With a growing drift of snow on my thirteenth floor balcony and icicles dangling down from the fourteenth floor, winter isn’t relenting anytime soon. It’s the kind of bleak white day that makes me want to have a pot of stock simmering away for hours or bake something bright and sunny to warm the house and add a splash of color to my day.
Whether you’re caught up in the throes of life, or ensnared in the thick of winter, this Meyer lemon cake will brighten your day and put a smile on your face. Rich and buttery with a vibrant bouquet of citrus and the sweet tang of Meyer lemons, it’s moist, balanced and utterly delicious.
Best of all, it’s relatively straightforward and employs a few techniques to make it almost foolproof. I started with a basic pound cake batter, which tends to be both tasty and stable. To guarantee that it rises, I use a combination of baking soda and baking powder, which reacts with the acidic lemon juice and yogurt to give it some hefty lifting ability. Because I coat it with both a syrup and a glaze I cut back on the sugar in the batter itself to keep it from getting too sweet.
Then to ensure you don’t miss the lemon, I hit it with a triple dose of flavor. First, there’s the Meyer lemon juice and zest in the batter. Then I make a simple syrup with Meyer lemon juice and sugar, which gets poured onto the hot cake as it comes out of the oven. This not only allows you to infuse fresh lemon flavor into the cake, it also helps keep the cake moist for nearly a week. Lastly there’s the glaze, inspired by the scene outside, which hits the cake with a third dose of tart lemon on top.
What you get is a moist lemon cake, with a vivid yellow interior and snow-white cap that’s as colorful as it is flavorful. Slice it and serve it for brunch, or with a dollop of clotted cream as a delightful end to a Valentine’s Day dinner.
Equipment you'll need:
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