“Let Them Eat Cake”: A Bastille Day Recipe

This week’s recipe is for Marie Antoinette. What with it being Bastille Day tomorrow, we thought we’d honor the woman who famously declared “let them eat cake” when told the peasants couldn’t afford bread and winded up losing her head a few years later. Vive la revolution!

As with many of our recipes, this is taken from our cookbook ‘Tea & Sympathy: The Life of An English Teashop in New York’, which is available in-store and to ship. If you’re interested in a copy, send us an email at info@teaandsympathynewyork.com or give us a call on 212-989-9735.

Sugar-Glazed Lemon Cake

This cake has a delicious tangy, sweet, slightly crunchy topping and is a firm favorite of all the staff here. The whole thing often gets eaten long before it makes it to the customer, sorry!

This photo is taken from the fabulous Milk & Mode blog, the lovely people behind which made our cake and said some very nice things about us: http://www.milkandmode.com/2011/01/sugar-glazed-lemon-cake.html/.

Serves 6-8
Preparation Time: 1 hour and 35-50 minutes

For the cake:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup whole milk

For the glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of 4 lemons

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • To prepare the cake: Grease and flour an 8 x 4 1/2 x 3-inch loaf tin.
  • In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • With a spatula, fold in the flour and baking powder.
  • Add the lemon juice and zest and the milk a little at a time.
  • Transfer the mixture to the loaf tin and bake for about 1 1/4-1 1/2 hours, until soft and spongy to the touch.
  • To prepare the glaze: Gently heat the sugar and lemon juice together until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to boil for about 15 seconds.
  • Pour the syrup over the cake while it is warm and let cool.