Great-Grandma’s Lemon Cake

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 65 min. + cooling


2 cakes (24 servings)

Updated: Apr. 22, 2022
"Baking and giving" is a hobby of mine, and I love to bake my gifts by using old-fashioned recipes like this one, which was my great-grandmother's. There aren't too many shortcuts in these directions, but I enjoy aspect of "measuring and mixing"! This is one of my favorites, copied down from my mother's old cookbook.


  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup milk
  • Confectioners' sugar


  1. Let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Add to creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in lemon zest and juice. Combine flour and baking soda; add alternately with milk. In another bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.
  2. Pour into two well-greased 9x5-in. loaf pans. Bake at 325° for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Dust tops with confectioners' sugar.
If Cooking for Two: Wrap and freeze one cake to enjoy later.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 262 calories, 9g fat (5g saturated fat), 66mg cholesterol, 122mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (25g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.