Cakes Spring Winter

Meyer Lemon Cake with Crème Fraîche Glaze

Monday, March 8, 2021
Meyer Lemon Cake

I have been a fan of snack cakes for years (see Chocolate Chip Snack Cake and Powdered Sugar Snack Cake), and am excited to now have a Meyer Lemon version to add to the mix.

This recipe comes from Bake From Scratch Vol 5, which was just released.

This new volume is a lovely collection of recipes, and I have a few of my own included (such as Cranberry Streusel Bars, Pumpkin Blondies, and Chocolate Orange Sables). 

A couple things: 

*Zoë François has a new cookbook coming out, along with a television series. Her new book is entitled “Zoë Bakes Cake” and you can find it here. I photographed the “how-to” pictures in this book, and highly recommend it; Zoë is an amazing baker and her recipes are incredible. 

*100 Cookies was nominated for a Minnesota Book Award! You can read about the other nominations here, as well as an interview I did for the Minnesota Daily.

Meyer Lemon Cake

More Snack Cake Recipes:

Meyer Lemon Cake

Meyer Lemon Cake with Crème Fraîche Glaze

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
This zesty poppy seed-speckled cake is just as at perfect for breakfast table as it is served as the dinner finale. A mix of whole milk and Meyer lemon juice gives it an unbelievably tender crumb while imbuing every bite with the Meyer lemon's unique floral flavor. The Crème Fraîche Glaze rounds out this cake's sweet notes with welcome tanginess.
Sarah Kieffer
4.39 from 39 votes
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

Meyer Lemon Cake

  • 3/4 cup [170 g] unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups [300 g] granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons packed Meyer lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups [281 g] unbleached cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup [240 g] whole milk at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice

Crème Fraîche Glaze

  • 2 cups [240 g] confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup [60 g] crème fraîche
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Poppy seeds for sprinkling

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F [180C]. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with baking spray with flour. Line with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan; lightly spray parchment.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, best butter, sugar, and lemon zest at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. (Mixture may look slightly broken at this point, but batter will come together.)
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and lemon juice. (Juice will cause milk to curdle slightly, and that is okay.) With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with milk mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing into an even layer. Tap pan on your work surface several times to settle batter and release any air bubbles.
  • Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Use the parchment sling to remove the cake from the pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Pour the Crème Fraîche Glaze onto the cooled cake; using a small offset spatula, spread into an even layer. Garnish with poppy seeds and lemon zest, if desired.
  • For the Glaze: In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients until smooth. Use immediately.

Notes

*Adding fresh Meyer lemon juice to milk creates a buttermilk-like mixture, which means more Meyer lemon flavor in this deliciously moist cake.
*Meyer lemons have a distinct, slightly floral flavor profile. Therefore, if substituting regular lemons, note that the final product will taste different.
  • Reply
    mobasir hassan
    Monday, March 29, 2021 at 11:42 am

    Truly appreciate the way you made this wonderful lemon cake. Everything is so nicely described that really helped. Looking forward for more such delicious recipes in future too.

  • Reply
    Sue
    Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    I don’t have creme fraiche but have sour cream and Greek yogurt. Can I substitute?

  • Reply
    Heather
    Monday, March 22, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    Just made this! Incredible. Does the cake have to be refrigerated once the creme fraiche glaze is added?

  • Reply
    Sabrina
    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    love this, my kind of flavors, creme fraîche glaze on top of any lemon cake any time, plus its gorgeous, thank you!

  • Reply
    Malissa
    Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 4:58 am

    Such a great use of Meyer lemons! Can’t wait to try this. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Giftbasketworldwide
    Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 3:01 am

    Easy to read and understand!! Thanks

  • Reply
    Natasha Minocha
    Monday, March 15, 2021 at 8:38 am

    This looks amazing, can’t wait to try! Love a lemon dessert.

  • Reply
    Kathleen
    Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 12:03 am

    I made this today and it did not turn out well at all. The cake didn’t rise, was very oily and rubbery. It was so bad I had to throw it out. No one would eat it. I used Irish butter. Could the higher fat make that much of a difference in how this cake turned out?

    • Reply
      Lauren
      Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 5:34 pm

      2 stars
      I had similar results with sweet cream butter. The bottom half was dense and rubbery. The flavor was excellent, though. Not sure where it or I went wrong. I followed the directions exactly and bake frequently with good results. I will probably give it another go and see if I can do better.

    • Reply
      Jonathan K
      Friday, May 14, 2021 at 3:56 pm

      A few things could contribute to this:

      1. Your butter got too airy from over-creaming – nice rise in oven but doesn’t keep the rise. Always do creaming on medium speed.
      2. You mixed the wet and dry ingredients too much and produced a lot of gluten. This leads to a nice rise in the oven and then a dense case.

      • Reply
        Jonathan K
        Friday, May 14, 2021 at 3:58 pm

        3. Too much fat content in the recipe

      • Reply
        Jonathan K
        Friday, May 14, 2021 at 4:42 pm

        3. Too much fat (maybe from the Eur butter)

  • Reply
    Lea
    Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 10:01 am

    I was very curious to try this as I just moved back to France and have been excited by the easy access to creme fraiche! I used lemons as we don’t have Meyer lemons here, but added a tbsp of orange blossom for the ‘floral’ notes. I find the cake and glaze combo perfect – simple but interesting. Thanks a lot for this recipe!

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