Lemon cake from Sicily

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Lemon cake 011In winter the lemon orchards in southeastern Sicily are a sight to behold, with trees so full of beautiful lemons that you can barely see the leaves. And while you’ll find lemons just about all year ’round, this is truly the perfect lemon moment, when the lemons are plump with the winter rain, bursting with juice and so fragrant that it’s hard to resist the urge to just bite into one. Just recently looking for some photos in my albums, I came across with my Sicilian holiday’s pictures and among a delicious lemon cake, what I ate in a small cafe in a little village. So yesterday I came into the mood for making that Sicilian tart lemon cake, here is the result!

Ingredients for my Sicilian lemon cake with lemon glaze

112 g butter at room temp

1 ½ cups (300 gr) sugar

3 eggs

1 ½ cups (325 gr) flour

1 tsp (5 gr) baking soda

½ tsp salt

2/3 cup (150 ml) milk

1/3 cup (75 ml) yoghurt

1 TB grated lemon peel

2 TB (30 ml) lemon juice

4 TB (60 ml) lemon juice

½ cup (100 g) sugar

2 tsp lemon zest

For The Lemon Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Grease and flour a 12-cup (3 liter) tube pan, and preheat oven to 325° F (180° C).
  2. Mix the milk and yoghurt together and set aside (use 1 cup-220 ml of milk with 2 tsp of lemon juice or freshly squashed lemon juice, and let sit 15 minutes).
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together and set aside
  4. With an electric mixer, beat the butter until it is soft and fluffy, then beat in the sugar until light.
  5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  6. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk until well blended.
  7. Stir in the lemon peel and lemon juice.
  8. Spread the batter evenly in the pan.
  9. Bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted in cake is clean.
  10. While cake is baking, make the Lemon Glaze by heating the lemon juice in a small saucepan and stirring in the sugar, and keep warm (or whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth and thick).
  11. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately poke several holes in the top of the cake with a long skewer or toothpick.
  12. Pour a bit more than 1/2 of the Lemon Glaze over the cake.
  13. Let cake cool in pan for 20 minutes then turn out onto rack.
  14. Mix 1 tsp of lemon zest into the remaining lemon glaze and brush or spoon it over the top and sides of the cake.
  15. Sprinkle the remaining lemon zest over the top of the cake.
  16. Let the glaze set for 30 minutes and then cut the cake into wedges and serve.



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