I was in Costco today… picked up my usual car load of supplies….. fruit, veggies, 25 pound bag of flour, 25 pound bag of sugar, 10 pound bag of chocolate chips….. you know… the standards. Today they had Meyer Lemons. Real Meyer Lemons. Sort of orangy-looking, delicious Meyer lemons. I had to buy them. I love love love working with citrus (grew up in a Wholesale Nursery specializing in Citrus… citric acid flows through my veins!). What to make? That’s easy, my Oma’s German Lemon Cake Recipe.
I have this fantastic recipe for a German Lemon Cake that I got from my mom who got it from her mom. It’s delicious. I love it in the middle of the afternoon with a cup of tea, but I have a friend who swears cake is perfect for breakfast. And naturally, Zitronenkuchen is an excellent addition to any Kaffeeklatsch table!
NOTE- I get it… some of you may not have Meyer Lemons, that’s ok! Frankly, any lemon will work for this cake… I promise!
Oma’s German Lemon Cake Recipe
Oma’s German Lemon Cake Recipe
- 2 sticks BUTTER 1 Cup or 230 gr.
- 1 c. sugar 200 gr.
- 1 Tbl. Baking Powder
- 1 3/4 c. unbleached flour 225 gr.
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup Lemon Juice and Zest of One Lemon 55 gr
- 3/4 c. sugar 170gr
- grated zest and juice of 4 lemons
- 2 c. powdered sugar 220 gr
- few tablespoons lemon juice
- grated lemon peel
- Either butter or spray 9 inch round baking pan with non-stick spray
- NOTE- To guarantee that you get the cake out perfect every time...line the bottom of the pan with parchment before buttering or spraying pan (or use a Spring-form Pan)
- Cream butter and sugar for 5 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time until incorporated after each one.
- Scrape sides of bowl.
- Combine flour and baking powder, add slowly to butter mixture.
- Add lemon juice and zest, continue mixing until just combined
- Pour batter into prepared pan.. spread out evenly... pop into oven
- Bake at 350 degrees- 50 to 60 min, until golden brown on top
- Meanwhile.... make the soaking liquid
- Mix 3/4 c. sugar with juice and grated zest of lemons in a saucepan
- Heat over low to medium heat until sugar melts... then set aside
- When cake is done, take it out of the oven, and prick it all over with a fork. Slowly pour the soaking liquid evenly all over cake.
- Let cake sit overnight on counter, covered.
- The next day, turn cake out of pan onto a serving plate.
- Mix 2 cups of powdered sugar with lemon juice until it looks like elmer's glue... or maybe a little thicker
- Pour over cake
- To make the cake look and taste more lemony, grate on some more lemon peel over the glaze before it sets.
- Slice and devour
Like this Recipe? Check out my Easy German Cookbook
80 Classic German Recipes made simple!
I never had the chance to meet my Oma Pangratz, she died before my mom and dad married, and long before I was born. My mom is the little girl on the right side of the picture… it must have been taken around 1943 in Germany. My grandparents lived in Silesia, in a small town called Schreckendorf. At the end of World War 2 they were refugeed, and luckily, sent to the western part of Germany. They eventually landed in Nord Rhein Westfalia. The German borders were redrawn after the war, and the home that they left behind was taken over by a Polish family. My mother actually had a chance to go back and see the house a few years ago. She was amazed at how much she remembered, and how much was still the same.
My grandparents owned a small grocery store in Buldern after this. Times were hard, and my Oma worked hard. Her mother lived with them to help raise my mother and her sister. Even though her mother did most of the cooking, my Oma loved to bake. This is a recipe she loved, and it was passed to me from my mother.
Oma died in 1965 of ovarian cancer. I’m sorry I never got a chance to meet her, but maybe this cake is a way for her memory to live on.
Step By Step Photos for Making German Lemon Cake
Oma’s German Lemon Cake Freezes Well
You can freeze this cake for up to two months.
Go ahead and soak it before freezing… but wait until thawing it out before glazing it with icing or the icing gets a bit soggy. (It doesn’t taste bad, it just doesn’t look as nice).
When the cake has cooled, wrap it up in plastic wrap, then either put it in a ZipLock Freezer bag, or wrap again in foil. LABEL it before you put it in the Freezer (what it is, and the date)
(yes, you will forget what it is… Label your Cake!)