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biscuits and other heavenly pursuits

oooohh!! meyer lemons….


So walking around Costco the other day I came across a ginormous crate of beautiful, delightful Meyer lemons just begging to be bought.  So i bought them having no idea what to do with 5 lbs of half mandarin orange/ half lemon hybrids.  I just knew I had to have them.

look at these beauties!


So I get them home and I stare at them sitting on my counter for a couple of days.  And then I take them out and artfully arrange them in a bowl and continue to stare at them for another day or so.  They really were a beautiful color and perfect size and impossibly shiny.  And then my friend decides to come and have a sleepover with her daughter – and said friend is crazy about lemon desserts.  So I start looking.  Lots of  Meyer Lemon marmalade.  And Meyer Lemon curdy desserts.  And I keep coming across Martha Stewart’s Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake in a bunch of places and decide it is a sign.  And so the process of cake begins….I have to say it was a little involved and I tweaked and adjusted a bit and it still tasted great!   Really nice crumb and a nice lemony flavor that wasn’t too overpowering and well….you can see from the picture that it didn’t last long in this house….

Here is the recipe adapted from Martha :

Some notes:

– I had a difficult time getting “paper thin slices” as MS advises – and I have a mandoline.  Now maybe my mandoline skills are lacking but I could not get paper thin slices!  So i ended up using my own two hands and a very good knife.  My slice were not paper thin but they worked fine.  Thinking next time i would do a rough chop or a quick spin in the food processor…

– Because I did not get paper thin slices I left out the second layer of lemon slices that MS has in her original recipe.  After tasting the cake I almost think it would have been too lemony.  Then again – I dont LOVE lemon desserts, I like them but would always opt for chocolate over lemon in a restaurant so maybe if you really LOVE lemon you should go for two layers of lemon slices.

Serves 10 to 12

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 6 ounces ( 3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter
  • 3 Meyer lemons, cut into paper-thin slices, ends discarded
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest (from 4 to 5 lemons)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice


  1. Make the streusel: Mix together flour, brown sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut butter into the flour mixture until small to medium clumps form. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 3 days).
  2. Make the cake: Cook lemon slices in a medium saucepan of simmering water for 1 minute. Drain, and repeat. Arrange lemon slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch angel food cake pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest with a mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, add eggs, 1 at a time, then the vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream.
  4. Spoon 1/2 of the batter evenly into cake pan. Arrange as many of the lemon slices that will fit without overlapping in a single layer over the batter. Spread remaining batter evenly over the top.  Sprinkle the chilled streusel evenly over the batter.
  5. Bake until cake is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack set over a baking sheet, and let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, and remove outer ring. Let cool on rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the center tube. Slide 2 wide spatulas between the bottom of the cake and the pan, and lift cake to remove from the center tube. Let cool completely on rack.
  6. Make the glaze: Just before serving, stir together confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Drizzle over cooled cake, letting excess drip down the sides. Let glaze set before slicing, about 5 minutes. (Cake can be stored for up to 3 days. The lemon flavor will intensify with time.)

Author: nycmom

just a mom trying to find some peace of mind...and maybe a piece of cake


  1. I <3 chocolate, but this looks delicious!

  2. I too am obscessed with Meyer Lemons. My parents have/had a tree in their garden on Sanibel Island but it died this year when the irrigation system went on the fritz. Who knew they would sell them at Costco? A bowl of Meyer Lemons on a table is as beautiful as a vase filled with flowers, in my humble opinion. I’m imagining a black and white photo of you standing in a kitchen in Calabria, dressed in Sicilian widow gear (Dolce & Gabbana) with a bowl of Meyer Lemons–the lemons can’t be black and white, they have to be bright yellow (you’ll need Photo Shop for this effect). You can make Limoncello out of them too–their skins have an herbal aroma that makes it more complex.
    xx D

  3. you’re hired! i need a PR person

  4. I <3 chocolate, but this looks delicious!

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