On our travels to Paris, France, I found this fantastic Lemon cake at a Pâtisserie Cafe. I did some research on French recipes, and baked it to the best of my knowledge
A Creme Fraiche (Trader Joe’s) substitute would be 4 to 5% Greek Yoghurt or Make Creme Fraiche yourself here
For baking I used a 9″x 5″ oven loaf pan, bake at 350 F for 45 to 50 minutes
If you like, you can add 2 tbsp of Poppy Seeds to the batter.
Lay out the pan with some baking paper (parchment paper) for easier lifting when finished. The bottom will stay smooth and not stick.
Cutting during the baking time: You could take the cake out of the oven after about 15 minutes in and cut it lengthwise in the middle with a knife dipped in liquid butter. The cake bakes more evenly.
If the cake gets to dark during baking, cover it loosely with some foil
Baking time and core temperature: A common question about pies and cake is, why is the cake soggy, or how do I know when my cake is well baked. Instead of the stick test, I recommend using a food or meat thermometer to measure the core temperature at 207 F, to make sure the lemon cake is done and not soggy inside. For this, at the end of the baking time, pierce the probe in the middle of the cake and read the core temperature. If necessary, extend the baking time, cover the cake with aluminum foil to prevent further browning.
French Lemon Cake (Cake au citron)
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche (4 or 5% Fage Greek yoghurt)
- 1 1/2 cup of sifted all purpose flour (Pillsbury or King Arthur white)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- dash salt
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
- Zest of two lemons
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Sugar Glaze:
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Brush the pan (9×5 loaf pan) with some soft butter or oil, and have everything ready.
- Grate the peel of 2 lemons.
- Sift flour with baking powder.
- Heat butter, it should be soft, but not hot.
- Add room temperature eggs and sugar in a mixer with and whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved, and the mass has become lighter.
- Then add crème fraiche (or Greek yoghurt), the zest of the 2 lemons and the juice, salt, vanilla extract, and the flour with the baking powder. Stir briefly until a homogeneous mass has formed.
- Finally, add the soft butter and mix until smooth.
- Evenly fill in the lemon cake mass in to the pan(s) and place in the preheated oven on the middle rack.
- If the lemon cake browns too quickly during baking, then please cover with a little aluminum foil loosely.
- The total baking time is approx. 45 to 50 minutes.
- Do a toothpick test, or check internal temperature for 207 F.
- Remove the lemon cake from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes in the mold.
- Lift it out of the baking pan and place it on a cake grid.
- Remove cake from the oven, internal temperature should be 207 F, or do a toothpick test.
- Wait 5 to 10 minutes, then make holes all over cake with toothpick or fork.
- To be soaked let the lemon cake cool for 10 minutes, then brush the Glaze or liquified Lemon Curd evenly over the whole cake while still hot.
- Let completely cool.
The cooled Lemon cake should rest wrapped in some plastic for 24 hours, this way it will become more flavorful. Add additional sugar glaze is optional
Lemon Curd as a Glaze
Make your lemon cake and ice cream with this delight spread. Or eat it on top of your bread instead of jelly, or prepare a Lemon Mousse