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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.

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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

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How to Make Lemon Curd

How to Make Lemon Curd by Kelsey Tenney

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

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I might even make it.

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Lemon Curd Cake

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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

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


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Tags: dessert, cake, lemon, baking, lemon curd, lemon dessert, citrus, citrus season