Lemon Cake Recipe


Cal/Serving: 847
Daily Value: 42%
Servings: 4

Peanut-Free, Tree-Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Fish-Free, Shellfish-Free, Alcohol-Free
Vitamin A957IU19%
Vitamin C53mg88%
Thiamin (B1)0mg33%
Riboflavin (B2)1mg33%
Niacin (B3)3mg15%
Vitamin B60mg8%
Folic Acid (B9)128µg32%
Vitamin B121µg14%
Vitamin D2µg1%
Vitamin E1mg5%
Vitamin K2µg3%
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated6g0%
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated2g0%
Have a question about the nutrition data? Let us know.

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Lemon Cake
Jacques Gavard

Don't let the simple title deceive you. This lemon cake is something truly special. Served with a custard with Kaffir orange and lime and a simple sugar syrup that's poured on top right out of the oven, this simple yet elegant dessert will have your guests coming back for more (and of course, asking for the recipe).

See all cake recipes.

Click here to see Bringing a French Revolution to the Home Cook's Kitchen.



For the custard :

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup scant sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • Grated zest of 1 orange, preferably organic
  • Grated zest of 1/4 Kaffir lime

For the lemon cake :

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the loaf pan
  • Pinch of baking powder
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (also known as caster sugar)
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon, preferably organic
  • 1/2 cup scant crème fraîche
  • 1/2 cup candied lemon, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more at room temperature for the loaf pan

For the syrup :

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice


For the custard :

Place a bowl into the refrigerator to chill.

Gently beat the egg yolks and the sugar together in a cooking pot. Pour the milk into a separate cooking pot and bring to a boil. Pour the milk over the egg yolk mixture and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula. Do not allow to boil or the custard will split.

Once the custard has thickened, remove from the heat and pour it into the cold bowl to stop the cooking process. Add the orange and Kaffir lime zest and stir. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the lemon cake :

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift the flour and baking powder together into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks with the sugar, lemon zest, and crème fraîche. Add the flour and the candied lemon and mix to combine. Mix in the cooled melted butter. Butter and flour a baking pan and fill to ¾ full. Bake for 25 minutes.

For the syrup :

Bring the water and sugar to a boil and then add the lemon juice. When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and pour the syrup over. Leave to cool on a wire cooling rack. Serve with the custard.

Recipe Details

Adapted from "Pierre Gagnaire: 175 Home Recipes with a Twist" by Pierre Gagnaire (Flammarion, 2012)

Servings: 4
Total time: 55 minutes
Cuisine: Desserts

Notes and Substitutions:

Note: It is best to use organic fruits in this type of recipe to avoid ingesting the pesticides and wax that may be found on non-organic fruit. Organic fruit may also be more aromatic. The Kaffir lime (or combava) has a very aromatic leaf. Its aroma can be pervasive, so don't fall into the trap of overuse; err on the side of caution if you are not used to it.

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