There’s a well-known new book out there called The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. The premise? The narrator, when eating a dish, can detect the emotions of the person who prepared the dish.


I haven’t read it, so I can’t really say much more about it. But since I heard about it, I’ve idly wondered what would pop up when people eat my food. Would people take a bite and know my emotions (“She’s gaga over some dude, it’s sickening” “Oh! I see… interesting… she is not sure she is okay with the not-making-money part of this not-having-a-job thing, but… yes! [chewing harder]… she is definitely enjoying it otherwise”) or would they just hear the often nonsensical bits and pieces that flitter through my head, especially when I’m in the baking buzz zone (“Huh, it’s weird how I *still* don’t fully know if a green olive is just an unripe black olive” “Is Todd Bridges dead or alive?” “I’m pretty sure that Journey lyric is ‘I’m forever yours, if you leave.'”

Super-moist lemon cake |

Not sure. While I was plating the big, moist, lemony-sweet squares of cake, I remembered the book, so I paid a little attention to my guy when gobbled down his piece. He didn’t take a bite and then look over at me, shocked, confused, or elated, so I guess he doesn’t have the gift. Or my Lemon Cake and I are not particularly emotional.

It’s really tasty, though. The cake is exceptionally moist and lemony. The glaze only heightens that zippy lemon and keeps everything sweet, tender, and perfect.

Plus, it’s a cinch to prepare – you whip it all up right there in the baking dish. So easy.

Super-moist lemon cake |

Here’s the recipe. Think pure and good thoughts while making it, just in case!

Super-moist lemon cake |
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins

Super Moist Lemon Cake

5 from 3 votes
Whip up this easy and exceptionally moist lemon cake right in its baking dish! So simple and utterly scrumptious.
Yield: 9


  • Cake
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (you can make your own: 3/4 cup milk + about a tablespoon lemon juice, let sit for about 10 minutes, done!)
  • Glaze
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (melted)
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and butter an 8-inch x 8-inch baking pan.
  • Pour the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt directly into the pan, and whisk it all together well.
  • In a small bowl, beat together the egg and the lemon zest.
  • Using the back of a spoon, make two wells in the flour mixture.
  • Pour the egg and lemon zest into one of the wells in the flour mixture.
  • Pour the melted butter into the other well.
  • Pour the buttermilk all over the top.
  • Whisk it all together so that it's well blended. There may be a few lumps - no biggie!
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Make the glaze: Mix together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and melted butter.
  • Pour the glaze over the cooled cake.
  • Cut into squares and serve with whipping cream or vanilla ice cream.

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