Lemon Drenched Lemon Cakes

I know that I’m not very good at washing dishes. I know that I always want crêpes for dinner. I know that I don’t like construction people making a racket at 7:00am. And I REALLY know that Mondays are better with cake.

This cake is zesty and bright. Basically this cake will punch you in the face with dreamy and fresh lemony flavors.

You might want to split a piece with your total BFF. You might want to keep the whole thing for yourself.

So, you should probably make this today, because your Monday will be way more tasty.

Lemon Drenched Lemon Cakes
Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan via Joy the Baker


cakes –

  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 plump, moist vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved, or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
  • 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • zest of two lemons, finely grated
  • 1 stick + 7 T (15 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

syrup –

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • juice of two lemons


  1. Make the cakes! Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Butter two loaf pans, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Even if they are nonstick, it’s still good to grease them, just to be sure! Place the pans on a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl, working with your fingers, rub them together until the sugar is moist and smells fabulously lemony. It will be magical. Add the vanilla bean seeds and work them into the sugar. If you’re using vanilla extract, add it later after you’ve added the eggs.
  4. Add the eggs and whisk them into the sugar, beating until they are thoroughly incorporated. Whisk in the extract (if using), then whisk in the cream. Continuing with the whisk, or switching to a large rubber spatula, gently stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions; the batter will be smooth and thick. Finish by folding in the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions. Pour the batter into the pans, smoothing with a rubber spatula.
  5. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. As soon as the cake goes into the oven, make the syrup. After about 30 minutes in the oven, check the cakes for color – if they are browning too quickly, tent them with foil.
  6. Make the syrup! Stir the water and sugar together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar melts and it’s no longer grainy when stirred. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Pour syrup into a heatproof bowl and let cool.
  7. When the cakes test done, transfer them to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before unmolding them and turning them right side up on the rack. Place the rack over a baking sheet lined with wax paper and using a thin skewer, cake tester or thin-bladed sharp knife poke holes all over the cakes. Brush the cakes all over with the syrup, working slowly so that the cakes sop it up. Leave the drenched cakes on the rack to cool to room temperature.

Just drenching the lemon cakes with lemon syrup.

12 thoughts on “Lemon Drenched Lemon Cakes”

  1. Thanks Lora! I wish I could share it with you. With your love for iced lemon loaf you’d love this for real.

  2. Yummo!!! And I love your little cake lady peeking out. And the flowered plate is perfect for a summery lemon deliciousness!

  3. I love watching your blog and trying these recipes. Funny… then other day I went to the grocery store and saw the pretty lemons beckoning from the shelf…. and I thought… “I just gotta have some!” And I had no idea what I would make with them. Problem solved….

  4. Thanks Betsy!
    I was totally beckoned by lemons too. And I like to think they were happy to be a part of this cake.

  5. Mmm. Lemon cakes are so good! A punch of lemon to the face sounds so refreshing 🙂 but hopefully no one would get it in their eyes. Ouch!

  6. Hi Megan

    I want to make this for my daughter’s party this coming Saturday. How far in advance can I make it? I have loads of baking to do so I’d like to make ahead as much as I can. LOVE your goodies 🙂

    1. Since I haven’t frozen these, I can’t be sure, but I bet they’d be fine to freeze up to a week ahead.

      I’d freeze them, thaw them, and then drizzle with syrup. Good luck! Sounds like a fun party!

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