What to CookCake

A "Semi-Homemade," Yet Holiday Appropriate, Cake

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This is the time of year when I pretend I'm going to bake a cake.

The lowest-maintenance cake you'll meet this year.
The lowest-maintenance cake you'll meet this year. Photo by Bobbi Lin

I ask Sarah for recommendations for really easy cake recipes that will work in one of the two baking pans I own (8 by 8, 9 by 9). I look at pictures of cakes, I look at the ingredient lists, and then I make cookies.

But sometimes a cake comes around that seems more straightforward to prepare than cookies—like this one, from Lucy's Bakes. It's the kind of cake that might fall within the realm of "semi-homemade," yet no one will ever accuse you of cheating.

Instead of juicing and zesting lemons, measuring out spices, or (gasp) making a frosting and a cake, flavor is delivered in just one vehicle. The helping hand comes not from boxed mix but rather from store-bought lemon curd, which goes straight into the flour-egg-butter-sugar batter and then also dolloped on top, too. That's it.

Tartine Bakery's Lemon Cream

Tartine Bakery's Lemon Cream by Kristen Miglore

How to Make Lemon Curd

How to Make Lemon Curd by Kelsey Tenney


Sure, you could make your own curd, but the only benefit really is just to flaunt it. The cake is ooey and vivacious regardless.

I might even make it.

Lemon Curd Cake

Lemon Curd Cake

Ali Slagle Ali Slagle
Makes one 8-inch round cake (8 to 10 slices)
  • 175 grams (3/4 cup) superfine sugar
  • 175 grams (6 ounces) butter, at room temperature
  • 340 grams (12 ounces) lemon curd (or freshly made)
  • 3 eggs
  • 225 grams (scant 2 cups) self-rising flour
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Go to Recipe

What's the easiest cake in your repertoire? Share it with us in the comments below!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Citrus, Lemon, Dessert, Bake, One-Bowl Baking