Lemon Sour Cream Cake

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Lemon Yogurt Cake

I had some Meyer lemons going bad in the fridge so I figured a cake would be a great way to use them up.  Plus I love all things lemon so it was no big sacrifice to make (and eat).

It is a 3 step process; after the cake you make a lemon simple-syrup, then a lemon glaze.  The original recipe calls for yogurt and vegetable oil.  I had neither of those, but I had sour cream and olive oil which were excellent substitutes.



  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup sour cream (you can use plain yogurt too)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup olive oil

For the syrup:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • For the glaze:
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream (optional)
  • Confectioners sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Grease and flour a loaf pan
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the sour cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla and zest.
  5. Once combined, add in the dry ingredients slowly.
  6. With a spatula, fold in the olive oil.
  7. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the loaf is baking, add the lemon juice and sugar together in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves.

One the loaf is done, cool it for 10 minutes in the pan. After 10 minutes, turn out onto a cooling rack with some tinfoil underneath to catch runoff.  Poke it a bunch of times with a toothpick.  Then brush the lemon simple-syrup all over the loaf.  You can do a couple coats.

Now the hard part.  You have to let it cool COMPLETELY.  Probably another half hour to an hour.

Once the cake is cooled, put together the lemon juice, optional heavy cream and confectioners sugar until you have a glaze where you like the consistency (thick enough not to run off the cake).  I like the heavy cream because it keeps the glaze thick and white (and I had some on hand leftover from some soup).

Now you can glaze the cake and let it sit for a few minutes for the glaze to harden.  Cut, eat and enjoy!