Lovely Lemon Cake

“Remember when you called me after your job interview and you said you were ‘so going to work there’ because it was next door to a Whole Foods and across the street from a Starbucks?”

“It was probably the best day ever.”

Roo stops washing the dishes, “When was the last time you went to Starbucks?”  He looks over to see me hugging myself.  “You’re doing that thing again.”

“What thing?”

“That thing where you hug yourself like those sad monkeys we saw on PBS.  You’re obviously upset.”

“Well, that’s the last time you’re watching Frontline with me. I am not a sad monkey.”

I am so a sad monkey.

Back when I was delusional and living beyond my means living in Cambridge, my apartment was across the street from a Starbucks.  I would go there so often (ie twice a day, everyday), they started making “my drink” as soon as they saw me walk in.

“Grande, skinny, two pump vanilla latte for Lys.”

Sometimes it got awkward when I wanted a different drink.  And by awkward, I mean awesome as they would just give me both drinks for the price of one.

It pays to be nice to the baristas.

“Why are you shaking?”

“I’m not shaking.Youcrazy.Oh!Side note. Igottwolattesforthepriceofone!”

“It’s 2 p.m.  You are shaking and talking like a college kid on ritalin during finals week.”


“You should lay off the ten shots of espresso in the morning.”

Besides the obvious self-induced caffeine overdose, my love for Starbucks was a $40/week habit.

They’d always find a way to draw me in.

“Buy one beverage in the morning and get any drink for only $2 after 2 p.m.!”

“Starbucks Happy Hour (ie half off frappuccinos between 3 – 5 p.m.)”

And lemon cake.

Yes, lemon cake.


Practically sticky, with a crunchy citrus glaze.  It was my absolute favorite.

It’s been over a year since I’ve given up my daily Starbucks habit.  And while I’ve saved a bit of money that I now spend on bundt pans from Amazon I can’t stop thinking about that cake.  Incredibly bright citrus notes, a bit of tanginess from the yogurt, and a lovely crunchy glaze, it’s been haunting me since the first day of spring.

With longer days, crocuses starting to pop out of the earth, and birds flying back from the south, all I want are bright, bold flavors to wake up my senses.  Citrus, tang, a bit of sweet.  That lemon cake had to be made.

And I think it was.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Makes One Bundt Cake


A small mixing bowl (used twice)

A medium mixing bowl

A large mixing bowl

A whisk

A spatula

A bundt cake pan (I used a 10 cup) greased with cooking/baking spray or buttered and floured

A small saucepan

A cooling rack (if you have one) or a large plate


For the Cake

One and a quarter cups of unsweetened unflavored soy milk (or your choice of non-dairy milk)

3 tablespoons of ground flax seed

1 tablespoon of lemon juice (use one of the lemons you zested)

1 cup white whole wheat flour (you could use all purpose)

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Half teaspoon baking soda

Quarter teaspoon salt

One and a quarter cups of sugar (this makes a not-so-sweet cake, if you’d like something sweeter, use one and a half cups)

Quarter cup of butter (like Earth Balance), softened

Quarter cup of unsweetened applesauce

One third of a cup of lemon zest (about 6 – 8 lemons)

2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice (use 1 of the lemons you zested)

For the Glaze

Quarter cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (use some of the lemons you zested)

1 cup of powdered sugar

5 tablespoons of granulated sugar (I ran out of powdered sugar, so I subbed granulated sugar and really liked the results!)

Place your oven rack to the middle position in the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a small mixing bowl add the soy milk, lemon juice and ground flax seed.  Stir till well combined and set aside.

Add the softened butter, unsweetened applesauce and sugar to a large mixing bowl.  Beat the ingredients until well combined.  *If you have a stand mixer this would be a good time to use it as it takes about 5 minutes.*

Add the lemon zest and lemon juice to the large mixing bowl.  Stir into the ingredients till well combined.

In a medium mixing bowl add the flour(s), baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk the ingredients together till well combined.

Add the soy milk mixture and dry ingredients to your large mixing bowl alternately (starting and ending with the dry mixture), until the ingredients are just combined.

*Do not over mix this cake!  I suggest to stop stirring when a few dry patches are visible.  Fold in the rest of the batter with your spatula to prevent over mixing.*

Pour out the batter into the prepared bundt pan.  Spread the mixture out evenly, then bake at 350F for 60 – 70 minutes.  At the 55 minute marker, use a cake tester (like a wooden toothpick or even tines of a fork), inserting it in the center of the cake.  If it comes out clean, the cake is done.  If not, bake it for another five minutes until the tester comes out clean (for me, the cake was done at 65 minutes).

Let the cake cool in the bundt pan for about ten minutes.  Remove the cake (invert it onto a cooling rack) and allow to cool to room temperature.  If you’re using the glaze, you can drizzle it over the cake once it’s out of the pan.

To make the glaze, add the lemon juice, powdered sugar and granulated sugar to a small mixing bowl.  Whisk together the ingredients till well combined.  Drizzle the glaze over the cake.  Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before slicing (this also ensures the glaze will be set prior to eating).

This recipe was entered into the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop for this month’s theme, Lemons.

16 thoughts on “Lovely Lemon Cake

    • Please let me know how it turns out! I’ve made it three times (ummm, it disappears quite quickly here) and haven’t become sick of it. Absolutely love this cake. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Don’t be ashamed! Starbucks is delicious (which is probably why we *all* become addicted). In fact, I envy everyone else who still goes. But I will admit, this lemon cake does make me feel a bit better about it.

    • You are one smart cookie. Instead of thinking about how I couldn’t afford it, I’d just put everything on the ol’ credit card. Yay, fake money! Any rational human being would *not* do this. Like I said, completely delusional back then. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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    • Oh man, don’t even get me started on the rest of their baked goods! While their lemon cake is my favorite, I really liked their coffee cake as well…and their blueberry crumb cake. Thanks for stopping by Azmina! And now I need to make more cakes. 🙂

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