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St. Louis Lemon Cake




  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Grated zest of 2 large lemons (reserve the juice for the lemon syrup)
  • 5 eggs, divided (5 yolks and 5 whites)
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch of salt

Lemon Syrup

  • Juice of 2 large lemons, from above
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven or just below. Spray a large tube pan (9 or 10 inches) with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and beat until it dissolves and the mixture is very light and airy. Stir in the lemon zest.
  3. In a separate bowl, thoroughly whisk the egg yolks with the sour cream or yogurt and the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolk mixture to the butter mixture and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda three times. Reduce the mixer speed to low and carefully add the flour mixture to the batter within one minute. Do not overmix.
  5. Beat the egg whites with the salt until frothy. Gradually beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until the mixture is stiff but not dry.
  6. Carefully fold the beaten egg whites into the batter just until blended. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
  7. Bake for 1 hour or until the cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  8. While the cake is baking, prepare the lemon syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice, water, sugar and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until it is slightly thickened, about 8-10 minutes.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Loosen the sides of the cake with a knife and invert the cake onto a plate with a rim. Reheat the syrup and spoon it all over the surface of the hot cake. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 16 servings

Posted by Annette at Recipe Goldmine 8/5/2001 5:55 pm.

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