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That’s right—it’s back.

It’s just, all I could think about was cooking with Meyer lemons.  Obviously this was an easily remedied problem, so I come bearing a whole new batch of Meyer lemon recipes.

This time, I went to the Sunkist website to see if they had any special recipes.  I figured since they were the ones selling the Meyer lemons, they should have some good recipes.  When I found this recipe for walnut cake, I was equal parts intrigued and excited.  How can you make a cake with only four ingredients and no flour whatsoever?

The lack of flour was definitely a plus for me, since I’m constantly on the lookout for recipes that are gluten-free or are easily adaptable to be gluten-free.  Cakes are really tough because gluten-free flour tends to give them a really weird texture.  Even those no-flour chocolate cakes kind of weird me out, although they’re still delicious.  I was surprised that one of the things I liked best about this cake was the weird texture.

I had no idea what this cake would taste like.  Walnuts, sure, but other than that?  I just didn’t know.  It ended up tasting nutty and slightly sweet with a hint of lemon.  The lemon syrup that goes over the top really makes it special.  We ate it with lightly sweetened strawberries over the top—so good.

But this recipe didn’t come without a boatload of trouble, which, for once, was totally not my fault!  While I was mixing everything up, I realized that they had me adding sugar in twice, when the recipe only called for a teensy bit of sugar added in when you grind the walnuts.  I wanted to check out similar recipes to see how they handled the sugar.  Maybe the recipe was right, but I’m still pretty sure Sunkist got it wrong.  As a result, I added ¼ cup of sugar to the egg yolks.  My cake turned out lightly sweet, which is just what I wanted—a nutty, lemony cake with a hint of sweetness.

I also encountered a surprise when I was baking the cake.  All the recipes I saw said that walnut cake bakes for 50-60 minutes.  After about 30 minutes I checked on my cake and was extremely confused when it looked done.  I tested it with a toothpick and, sure enough, it was done.  I have no idea what happened.  My advice for anybody who decides to make this cake is to check on it regularly from 30 minutes on, just in case yours decides to be difficult and bake super quickly like mine did.

Meyer lemon walnut cake

3 cups walnuts

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon white sugar

4 large eggs, separated

1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest

¼ teaspoon salt

Meyer lemon syrup

½ cup Meyer lemon juice (about three lemons)

6 tablespoons sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.  Spray a 9 inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
  2. Using a food processor, grind up the walnuts until they look kind of like sand—not too much or you’ll get walnut butter.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest, and salt to make a thick batter.
  4. Beat the egg whites with a mixer until stiff peaks form.
  5. With a rubber spatula, fold about ¼ of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.  Add the walnuts and stir until combined.  Gradually add in the rest of the egg whites, making sure not to overstir.
  6. Pour into the pan and bake for 50-60 minutes—but start checking on it after 30 minutes.  It should feel firm to the touch when done.
  7. To make syrup, combine lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stir a few times, and remove from heat.
  8. To serve, cut cake into 12 slices.  I’d recommend serving it with strawberries.  Drizzle the syrup over everything.

This wasn’t exactly a snap to make.  However, it was worth it for the delicious end result.  I was definitely excited to get back to cooking with Meyer lemons.  More to come soon!

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