Lemon Syrup Cake and Cakelets


Cake! Cake! I win!


This is my go-to recipe for… just about everything. It’s easy to make and popular with just about everyone. I love how it’s sweet and spongey and has a kick of sweet, lemon flavor from the syrup.

As most of you know, I am in my first year of law school in San Francisco, meaning that the majority of my time is spent hunkered down in the library, hoping that the material in my textbooks is as well imprinted in my brain as my butt imprint is in the chair. It’s a basically given fact that most first year students have no life and are just reading their eyes out. At least, most students, anyway.

That brings me to the reason for this post. My friend, MM, loves to live life to the fullest and ended up becoming very behind on her reading. As her friends, a couple of us tried to find various ways to intervene and encourage her to read and study. We tried everything, from dragging her to the library to evenings where we would drink a shot of yogurt-flavored soju for every page read (that definitely did not work out – we ended up gossiping for three straight hours instead, haha… ah, to be a girl…).

Ultimately, I told her that, for every subject she caught up with, I would bake her a cake. Our first final was yesterday morning. Thus far? I’ve made her one cake. This one.


Lemon Syrup Cake

serves eight


For the cake

  • 1 tbsp butter, for greasing
  • scant 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cups sour cream
  • grated rind of one large lemon (optional)
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup sunflower (or vegetable) oil

For the syrup

  • 4 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Lightly grease an 8-ince/20-cm loose-based round cake pan with a little butter and line the base with baking parchment
  2. Strain the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and stir in the sugar
  3. In a bowl or pitcher, whisk the eggs, sour cream, lemon rind, lemon juice, and oil together
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well until evenly blended
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake in a preheated oven, 350˚F/180˚C, for 45-60 minutes, or until risen and golden on top
  6. If you’re going to make cakelets, fill muffin pans approximately 3/4 full do everything else the same.
  7. To make the syrup, mix the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice together in a small pan. Stir over low heat until just starting to bubble and turn syrupy
  8. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, prick the surface with a fine metal skewer (a fork works as well, but be careful you don’t destroy the cake with the tines), then brush the syrup over the top. Let cool completely in the pan before turning out and serving.

Tip: Pricking the surface of the hot cake with a skewer insures that the syrup seeps into the cake and the flavor is absorbed.

I have two more finals left- Civil Procedure next Wednesday, and then Criminal Law the Tuesday after! Wish me luck!

*EDIT: I was featured in The Left Over Queen’s Finest Foodies Friday today! Isn’t that exciting? 😀 Haha. Go and check out the other blogs too!

9 Responses to “Lemon Syrup Cake and Cakelets”

  1. 1 Alea

    congrats on being featured on the site. also that cake looks good. your blog entries always make me hungry.

  2. 2 Harvey

    Congratulations on being featured on that site. Looks cool. Did you web traffic numbers increase signficantly?

    Also, the food looks great. Your blog always makes me hungry.

    • 3 Jeanne

      They jumped up a LOT on Thursday… and since I’ve joined Foodbuzz, my numbers have been jumping as well… 😀

      But now my only problem is that I’m kind of addicted (and definitely super distracted), but I need to study! Ahh! Trying to pound Civil Procedure into my brain…. -__-

  3. This looks so good. I love lemon!

  4. Looks lovely. Lemon is one of my favorites!

  5. oh duh you wrote that you were in your 1st year of law school in SF in this post, I should pay attention more, haha. Yes I’m in Rockville! Very small world indeed. Yes it’s been flurrying on and off, and its going to be a high of 38 today, eeee cold! This recipe looks good too. I don’t really cook, but I do enjoy to bake when I’m in that mood. Talk to ya soon girl!

  6. Love those soaked cakes I am literally drooling over the photographs….By the way thanks for becoming my FoodBuzz friend 🙂

  7. I love how you say ‘scant’ on the flour…we say that in the south when we mean a little more or less, and believe me I do not measure when I cook, I just know by site…I love citrus sweets! So I am going to try this one…look forward to reading your blogs… -E

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