Friday, March 19, 2010

Grandma Meme's Lemon Cake

When I was a little girl, my grandmother Meme made this wonderful cake. She died when I was only 10 years old. I don't remember ever having this cake again. That is, until many years later when I happened upon a yellowed envelope.

It was the first spring in our newly built home (13 years ago) and my father had come to spend the week with us, helping my husband work on the yard. I pulled out the yellowed envelope and decided to surprise him. At some point, I called them in and sat my father down, asking him to close his eyes. I placed that cake right under his nose and asked him to take in a deep breath. "Meme's Lemon Cake!" was his immediate response. Even after 20 years, the aroma still evoked incredible memories of a very special lady and her ability to bring joy to all who knew her.

This cake has been served on my son's birthday every year since he was just a little guy. It's his favorite. A few years ago, we started a tradition with dear friends who come over during winter break when their boys are home from college. Our get together usually falls on their son, Alex's, birthday. Now, Alex gets this cake on his birthday! Can I say it's my brother-in-law, Roger's, favorite cake too? Honestly, it's just one of those recipes.

Be warned, after you've made this recipe just one time, you will find your pantry stocked with the ingredients. Make it in the morning, serve it in the afternoon or evening. We find it's even better the next day!

Grandma Meme’s Lemon Cake

1 yellow cake mix
2 small packages Instant Lemon Pudding
6 eggs
¾ cup oil
¾ cup water

Beat together above ingredients until smooth and creamy (the batter will be the color of butter) and pour into ungreased 9x13 cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until cake pops up after lightly touching the center—do not over bake.

While the cake is baking, use a wire whisk to mix together the following:

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup lemon juice

After removing cake from the oven, let cool 5 minutes and then carefully poke holes all through cake using a fork (two-tine meat fork works best); slowly pour glaze over cake and use the back of a spoon to press and spread glaze over cake.

Michelle's Note: This cake can be served after it's cooled, but it's really best after the glaze soaks in for a while. Make the cake the night before you want to serve it; cover the pan with foil or a clean cotton towel (after the cake has cooled). Over the years I've eliminated using water in the glaze. I use an extra two tablespoons of lemon juice and an extra tablespoon of butter.



  1. That's neat! And it sounds reeeeeeally good...

  2. My Dear Michelle - It is always special to spend Alex's birthday with your family, and Grandma Meme's lemon cake :) When I bake it, it becomes breakfast, lunch and snack for everyone until it is gone! Another great blessing from my friend who is my blessing from the Lord! Thanks, dear one. teri

  3. OK, this is the Duncan Hines Lemon Pound cake recipe. Your Grandma Meme added just one Extra Ingredient- LOVE-- with a capital L.
    This Very Same Cake has been Marianne's Birthday Cake since she was a very small child.
    we always had two cakes. HER'S and the decorated one. I NEVER knew until now, this very day that it was Also Meme's Famous "LEMON CAKE". Isn't life a HOOT? Thanks Michelle.
    Oh ans by the way, I LOVE YOUR WRITINGS EVERYDAY!! EB

  4. So many people are afraid of giving away their "secrets" - I love that you share your recipes! Some of your favorites have become some of my favorites and whenever I prepare them, they always conjure up thoughts of you, my dear sister-in-law! xoxox