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Lemon cake recipes

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

Citrus desserts for summer

The scent and taste of lemon and other citrus delectably bring on thoughts of summer. Delivering bright, sweet flavors, lemon cakes and zesty cupcakes are perfect for a picnic or barbecue. Experiment with lemon and other citrus fruits to create refreshing and satisfyingly sweet desserts for those long, hot summer days. Here are three scrumptious citrus cake recipes to get you started.

Grapefruit cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Makes 16 cupcakes


  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 eggs, separated3 tablespoons plus 3 teaspoons fresh grapefruit juice, divided
  • 3 teaspoons freshly grated grapefruit zest, divided
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 16 pieces candied grapefruit


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. Combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl. In a large bowl, beat oil with water, egg yolks, 3 tablespoons grapefruit juice, and 2 teaspoons zest. Gradually beat in flour mixture until smooth.
  4. In a second large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Beat in 1 teaspoon grapefruit juice. Gently fold egg whites into batter until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into cupcake pan. If you have leftover batter, bake it in a separate pan or bake when the first batch is finished. Bake cupcakes for 16 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, beat cream cheese, 2 teaspoons grapefruit juice, 1 teaspoon zest, and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. When cupcakes are fully cooled, spread frosting on top. Garnish with candied grapefruits.

Next up: Orange-glazed bundt cake

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