Lemon Cake Smackdown | 3 Tried & Tested Lemony Cake Recipes

Last month I baked pretty much only lemon cakes. I had been wanting to try Nigella Lawson’s lemon-syrup loaf cake from How To Be A Domestic Goddess for a while, and when the World Baking Day challenge finally gave me a chance to try a lemony cake. But I didn’t stop with that.

I tried 3 different kinds in total.

First, Carmela’s lemon loaf cake with syrup poured over.


Second, a loaf cake spiked with vanilla bean and lime zest.

Love the peek-a-boo bits of vanilla bean :)

Love the peek-a-boo bits of vanilla bean 🙂

And third, Donna Hay’s lemon yogurt cake.

Dense and pale lemony yellow!

Dense and pale lemony yellow!

I baked Carmela’s lemon loaf  cake with syrup twice more; once when we had company and another time to send to family. Even though it does take more effort (you need to melt the butter and allow it to cool; then while the cake is baking you need to make the lemony sugar syrup,) it is worth it because the syrup ensures that the cake stays moist for longer. And once that lemon syrup gets into the cake, you get this really delicious sticky-crumbly crumb.

Donna Hay’s lemon-yogurt cake I did not attempt again; even though it is the simplest of the three, being a one-bowl affair. It’s tasty, no doubt- but  since it uses vegetable oil and not butter, I could not taste that richness that comes only from butter.

But there was one which I made over and over again; for family, friends, tea, for when we had company over and even just for myself. The vanilla bean and lime/lemon zest loaf.  I used nimbus (limes) the first time around, and used Meyer lemons for some other attempts. For the other two cakes, I followed specific lemon cake recipes. For this one, I tweaked a vanilla cake recipe and added lemon/lime zest and juice to it. It was not a lemon cake to begin with. But I love it because it produces a fluffy, moist which does not need syrup to keep it moist and ever-so-slightly damp. And the speckled vanilla seeds just add a touch of pretty.

So whether you have Meyer lemons, regular lemons or good old desi nimbus, I encourage you to try this 🙂