Zesty Lemon Crazy Cake Recipe

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Discover the delightful taste of Lemon Crazy Cake, a dessert marvel that requires no eggs, milk, or butter in the cake itself but delivers a fantastic lemony burst. Topped with a luscious lemon buttercream, this cake is a treat for any occasion!

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Zesty Lemon Crazy Cake Recipe

Understanding Lemon Crazy Cake

Lemon Crazy Cake, also known as a “Depression Cake,” originates from a time when ingredients like eggs, milk, and butter were scarce. This recipe celebrates the ingenuity of that era with a modern twist, infusing rich lemon flavors into every slice.

Zesty Lemon Crazy Cake Recipe

Ingredients and Alternatives

Essential Cake Ingredients:

  • Lemons: Needed for both zest and juice to infuse the cake and frosting with vibrant citrus notes.
  • Buttercream: Includes butter for richness, enhancing the cake’s flavor profile.

Zesting and Juicing:

It’s efficient to zest and then juice the same lemons. Remember to zest only the outer yellow layer to avoid the bitter white pith.

Color and Flavor Options:

  • Food Coloring: Add a few drops of yellow food coloring to the batter for a vibrant look.
  • Buttercream Omission: The cake also stands out on its own, perfect if you prefer less sweetness.

Zesty Lemon Crazy Cake Recipe

Storing and Freezing

  • Room Temperature Storage: Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Wrap the unfrosted cake in plastic and then in foil; freeze to maintain freshness for up to a month.

Zesty Lemon Crazy Cake Recipe

Converting to Cupcakes

Easily make this recipe into cupcakes by filling lined muffin tins three-quarters full and baking at 350°F (175°C) for 15-20 minutes.

Zesty Lemon Crazy Cake Recipe


Lemon Cake

  • 1½ cups (190g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5g) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon (6g) lemon zest
  • ½ cup (120ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) distilled white vinegar
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (240ml) water

Lemon Buttercream

  • 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3½ cups (440g) confectioners’ sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon (0.75g) kosher salt
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced (about ¼ cup [60ml])
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons (9g) lemon zest


Making the Cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease an 8×8-inch (20×20 cm) baking dish.
  2. Mix dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and lemon zest.
  3. Combine wet ingredients: Stir in lemon juice, vinegar, oil, and water until the batter is smooth.
  4. Bake: Pour batter into the prepared dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

Preparing the Buttercream:

  1. Beat the butter: Using a mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and salt until smooth.
  2. Add flavorings: Mix in lemon juice and vanilla, beating until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  3. Incorporate zest: Fold in lemon zest last to keep the flavor fresh and vibrant.

Assembling the Cake:

  1. Frost the cake: Once cooled, spread the lemon buttercream evenly over the cake.

Zesty Lemon Crazy Cake Recipe

This Lemon Crazy Cake with its tangy and sweet flavors is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, bringing a bright note to any dining table!

Zesty Lemon Crazy Cake Recipe

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