Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mary's Lemon Cake Repeated for 4th of July tradition!

I'm laughing trying to figure out how to be interesting this week.


I'm not even close to cooking, it's a crazy time of year because our schools just ended last week (we're late every year) and this is 4th of July week so each day I have a different crew of sweet kids here.... so the idea of continuity or planning is null and void!

So because this is 4th of July, I'm going to repeat "Mary's Lemon Cake" a cake that still means a great deal to our whole family. We always make it for family picnics/get togethers. It's a tradition, it's easy and everyone loves it! So here it is as published August 9, 2012:

I looked and didn't see this summertime favorite but that could be for numerous reasons:

A.  I forget to label things!

B.  I forget to label things!


C.  I forget to label things, LOL!

But this recipe is an old favorite. It's one of the few things my mother made after I was old enough to remember. By the time I was seven or eight, her alcoholism and depression had taken over and it wasn't until I was in my mid-thirties that I got to meet my mother sober. What a joyous thing that was!  Sure, there was a lot of water under the bridge, but I had God with me, all the time. Remember that song, Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel?  That song spoke to me in so many ways of God's redeeming love and protection.

This cake is tart/sweet, it's moist and tender, it's a perfect 'pick up a slice and eat' kind of picnic offering. I don't know where it originated (probably McCall's magazine or something like that) but it's a huge crowd pleaser whenever our family gets together. And yes...

It's Easy-Peasy!  :)


1 yellow cake mix
1 large package lemon Jello
4 eggs (I'm using my fresh eggs from the chicken coop!!!)
3/4 cup oil
1 cup water

Mix together. Beat on medium speed for 4 minutes.

Pour into greased and floured 13" x 9" pan....

Bake at 350 degrees (moderate oven) until cake is done. Cake is done when it springs back when lightly touched in middle OR when you insert a toothpick into the middle and all that clings to it are a few moist crumbs. To tell that you really must withdraw the toothpick from the cake. I may or may not have forgotten to mention that!  ;)

Cool 5 minutes. Or six or seven. Prick cake with wide-pronged meat fork... Prick thoroughly.

Each hole you make provides a channel of glazing deliciousness.

Make glaze:

3 cup 10 X sugar (can you tell this is an old recipe????)  Powdered sugar was often referred to as "10X" or Confectioner's sugar to make the distinction between that and normal grind sugar.
3/4 cup Lemon Juice
Whisk sugar and lemon juice together. Slowly drizzle over cake, allowing liquid to seep into all those precious little holes you made.

Amazingly delicious cold, warm or at room temperature. Seriously, sitting down and eating the ENTIRE THING is never a bad idea. You can always make more, right?

And there you have it, a Herne/Blodgett standby, an old favorite that's melt-in-your-mouth perfect for eating on a plate or out of hand! DELICIOUS and wonderful for 4th of July picnic spreads!


  1. Ruthy,
    This sounds very much like my made-from-scratch lemon pound cake. My version is more time consuming, therefore I don't make it that often. I like your version as I am now at a point in my life when easy-peasy is all I want to do any more. Giving this one a try.
    I sympathize with you on your mom's addiction, I have a heavy drinker in my life too, but God is with me, like you, and He gets me through the tough stuff! I'm glad your mom got sober and am praying for people with addictions today, for their freedom from it. Seems appropriate for Independence Day, Happy 4th :)

    1. Prayers right back for your situation... sincerely given and freely shared, Tracey! Addictions are wretched things, and when you see them first-hand it's a wake-up call that "there but for the grace of God..."

      This recipe is so moist and tender that it puts all lemon pound cakes to shame. The different texture is the clutch and while I like lemon cake as a rule... I LOVE THIS!!!! :) Try it and see, then tell us what you think!

  2. That's what we call a poke cake. Ditto what Tracey said about freedom from addictions!

    1. Julie, yes, it's like the original "Poke Cake".... and it melts in your mouth! Amen to the triplet prayers and thoughts on addictions...

      May God guide those afflicted to freedom and health.


  3. YUM! Is this Mary Connealy's cake?? Or Mary Curry? Or some other Mary in your family?? (Sorry if I missed it in the text.) :)

    1. My mother Mary, but Mary Connealy INSISTS that my little granddaughter Mary Ruth is named for HER... and she got top billing, so piffle on her, she's a B-R-A-T!!!! :)

    2. Well DUH. I read the first paragraph and just scrolled through the pretty photos of the preparation--getting sucked in by the moist cake! I LOVE cakes that have liquids drizzled on them like that.

      But if I'd read only one or two paragraphs further, I would have answered my own question! Feeling silly now.

  4. I never saw this cake before. I would remember. I think it needs Cool Whip on top. With a sprinkle of lemon zest. oooooh!

    1. Cool Whip is never a bad thing!!!! It was originally posted July 9, 2012 I believe.... and lemon and cream, aye caramba!!!! Wonderful!!!

  5. Yay -- you were inspired to repeat because this is just what I need for the weekend. I didn't make it last time you posted but tomorrow's grocery day so I'm going to get the ingredients. Lovely cool treat for the warm weather we're heading into again. Just came out of a heat wave and I think I have a three day window of opportunity when I can use my oven before the next heat wave hits. I'll bake up a storm and freeze individual slices so I can accommodate my sweet tooth all summer long...and have something nummy for when guests stop by. Do y'all find you have more drop in visitors in the summer?

    I finished up school last week too. Us Northeners seem to finish later but get to go back later too. Yay summer!

    1. Kav, I do the same thing!!! That way if I'm desperate for carrot cake or cheesecake or cake, I can grab ONE SLICE and not eat the whole stinkin' thing!!!!

      Oh, do try this.... and then tell me what you think. When it comes out of the oven it looks a little "browner" than normal yellow cake, but don't let that worry you... Just glaze away!!!!

  6. I remember this cake and we had a discussion over the book "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake". Or maybe the book discussion came first and the cake after? Either way, I still haven't made it and I'm a fool for lemon anything.

    I'm still baking away at the beach. As in, my body is backing. They said it would be 55F (not unusual for the Oregon coast) and rainy. So I unpacked all the shorts and T's, and repacked pants and sweatshirts.
    It's 70F and sunny. That first day, even with sunscreen, I turned RED. And I'm slowly learning to shrug again without wincing.
    I bet this cake would be delicious with berries. MMMMM...

    1. Oh, I am feeling your pain of being away from home with kids and the wrong clothing. I'm sending kisses for your sunburn, what on earth is up with the sun shining in Oregon?????? Um, HELLO??????? Yes, I loved that discussion (I think Julie was in on it) about The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake!!!! And berries would be good, I mean how can they be BAD???? but honestly this cake is good all on its own.

      Soooo goood!!!!

  7. Hey, that's MY mom's lemon cake! It's an old family favorite here too. And it's famous as the cake I made for mom's birthday the year my sister had to call and remind me it WAS mom's birthday. The cake was ready before she came home from work, but it didn't get me off the hook.

    1. Andrea!!!! I swear I'm your mother in absentia!!!!! We have weird parallel lives and we love Cranberry Splash Sierra Mist!!!! Go us!!!! We can drink it with our lemon cake! Hey, how are you feeling???? When is this baby due???? So does this coming baby boy have a name???? And is he going to be da sweetest, cutest, most darwing wittle fingie every born????????? :) I love me some babies!!!!