savoring citrus for spring: meyer lemon cake

lemon is a favorite flavor and scent for all of us at kai. when the spring weather has sprung, and the citrus trees are fully in bloom here in california with the sweet, delicate notes wafting all around us, we crave those delicious citrus fruits and ways to enjoy them in our meals. our pr & marketing director, sara, was recently raving about a recipe that she tried from a well-known spot called the red truck bakery, which has become a national sensation thanks to their celebrity devotees including former president obama and oprah. you can even order their delightful desserts on goldbelly. sara has attempted to make their famous meyer lemon cake on her own for the holiday weekend, and she shares the recipe below. it’s perfect for easter, passover, mother’s day, or other fun gatherings with family, friends and loved ones that you might be planning for spring or summertime.

 enjoy and bon appetit! 


recipe credit goes to brian noyes, author of the red truck bakery cookbook

once the winter holiday rush is over, we are all eager and ready to move on to spring. the aroma of meyer lemons, with a hint of orange and without the tartness of regular lemons, takes us right back to california, where groves of citrus trees stretched off in all directions and the air really does smell just like this fruit.  you will need about ten meyer lemons for all of the zest and juice required. meyer lemons are available from november through may in larger grocery stores, or can be purchased online from regular lemons can be substituted, but you’ll miss the nuances of meyer lemons.


nonstick cooking spray

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for dusting

3 tablespoons grated meyer lemon zest

2 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup canola oil

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 large eggs

½ cup meyer lemon juice

1 cup sour cream



¼ cup fresh meyer lemon juice

½ cup granulated sugar



1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon meyer lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh meyer lemon juice


  1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit. lightly coat a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick spray and dust it with flour, tapping out any excess.
  2. make the cake: in a medium bowl, combine the lemon zest and the granulated sugar with a fork, let sit for a few minutes to allow the lemon to infuse the sugar.
  3. in a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the oil, butter, and the lemon-sugar mixture on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. add the lemon juice.
  5. with the mixer running on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour; mix until just blended after each addition.
  6. transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. smooth the top with a spatula. bake for 50 to 60 minutes, turning the pan after 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a raised wire rack set over a baking sheet to cool completely.
  7. meanwhile, make the syrup: in a small saucepan, heat the lemon juice, sugar, and ¼ cup water over low heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. brush the syrup over the cooling cake after removing it from the bundt pan.
  8. make the glaze: in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon water. after the cake has cooled entirely, spoon the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it run down the sides.


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