir with a fork until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over cake batter.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely in the pan before slicing.

Serves 9-10.


* you can make your own buttermilk by filling a 1/2 cup measure with half a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar. fill the rest with milk, then let it sit for five minutes before using.

lemon cookies

Bakers aren't the most modest people you'll ever meet. A google search for "chocolate chip cookie recipe" will land you at least ten results for "World's BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies!" Oh my god, you say in panic. Suddenly you're on your own to figure out which recipe is world's bestest, or to eenie-meenie-miney-mo it out (if you're like me).

I haven't stumbled across any recipes I'd confidently label "world's best," but this one is pretty high up there. After I traverse the seven continents and the seven seas, I will be sure to give you an update.

These are lemon cookies, designed for the lemon fanatic but dearly loved and devoured by all. This is another AllRecipes gem, discovered two years ago while searching for a bake sale recipe. It was a success. My friend bought ten and inhaled them all in less than a minute. These cookies have converted lemon-haters into lemon-lovers. They have been described as "cloud-like pillows of lemony goodness". Everyone asks for these on their birthday. On several occasions, they have received the ultimate baking compliment: a request for the recipe. It is rumored that they may hold the cure to cancer.

And to top it off, they require no more than five ingredients, two bowls, and twenty minutes for prep and baking. If that doesn't scream "make me!!," I don't know what does.

I had only one qualm about this recipe, and it was that the main ingredient is a lemon cake mix. For all you baking purists out there, this may constitute a blatant form of cheating. But as with many cake mix cookies, these have a wonderful, fluffy cake texture on the inside and are chewy and crisp at the edges. "Appease your hearts," I now say. "It is resourcefulness, and it is delicious." 

And with that, my friends, I present to you:

Probably Not World's Best But Pretty Freaking Good Lemon Cookies

(adapted from here)

1 package lemon cake mix (18.25 oz)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tbsp lemon juice
roughly 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, and lemon juice until well blended. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into a bowl of confectioners' sugar. Roll them around until they're lightly covered. Once sugared, put them on baking sheets.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. The bottoms and edges will be light brown, and the insides chewy. (I usually check on them at 10 minutes, gently flatten them with the back of a spatula, and give them another 3 minutes in the oven).