Meyer Lemon Spound Cake

Meyer Lemon Spound Cake with powdered sugar dusted on top

Nope, that’s not a typo. I think I may have stumbled upon a new kind of cake, so I figured I should give it a name. It’s rich, moist, and buttery like a pound cake while at the same time being feathery light and spongy.

This particular baking adventure started after seeing Michelle’s Warm Lemon Pudding Cake. I thought it looked delicious, but she didn’t think it went particularly well, so I asked if I could steal the idea and run with it. I envisioned something like a molten chocolate cake only less chocolaty and more lemony.

To be honest I’m not much of a baker and I’ve never made a molten chocolate cake before. After doing a bit of research it looked like they came in two varieties. In one you stick a piece of cold ganache in the center which melts as the cake cooks. In the other you simply under-cook the cake so you have “molten” batter in the center. The only way I could think of to make a lemon ganache would be to do something with lemon curd and white chocolate and that just seemed far too fiddly to be bothered with so I decided to go the under-cooked route.

Next there was the matter of flavor. I wanted my cake to be intensely lemony and pleasantly tart, but how was I going eliminate the chocolate while adding enough juice into the batter without throwing the flour/liquid/fat ratio out of whack? My answer (as usual) was to toss caution (and recipes) to the wind and just wing it.

I imagined a really light cake so I knew I’d have to whip up some egg whites. I also wanted a rich creamy center so I knew it needed lots of yolks and butter. Then of course it needed that lemon flavor and tartness so I knew a poor lemon would be sacrificing its zest and juice for the sake of mon petits gateaux.

As a novice baker, one of the first things I learned was that all cakes have essentially the same ingredients, but what makes them different is how they’re mixed. I started by making a sweetened meringue. Then I used the emulsifying effects of egg yolks (specifically the lecithin in them) to magically combine the melted butter and lemon juice. Then by folding the butter/juice mixture and a small amount of sifted cake flour with the meringue, I had my rich yet light and fluffy batter.

With that sorted I moved onto the cooking time. The first time I made these, I cooked them for 10 minutes which yielded a perfectly cooked, incredibly moist cake which was both rich and buttery and light and airy at the same time. Still, it didn’t have the molten center, so I gave it another go, cutting the bake time down to 8 minutes. I was disappointed once again after seeing it had failed to yield a liquid center. Then, it occurred to me that this cake was really tasty! Maybe it didn’t need to be fixed. Maybe this was in fact its destiny. A different type of cake that’s somewhere between a souffle and a pound cake.

Warm… cold… by itself… or with a creme anglaise drizzled on top, this simple cake is a quick dessert that can sate a weeknight dessert craving yet is suitable to be served for company.

4 Tbs butter melted
2 extra large eggs separated
1 egg yolk
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp lemon zest (1 lemon)
3 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 C cake flour sifted
pinch of salt

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter and flour 4 ramekins and place on a baking sheet.

Put the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue beating until incorporated and glossy (but not stiff).

Add the 3 yolks into a bowl with the melted butter and lemon zest. Whisk together with a fork. Add the lemon juice and continue whisking.

Sift the flour onto the egg whites, then pour the lemon/yolk mixture on top. Use a spatula to gently fold everything together until just combined. Divide the mixture evenly into the 4 buttered ramekins and smooth off the tops.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the cake it mostly set. Remove from the oven and rest for a few minutes. Use a paring knife to separate the cake around the edges of a ramekin and invert onto a plate. Serve immediately with some powdered sugar on top. This can also be served with a raspberry sauce or creme anglaise.

  • http://www.whiskblog.com/ Shari

    Wow, that sounds good! Better than the chocolate version, even.

  • http://www.whiskblog.com/ Shari

    Wow, that sounds good! Better than the chocolate version, even.

  • http://www.justeatfood.com/ justeatfood

    That looks so light and refreshing! Meyer lemons are one of my favorite things. EVER.

    Emily
    http://www.justeatfood.com

  • http://www.justeatfood.com justeatfood

    That looks so light and refreshing! Meyer lemons are one of my favorite things. EVER.

    Emily
    http://www.justeatfood.com

  • http://vindelatable.blogspot.com/ Vin de la Table

    It’s nice to have a refreshing meyer lemon dessert in the middle of uber heavy holiday seasons!

  • http://vindelatable.blogspot.com Vin de la Table

    It’s nice to have a refreshing meyer lemon dessert in the middle of uber heavy holiday seasons!

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com/ Natasha aka 5 Star Foodie

    Looks wonderful, this is a perfect dessert.

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com Natasha aka 5 Star Foodie

    Looks wonderful, this is a perfect dessert.

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    Lovely! I hope this is the start of more baking adventures, Marc ;) You could also serve this with lemon curd in lieu of the molten center :)

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    Lovely! I hope this is the start of more baking adventures, Marc ;) You could also serve this with lemon curd in lieu of the molten center :)

  • michelle @ TNS

    i’m totally taking partial credit for this.

  • http:///www.thursdaynightsmackdown.com michelle @ TNS

    i’m totally taking partial credit for this.

