Thursday, May 7, 2020

Alison Roman's Lemon Turmeric Cake @lucyburdette

LUCY BURDETTEEveryone knows that Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend, but sadly the usual options of taking the moms out to brunch or dinner are not available this year. (Or most of us don’t want to risk it!) And that means cooking of course. In Alison Roman’s new cookbook, Nothing Fancy, she talks about a lemon turmeric tea cake that is her “house cake.“ She raves about how good it is. I don’t even really love lemon desserts, but how could I not try this? 

I have made it twice since that first attempt, changing it only by decreasing the salt, using lower sodium baking powder, and sprinkling half the amount of sugar on the top. For the second cake, I used 1 tsp of turmeric because I have some that is very special. This cake is incredibly delicious and would make any mom feel special.


One and a half cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Three-quarter teaspoon ground turmeric (I made it a full teaspoon the second time)
1 cup +1 tablespoon sugar
Zest from one grated lemon plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from that same lemon
Three-quarter cup sour cream or yogurt
Two large eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 lemon washed, thinly sliced and seeded

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan and then fit it with parchment paper overlapping the edges so the cake is easy to remove.

Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, salt and turmeric.

Combine 1 cup of sugar with the lemon zest and rub this together until the sugar turns yellow. Whisk in the eggs, the sour cream, and the lemon juice.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring minimally. Fold in the melted butter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Top the batter with the thin lemon slices and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for about 50 minutes until the tester comes out clean. This will depend of course on how hot your oven runs. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove the cake to a platter. Some people like this served with ice cream – any flavor will do, but John suggests chocolate. I like the cake by itself so I can enjoy the amazing flavors!

Only two months until the next book in the Key West food critic mystery series will arrive in bookstores everywhere! THE KEY LIME CRIME (July 2020) is available for pre-order now!

You can order it at an independent bookstoreBarnes and Noble, Amazon, and anywhere books are sold!

I can't tell you how excited I was when Krista spotted this review for THE KEY LIME CRIME in Publishers' Weekly:


  1. I can honestly say I've never heard of a cake with turmeric listed as an ingredient. Along with you high recommendation, you have me intrigued. That means that I'll be trying this one very soon. Thanks for the recipe

    Can't wait for the opportunity to read THE KEY LIME CRIME.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Thanks Kay! I don’t think I had ever heard of turmeric in a cake either, but it sure was delicious and beautiful

  2. I know what "cake" I am going to make for my birthday tomorrow - and if the SU doesn't like it, I can eat it all, over the next few days. Thank You for sharing this.


    1. Happy birthday PJ! I know you will enjoy this one and I will be thinking of you enjoying it

  3. Do the ingredients above reflect your adjusted amounts of sugar, etc?
    This sounds positively intriguing.
    Turmeric is so good for you, too.

  4. This is the 3rd recipe I've stumbled upon today using turmeric, but by far the most unusual! I added it to my list as I've run out, since I cook with it often. (It's great in so many ethnic dishes, and for making yellow rice it's so much cheaper than saffron!) Oh and I love lemon anything, so I was surprised to learn you weren't that crazy about lemon desserts! Learn something new every day. Thanks for the new recipe, Lucy/Ro!

  5. This looks divine! What size loaf pan did you use?

  6. Lucy/Roberta, inquiring minds are still wondering about the amounts here. Are they your adjusted ones or the original ones?