Meyer Lemon Cake

No matter the ingredients, any cake is a treat to be enjoyed only occasionally. My version uses olive oil, local lemons, and locally grown flour. I hope you can enjoy it with others.

Cake Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Meyer lemon juice + zest of two lemons (see note)
  • 1 cup semolina flour (see note)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • 1 cup Greek nonfat yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Optional Glaze Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Coat two 9” round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper (9” circles)
  • Zest two Meyer lemons, set aside
  • Juice enough Meyer lemons to yield 1/4 cup, set aside
  • In a bowl, combine the semolina flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and mace.
  • In a separate bowl or a stand mixer, cream the sugar and the eggs until light and lemon colored.
  • Pour in the olive oil and mix until well blended.
  • Add the honey, yogurt, vanilla, reserved lemon juice, and zest. Mix at low speed to combine.
  • Slowly add the dry mix into the wet batter and mix at low speed until just combined.
  • Divide batter into prepared cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden.
  • If using the glaze, prepare it while the cake bakes. Warm the honey in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Set aside.
  • Remove cakes from oven and place on cooling racks.
  • If desired, use a pastry brush to apply the glaze to the tops of the cakes.
  • If desired, serve with 2 tablespoons warm cream or 1/4 cup high-quality ice cream.

Ingredient Notes:

  • Meyer lemons are in season. If you don’t have a tree, someone in your neighborhood probably does, but you can make the cake with regular lemons.
  • Semolina flour is ground whole durum wheat berries. It is coarser, darker, and more golden in color than all-purpose flour, and it has a mild, earthy aroma. Try garbanzo flour as a substitute for semolina flour if you must avoid gluten.

Subscribe to stay connected to Tucson. A subscription helps you access more of the local stories that keep you connected to the community.