  • http://shelbymaelawstories.blogspot.com/2008/11/peanut-blossoms.html HoneyB

    Sounds wonderful to me!

  • http://shelbymaelawstories.blogspot.com/2008/11/peanut-blossoms.html HoneyB

    Sounds wonderful to me!

  • http://www.eatingclubvancouver.com/ [eatingclub] vancouver || js

    I love lemon desserts but find pound cakes too heavy. This sounds just about perfect.

  • http://www.eatingclubvancouver.com [eatingclub] vancouver || js

    I love lemon desserts but find pound cakes too heavy. This sounds just about perfect.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com/ Heather

    This is gorgeous, Marc, and a nice respite from all the spice and chocolate with which this season is laden.

    …I still like the idea of a white chocolate-lemon zest ganache for the interior, though. :)

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com Heather

    This is gorgeous, Marc, and a nice respite from all the spice and chocolate with which this season is laden.

    …I still like the idea of a white chocolate-lemon zest ganache for the interior, though. :)

  • http://www.applepiepatispate.com/ Jude

    Nice breakdown on how to make the recipe. Still trying to understand all of those mixing methods. Sounds great with creme anglaise.

  • http://www.applepiepatispate.com Jude

    Nice breakdown on how to make the recipe. Still trying to understand all of those mixing methods. Sounds great with creme anglaise.

  • http://www.notquitenigella.com/ Lorraine E

    That’s great! And you don’t seem like a novice baker at all. I am completely unsuccessful with molten centered cakes myself and I think I’d prefer this one :)

  • http://www.notquitenigella.com Lorraine E

    That’s great! And you don’t seem like a novice baker at all. I am completely unsuccessful with molten centered cakes myself and I think I’d prefer this one :)

  • http://www.cookeatfret.com/ claudia (cook et FRET)

    really well done
    looks wonderful
    i’m bookmarking this one
    perfect dinner party dessert for 4
    with no leftovers…. i love that

  • http://www.cookeatfret.com claudia (cook et FRET)

    really well done
    looks wonderful
    i’m bookmarking this one
    perfect dinner party dessert for 4
    with no leftovers…. i love that

  • http://www.bonavita.wordpress.com/ Kathy

    This sounds delicious! The only “molten” baking I have experienced was purely by accident and not a good thing. I am looking forward to trying your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.bonavita.wordpress.com Kathy

    This sounds delicious! The only “molten” baking I have experienced was purely by accident and not a good thing. I am looking forward to trying your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://flutterbyblue.blogspot.com/ flutterbyblue

    wow. this sounds delish! i may have to try it out this week!

  • http://flutterbyblue.blogspot.com flutterbyblue

    wow. this sounds delish! i may have to try it out this week!

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com/ Peter G

    Beautifully done…I agree with Heather…it makes a nice change from all the chocolate and spice around this time of the year!

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com Peter G

    Beautifully done…I agree with Heather…it makes a nice change from all the chocolate and spice around this time of the year!

  • http://www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com/ Darius T. Williams

    Looks great! for real!

  • http://www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com Darius T. Williams

    Looks great! for real!

  • My

    Sounds yummy…but did you mean 2 yolks or is there an extra yolk?

  • My

    Sounds yummy…but did you mean 2 yolks or is there an extra yolk?

  • My

    Sounds yummy…but did you mean 2 yolks or is there an extra yolk?

  • lyf

    Could this be reworked as a loaf or cake? Looks lovely!

  • lyf

    Could this be reworked as a loaf or cake? Looks lovely!

  • http://www.sugarbar.org/ diva

    spound cake??? COOL. looks awesome and i’m very intrigued with the texture of it now. marc, i’m loving the new arrangement of le blog. very swish! x

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    spound cake??? COOL. looks awesome and i’m very intrigued with the texture of it now. marc, i’m loving the new arrangement of le blog. very swish! x

  • http://www.tribecayummymummy-cate.blogspot.com/ cate

    seriously? it sounds like you’ve created my dream cake. i’m making this today and linking to you over the weekend. yum!

  • http://www.tribecayummymummy-cate.blogspot.com cate

    seriously? it sounds like you’ve created my dream cake. i’m making this today and linking to you over the weekend. yum!

  • http://www.kalofagas.blogspot.com/ Peter

    Nice creation and I too like that sweet and tart lemonyness, the kind ya find in Lemon Meringue pie.

  • http://www.kalofagas.blogspot.com Peter

    Nice creation and I too like that sweet and tart lemonyness, the kind ya find in Lemon Meringue pie.

  • http://lisaiscooking.blogspot.com/ lisaiscooking

    Looks fantastic, perfect texture, and meyer lemon is so great!

  • http://lisaiscooking.blogspot.com/ lisaiscooking

    Looks fantastic, perfect texture, and meyer lemon is so great!

  • marc

    Thanks Shari!

    Emily, I can’t agree more.

    Vin de la Table, I’m not usually to big on chocolate desserts for that very reason.

