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Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake

February 19, 2014

There were so many wonderful things that happened as a result of the nephrology conference I was part of last month. Several innovative studies resonated strongly. If reading about the particulars of this kidney-related stuff isn’t your bag… skip ahead to the image of the Meyer lemons and continue reading… you will be rewarded with a terrific recipe for a delicious lemon cake.

In the early days of my journey with kidney dialysis, my diet was severely restricted. Restricted in ways that’s foreign to most people. The more nutrients that fruits and vegetables have, paradoxically, the less I could partake in them. Case in point– dark green leafy vegetables, the greener the vegetable the more potassium it contains, the more dangerous it is for someone with limited or no kidney function. Most people who do the typical type of dialysis -the one where you go to a dialysis clinic three times a week for three-four hour treatments must, by  necessity, keep a close watch on their potassium intake, as well as many other things. Kidneys work round the clock. Dialysis, by its very nature, can’t. For years now, I do my dialysis treatment at home, four nights a week, which affords me the wonderful ability to enjoy all of of nature’s bounty. I may not have kidneys that  inside me, but I’m thankfully doing the best therapy out there that opens the door to excellent nutrition.

And what about the people who receive a much more limited type of dialysis? Too often, with the restrictions in one area, people are encouraged to eat lots of sugar and fat to compensate (?), and inevitably, lots of processed foods to keep up their caloric intake. Spinach? No. Margarine? Yes.  If it’s unhealthy for healthy folks, why the heck is it okay for those on dialysis? Guess what… it’s not. People who are diabetic, and there’s a lot of that in the world of dialysis, use sugar substitutes and eat packaged sugar-free stuff. More additives.

And here comes a physician with a revolutionary perspective… is the Mediterranean diet better than the current approach for people who are pre-dialysis? So simple and elegant. And why not for the dialysis crowd as well, with some slight adjustments?

With a nod to the Mediterranean Diet, I offer you a wonderful moist cake made with… olive oil.

Start with lovely aromatic Meyer lemons. Sweeter than regular lemons with a fragrant thin rind, these lemons are worth looking for.

lovely Meyer lemonsIf you can’t find them, use regular lemons and if you need to, add a smidge more sugar.

We’ll need the juice and the zest.

There are people who are in love with their Bundt pans. I have one but it’s my Springform pan that’s got the key to my heart. How can anyone resist that lock??

Meyer lemon juice and zestTell me…Who’s that girl running around with you?  Why does the above image remind me of that Annie Lennox song? Maybe the zesty eyes.

Uh oh, here comes another one… Zesty eyes… I never knew love could be so fine…zesty eyes…

Don’t even try to figure that out…

liquid batter ingredientsYou’ve got your wet ingredients. You’ve got your dry ingredients. Now turn yourself around.

No no.

Incorporate dry into wet.

add dry ingredients

Your springform awaits.

batter in springform

lemon syruplemon syrup is key

cake with syrupsyrup-infused cake

adding the glazeand now, the icing

I used only half the amount of icing that the original recipe had. If you like more icing , double the amount of sugar and lemon juice. But I prefer doing a drizzly glaze rather than a thick one.

glazed Meyer lemon cakeI’ve been waiting…for a cake like you…to come into my life

So I return home excited to bake this cake inspired by all that I  learned and  had re-affirmed. And  the very day I baked the cake was the very same day my wonderful niece was in the midst of having her baby. Sam made his grand entrance into the world later that night . So this cake, healthful  and aromatic is dedicated to you, our dear little Sam. May you be surrounded by all that is good and joyous as you grow. Happy Birthday and Welcome to the World!

Meyer lemon birthday cake

Meyer lemon birthday cake

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake

adapted from Winnie Abramson’s excellent blog, Healthy Green Kitchen


1 1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/8 t. sea salt
2 t. Meyer lemon zest (from about 2 small Meyer lemons)
1/2 c. lowfat Greek yogurt
3/4 c. sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 c. good quality, fruity olive oil
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. Meyer lemon juice
1/2 c. powdered sugar (may need an extra tablespoon sugar)
1 1/2 T. Meyer lemon juice


Pre-heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9″ springform pan (or grease and cut a circle of parchment paper to fit  the bottom.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the zest and incorporate.

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, eggs and olive oil. Beat with a whisk until  fully blended. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix well.

Pour batter into the springform pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool cake for 15 minutes and remove sides of pan. Prick the cake all over with a fork. Whisk syrup ingredients together and drizzle over the cake.

Allow the cake to cool for another 30 minutes. Whisk together the icing ingredients. If the icing seems too thin, add another spoon of sugar. It will harden on the cake. Put the icing on either by using an offset spatula, the back of a spoon or drizzling it all over. Let the cake rest for at least an hour for the icing to harden.

Makes about 10 slices.

There! Now wasn’t that easy?

Meyer Lemon Cake

 We’ve been waiting…for a baby like you… to come into our lives.

Sam aka babybeeintroduucing: babybee


From → Desserts, Fruit

  1. Congratulations, Auntie Judy!

  2. I have that tingle in my fingers – will have to try soon! I don’t think we have meyer lemons over here so will have to use regular ones.
    Thank you!

  3. Delicious, Judy! I am in withdrawal with no Meyer lemons! We had to uproot our tree when we added onto our house and it’s now in a pot. I think it was in shock last year, so no lemons this year, and it’s so hard to do without!! The tree is covered in flowers now, so fingers crossed this is the only time we won’t have them! Your cake sounds absolutely wonderful! I totally agree with you on the diet thing…why would anyone ever eat processed, chemical laden and fattening food, whether they have a health issue or not?! Silliness!

    Great post!!

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