Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Snacking Cake


When Meyer lemons are in season, I cannot get enough of them!  I find all kinds of ways to use them in recipes.  Did you know Meyer lemons actually originated in China, where they are grown as ornamentals in garden pots?  They came to the US in 1908 yet were not really popular in cooking  until Alice Waters of the famous Chez Panisse restaurant discovered them and put them on her menu in the 1990s.  Further popularity was gained when Martha Stewart introduced them in her recipes.  The Meyer lemon is a cross between a true lemon and a mandarin orange or a regular orange.  It is thinner and smoother skinned with a distinctive taste.  For this recipe I played around with Dario Cocchini’s famous olive oil orange cake recipe.   I wanted to make it with Meyer lemons and include the whole fruit, peel, juice and pith.  If you are a marmalade lover, you will like the bite of citrus in this cake.  It is not very sweet and has a bitter note, so it lends itself well to a smear of jam.  It is meant to be enjoyed for breakfast or as a late afternoon snack with a cup of strong coffee or tea.   It can be enjoyed over 3 days.   It also freezes well.  Enjoy!


  • Servings: 8=10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2-3 Meyer Lemons, quartered, seeds removed
  • 1/3 c olive oil  (not extra virgin)
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • powdered sugar to dust top


1) Preheat oven to 350 F.

2)  Cut  a small slice off both ends of the lemons.   In a food processor, grind up the whole lemons coarsely ensuring some texture remains.

3)  Add the oil and pulse to combine.

4)  Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs and add in the sugar.  Beat until fluffy and smooth.

5)  Add the egg mixture to the lemon mixture and stir until smooth.  Into this, add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, mixing until just incorporated after each addition.  Avoid overmixing.

6)  Pour into a greased 9 inch springform pan.  Bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes, on a middle rack.  Cool before slicing.  Dust with powdered sugar to serve. Yield 12 servings.

I used 3 lemons but if you want a cake with a bit less citrus bite, use 2.

I used 3 lemons but if you want a cake with a bit less citrus bite, use 2.



Whole lemons coarsely chopped in a food processor


Dry ingredients, beaten eggs with sugar and lemons with olive oil are ready to be mixed together.


Cake batter ready to go into the oven. Look at those chunks of Meyer lemon!


The golden beauty with its dusting of powdered sugar.

image image

Vincent Van Gogh, 1889, Still Life of Oranges and Lemons with Blue Gloves, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Vincent Van Gogh, 1889, Still Life of Oranges and Lemons with Blue Gloves, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC



37 thoughts on “Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Snacking Cake

  1. Oh my Johanne, love, love the ingredients. I couldn’t imagine the food processor doing what it did to those lemons though? I’d have thought the entire machine would blow up in smoke :). Like the still life Van Gogh painting too.

    • The food processor just graciously did its job without incident!:) We have a similar palate I think Loretta! I loved this cake but it’s not for everyone. Have you tried Stonewall Kitchens’ Holiday Jam? It was soooo good on this cake. Too good if you know what I mean!!!! Have a great weekend Loretta!

      Sent from my iPad


      • I’ll have to look for Stonewall Kitchens’ jam. Have a great weekend too Johanne. By the way, are you afraid of visiting my blog these days? ha ha I remember your problem with the last comment and continuing to receive comments from everyone else. 🙂 Oh, and I was also going to mention. If you still visit TO, are you familiar with Porter Airlines? They are a Canadian airline, they fly out of Newark EWR and land on the island strip in Downtown TO. We drove last week and it was awful, so this coming weekend, we are flying from EWR on Porter, the prices are amazing! Just a tip if you visit TO regularly.

      • Porter was founded by a gentleman from my home town and a close friend of mine is their general counsel in TO. It is fabulous! They now come to Philly and DC but prices are a bit higher from Philly and it still stops in EWR so we just go there. I have flown in the am, spend the day visiting friends inTO then take an evening connection to my hometown , Timmins, and just walk to the airport from dinner on the waterfront. Amazing experience. I have not caught up on this week’s posts but I did see how popular those pork chops were!!!!!!!!! Sent from my iPad


      • Ahhh, how about that – so Timmins is now on the map thanks to Porter :)). This is our first time flying on Porter out of EWR. I didn’t think Porter flew out of PHL or DC? I am going to have my camera ready, I imagine landing at the island airport affords wonderful views at touchdown. My husband flew there last month, and he said they were now building a walkway instead of the ferry. We’ve been visiting TO regularly as ma in law is in Hospice care now. Mostly we drive though. Have a lovely Sunday 🙂

    • I love all things lemon too! Try Meyer lemons on their own first to see if you like the taste. They taste sort of peppery. Very different taste than regular lemons. Thanks for stopping by Natalie!

      Sent from my iPad


  2. What an interesting cake–it certainly doesn’t leave any waste! I’m excited to try something along these lines.
    And cakes that are not too sweet lend themselves very well to eating at all times of the day… 🙂

    • Hi Michele, Ginger also told me she could not find them in the UK either. I think they will appear in the near future since they’ve only been around here in regular markets for about 2-3 years. What about Key limes? They are so great….smaller but so juicy and they make the best Key lime pie!

      Sent from my iPad


  3. hi Johanne, I recently made a cake with olive oil and Meyer lemon in the glaze and it was so good, but I love that you used the fruit in the actual cake, sounds divine~love love love Meyer lemons!

    • Thanks Jenna, me too! Using the whole fruit makes the cake bitter sort of like marmalade, an acquired taste. Adding a galze would also sweeten it more. But I love this taste!

      Sent from my iPad


  4. Pingback: grapefruit rose cake | ten.times.tea

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