Meyer Lemon Sponge Cake

By Chef Laura Frankel

Sponge cakes are boring and HO-Hum unless you kick them up a bit.
My sponge cake gets added oomph from Meyer lemons. Meyer lemons are cross between a tangerine and lemon. The fruit is fragrant and lively with the perfume of tangerine.
I also use vanilla bean in my cake. The essence from the vanilla bean adds an elegant flavor and aroma.
I bake my sponge in individual cake pans and add Meyer lemon curd as a filling between the layers. The curd is tart and refreshing.
You can also bake the sponge cake in a bundt style pan and place a dollop of the delicious curd right on top of the cake.

Ingredients for Sponge Cake

1 cup matzo cake meal
6 tablespoons potato starch
½ teaspoon sea salt
7 large eggs, separated
1 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
1 ½ tablespoons grated Meyer lemon zest
½ cup Meyer lemon juice
½ Tahitian vanilla bean, scraped

Directions for Sponge Cake

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix the flour, potato starch, and salt into a bowl and set it aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and 1 cup of the sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl once. Mixture should be thick and light. Mix in the lemon zest, juice, and vanilla on low speed just until blended. Set aside.
In another large mixing bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until the whites are thick and quite foamy. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar while beating the egg whites on high speed until they are stiff and glossy, about 7 minutes.
Fold in 1/3 of matzo mixture using a rubber spatula into the beaten egg yolks. Fold in another third of the flour mixture along with a third of the beaten egg whites. Then, fold in the remaining flour, then the remaining egg whites, until the batter is completely mixed in. Pour slowly into 9-inch cake pans and smooth the top with a spoon.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, remove onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Carefully remove cakes from the pans.
Spread layers with Meyer lemon curd and finish cake with Meyer lemon glaze

Meyer Lemon Curd

There is nothing especially Pesadich about this recipe. It is so delicious you can use it year round. My Meyer lemon curd is a clean recipe. I don't use margarine as a butter substitute, instead I add rich and delicious olive oil to give the curd extra richness and shine. The curd is delicious as a cake filling and as a "dip" for berries and other fruit.

Ingredients for Meyer Lemon Curd

2 teaspoons Meyer lemon zest
Juice of 4 Meyer lemons
½ cup granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Directions for Meyer Lemon Curd

Grate lemons to make 2 teaspoons zest. Whisk together zest, juice, sugar, salt, and eggs in a non-reactive pot. Place over medium-low heat and cook, whisking, until thickened and smooth, about 5 minutes. Strain curd through a fine sieve set into another bowl. Add the olive oil and mix thoroughly. Chill until ready to add to cake. Cover with plastic before chilling to prevent skin forming.


Meyer Lemon Glaze

The simple glaze adds flavor and finishes the cake beautifully. Be sure to use the glaze quickly before the sugar crystallizes and becomes grainy.

Ingredients for Meyer Lemon Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice

Directions for Meyer Lemon Glaze

Mix vigorously to combine. Use immediately.


Recipe: Kosher, parve, passover, pesach