Lemon Cake

8” square cake     I love all things lemon.  Here’s a quick cake that uses a mix from Trader Joe’s plus plenty of lemon. I use fresh lemon and fresh zest, although sometimes I’ll use a dehydrated zest to for a more intense flavor. It’s a great quick dessert. I like that it only makes a small 8″ square cake.



1 box Trader Joe’s Vanilla cake mix (requires eggs and butter)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (1-2 lemons, depending on size)

about 3 cups + powdered sugar

lemon zest from 1 lemon – divided

1 + 1/4 tsp lemon extract – divided



Make the cake according to the directions. Substitute 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp lemon extract for the equal amount of butter.  Add half of the lemon zest. Mix all together as directed on the package and bake. Allow it cool for about 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, blend together 1/2 cup of the lemon juice and about 1-1/2 cups of powdered sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Poke holes in the cooling cake with a fork, or use a narrow bamboo skewer.  Gradually drizzle about half of the the lemon mixture over the cake, letting it soak in. Then allow the cake to cool completely.


Add more powdered sugar to the remaining lemon mixture and stir or whisk until dissolved. Add the rest of the lemon zest plus 1/4 tsp lemon extract and stir until the mixture is thickened enough to make a thick glaze. Adjust the taste – add more lemon juice a few drops at a time, if it seems too sweet. Pour it over the cooled cake and let it set.