Make Ahead

Leftover Lemonade Cake

June  2, 2014
0 Ratings
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • makes a 9x13 pan
Author Notes

Here is a beautiful but casual cake that serves a crowd, pleases the palate, and is a cinch to make and serve. This recipe was inspired by a jug of leftover lemonade in my fridge after a cheery summer picnic. Lemonade takes the roles of liquid and most of the sugar in the batter. Lemon zest bumps up the citrus, while lemon slices create a buttery, toothsome, beautiful top. (An optional sprinkling of coconut or fresh corn can offer a delectable addition between the lemon slices, but the cake is fabulous without either.) A handful of corn meal and almond meal make for a truly tender crumb, and the lemon slices soften as they bake, ready to be sliced or bitten straight through. This recipe first appeared on my web site,

NOTE: The sweetness of your lemonade will really affect the sweetness of the cake, and the listed amount of sugar is quite minimal for a cake this size. More often than not, I’ve ended up with a barely sweet (but still satisfying) result. If you prefer a sweeter cake or if your lemonade is not very sweet, feel free to double the sugar in the batter. If you still wish it were sweeter, top slices generously with powdered sugar before serving. —ButterSugarFlowers

What You'll Need
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided (see note)
  • 3 medium to large Meyer lemons
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, or unsweetened shredded coconut (both optional)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons yellow corn meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups lemonade
  1. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13" pan with parchment. Whisk together melted butter and 1/4 cup of the sugar until just pasty and even. Spread evenly onto the parchment. Finely zest the rinds of the lemons; set zest aside. Cut off ends of lemons; discard.
  2. Slice lemons into rings 1/3 to 1/2 inch wide. Carefully pick out any seeds and discard them. Arrange lemon slices on the buttery, sugary bottom of pan, touching each other and edges of pan. (Feel free to trim them if they don't quite fit; you may or may not use all the slices, depending on the size of your lemons.) If using, sprinkle the corn or coconut in the open spaces between the lemon slices.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, remaining ½ cup sugar (see note), oil, and vanilla until smooth and even. Sift over the egg mixture: flour, almond meal, corn meal, salt, baking soda and powder. As you begin stirring, gradually add the lemonade. Mix until smooth and even, folding in the reserved lemon zest at the last minute. Pour batter over the lemon slices and bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time. When ready, the cake will be golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out batter-free.
  4. Let cake cool completely in pan. Loosen sides of cake with a knife, then invert cake onto a large cutting board, platter, or cookie sheet. Discard parchment. Cut into squares with a sharp knife (slicing straight through the lemons is fine). Store covered tightly at cool room temperature.

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