    Thanks Natasha:-)

    Manggy, I wouldn’t count on it, I’m chalking this one up to luck. Usually my baking experiments end up in the garbage.

    Michelle, as you should, your post inspired it:-)

    Honey B, Thanks!

    JS, rich and light are antonyms and yet they both work to describe this cake.

    Heather, I haven’t given up on the ganache filling idea. I think I’m making this as my moms b-day cake for christmas dinner (yes she’s a christmas baby), I might try introducing the ganache then.

    Jude, let me know if anything is confusing, I’d be happy to clear it up.

    Lorraine, thanks, but I assure you I am:-)

    Claudia, thanks, the leftovers are good too because the cake is so moist.

    Kathy, thanks, let me know how it goes:-)

    Thanks Flutterbyblue!

    Peter, it’s strange because they’re in season right now, but it’s got such a warm and spring-like flavor.

    Darius, thanks!

    My, 3 yolks total.

    Lyf, I’m sure if you adjusted cooking times it could work as a loaf or cake.

    Diva, Thanks!

    Cate, hope it turns out okay!

    Peter, yea this tastes a bit like lemon meringue pie, only more cake:-)

    Lisaisooking, thanks!

  • marc

    Thanks Shari!

    Emily, I can’t agree more.

    Vin de la Table, I’m not usually to big on chocolate desserts for that very reason.

    Thanks Natasha:-)

    Manggy, I wouldn’t count on it, I’m chalking this one up to luck. Usually my baking experiments end up in the garbage.

    Michelle, as you should, your post inspired it:-)

    Honey B, Thanks!

    JS, rich and light are antonyms and yet they both work to describe this cake.

    Heather, I haven’t given up on the ganache filling idea. I think I’m making this as my moms b-day cake for christmas dinner (yes she’s a christmas baby), I might try introducing the ganache then.

    Jude, let me know if anything is confusing, I’d be happy to clear it up.

    Lorraine, thanks, but I assure you I am:-)

    Claudia, thanks, the leftovers are good too because the cake is so moist.

    Kathy, thanks, let me know how it goes:-)

    Thanks Flutterbyblue!

    Peter, it’s strange because they’re in season right now, but it’s got such a warm and spring-like flavor.

    Darius, thanks!

    My, 3 yolks total.

    Lyf, I’m sure if you adjusted cooking times it could work as a loaf or cake.

    Diva, Thanks!

    Cate, hope it turns out okay!

    Peter, yea this tastes a bit like lemon meringue pie, only more cake:-)

    Lisaisooking, thanks!

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  • Sarah

    My dad’s mom made this cake for years, and it’s a considered a family tradition at this point. It’s the most delicious, simple, delightful dessert, and most people haven’t tried anything like it. The way to get the “molten” quality is to bake them in a water bath. If you’re using ramekins, place the filled ramekins in a baking pan (9x13x2-ish). Then, pour hot water in the pan until it reaches about a quarter to half way up the sides of the ramekins. Then, carefully put the pan into the oven and bake normally. The water bath allows the bottom of the spound cakes to turn into a lemon pudding that’s absolutely amazing for dessert and for breakfast the next morning (cold).

  • Sarah

    My dad’s mom made this cake for years, and it’s a considered a family tradition at this point. It’s the most delicious, simple, delightful dessert, and most people haven’t tried anything like it. The way to get the “molten” quality is to bake them in a water bath. If you’re using ramekins, place the filled ramekins in a baking pan (9x13x2-ish). Then, pour hot water in the pan until it reaches about a quarter to half way up the sides of the ramekins. Then, carefully put the pan into the oven and bake normally. The water bath allows the bottom of the spound cakes to turn into a lemon pudding that’s absolutely amazing for dessert and for breakfast the next morning (cold).

  • http://cupcakemuffin.blogspot.com/ sara

    YUM, this looks so delicious!

  • http://cupcakemuffin.blogspot.com sara

    YUM, this looks so delicious!

  • http://www.savory-bites.com/ jessie

    this looks great! it’s never occurred to me to make a molten-anything other than chocolate. and now that you mentioned the lemon curd, i think i have a jar of it just sitting in the back of my fridge…

  • http://www.savory-bites.com/ jessie

    this looks great! it’s never occurred to me to make a molten-anything other than chocolate. and now that you mentioned the lemon curd, i think i have a jar of it just sitting in the back of my fridge…

  • http://www.savory-bites.com jessie

    this looks great! it’s never occurred to me to make a molten-anything other than chocolate. and now that you mentioned the lemon curd, i think i have a jar of it just sitting in the back of my fridge…

  • http://bramleyblog.blogspot.com/ Stuart

    Meyer lemons are simply the best – thank you for sharing…
    I could eat the photo! : )
    Cheers… Stuart…

  • http://bramleyblog.blogspot.com/ Stuart

    Meyer lemons are simply the best – thank you for sharing…
    I could eat the photo! : )
    Cheers… Stuart…

  • http://bramleyblog.blogspot.com/ Stuart

    Meyer lemons are simply the best – thank you for sharing…
    I could eat the photo! : )
    Cheers… Stuart…

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