4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan

10 ounces cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

Grated zest of 1 lemon

5 large eggs, at room temperature

11 ounces sugar

¾ cup crème fraîche, at room temperature

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Powdered sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9×3-inch round cake pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir the lemon zest into the flour mixture.


In a mixer fitted with a whip attachment, mix the eggs and sugar on high for 4 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy and doubled in volume. Add the crème fraîche and mix on low until just combined. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the butter, then 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the lemon juice, and then the remaining 1/3 of the flour mixture, mixing on low for only a few seconds after each addition until just combined, and stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Do not overmix. Transfer to the cake pan and spread evenly. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the edges of the cake start to shrink away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Invert onto a cooling rack and finish cooling completely. Dust with plenty of powdered sugar, cut into portions, and serve.


Makes 1 9-inch cake, serving 8. This cake is best the day it’s made. Definitely try the recipe with Meyer lemons when they’re in season. And if you don’t have crème fraîche, you can substitute sour cream.