Ok, so I’ve been missing in action, haven’t I?

My hubby and I went on a little holiday to my second home, Madeira.  We were eating a lot of lapas, bolo do caco, potatoes and very traditional, plain, healthy Portuguese food.  But I’m back.

I’m feeling generous!  And believe me, if I’m sharing THIS recipe with you, then I’m extremely giving today.  This cake, if done correctly, could be the best cake in the world.  It’s probably the one I bake the most, and it’s a hit with everyone.

So here it is….



  • 2 cups unbleached, stone ground flour
  • 1 1/2 cups castor sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 7 free range egg yolks, or 6 jumbo
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence or 1 squeeze extract
  • lemon juice of a whole lemon and the rind, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 7 egg whites or 6 jumbo


  1. Preheat lothe oven to 165 degC.
  2. Generously spray non-stick spray on to a large angel food cake tin.
  3. Measure your dry ingredients into a large bowl, and then sieve it twice.  Make a well and add in the oil, yolks, water, vanilla, lemon and grated rind.  Set aside for now.
  4. In an electrical mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until VERY stiff.
  5. Now beat the yolk mixture with an electrical mixer again until the mixture is light in color, thick and creamy.  Pour the yolk mixture over the egg whites and gently fold it all together.  It should be a light, puffy, batter.
  6. Pour it into the prepared tin and bake for 50 min, then increase the temperature to 175 degC and bake for another 10 min.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven, allow to stand for about 5-10 minutes, before removing it from the tin.

It’s very important that you know that this cake can be eaten plain, with nothing on.  Try it out like that first.  As for the frosting…

You need two tubs of cream cheese, lemon juice from 2 large lemons and the grated rind and some icing sugar.  After the cake has cooled, cut it through in half and drizzle juice of about 1 lemon directly on to the bottom half of the cake.  In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, rind, rest of the lemon juice and about half a cup of icing sugar.  Spoon half of the frosting on to the bottom layer,  place the top layer back on and top off with the rest of the frosting and decorate with fresh fruits or with sprinkles, or decorative chocolate art.

I go by taste when making the frosting, the lemon has to stand out, not the sugar.



There will be a lot of batter, and normally the cake spills batter in the oven.  You can keep about a 1/4 of it for cupcakes to prevent oven mess.

This cake only works if the egg whites are extremely stiff.

Remember to try it out plain, with no frosting.  Also, it can be made without any lemon, just vanilla.  

Remember to remove lemon pips!

Good luck!!!


Sandy Nouwens


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