golden lemon and turmeric cake


Nik Sharma

Hey Friends, I’m a multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook author and photographer.

golden lemon and turmeric cake| A Brown Table

Good news folks, I just learned last week that my column for the San Francisco Chronicle, A Brown Kitchen is nominated in the Culinary Website category by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP)!!! This is such an exciting moment and one that I’m extremely thankful for. As always, thank for your continued support. Writing a recipe column to share the versatility and strengths of Indian cuisine has been a dream come true. 

I wrote a little primer on how to establish your own Indian spice pantry at home, it’s simple and straightforward with all the basic information to get you started. Check it out!

So to celebrate here’s a Meyer lemon cake that I’ve decided to label “golden” because not only do the eggs and lemon give it a bright yellow color but I’ve thrown in a little bit of turmeric to bump those tones up. And…..I’ve made it a little boozy with this honey based liquor that M got for me from Brazil last year. If you can’t find it make a simple syrup of honey and water (about 200ml) and add 30 to 40ml of honey bourbon, depending on how boozy you want it to be. Pinga com mel is a honey based liquor and if you can get your hands on some you will be thanking me a lot!

golden lemon and turmeric cake | A Brown Table

golden lemon and turmeric cake| A Brown Table

golden lemon and turmeric cake

makes one 12X8 inch cake


1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (preferably meyer lemons)

2 sticks unsalted butter plus a little more to grease the baking pan

2 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs + 3 large yolks

1/2 cup pinga com mel

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon saffron strands

In a small mixing bowl or beaker, mix the milk and half of the lemon juice and allow to stand for 10 minutes. 

Place a wire rack at midlevel and preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a  rectangular 12X8 inch baking pan with a little butter and line with parchment paper.

Dry whisk all the ingredients from the flour to the zest in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Using a stand mixer or electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Continue to whisk adding one egg at a time, followed by the yolks. Then add half of the whisked dry ingredients mixture and mix until no visible flecks of flour are seen. Add the milk-lemon juice mixture followed by the remaining flour and whisk until combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 35 to 40 minutes until the cake is spongy yet firm to touch and a skewer when inserted comes out clean from the center. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Once the cake is cooled cut the cake into 1 inch by 3 inch rectangles. 

While the cake is cooling, place the pinga com mel, remaining lemon juice, water and saffron in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a rolling boil on high heat. Remove from stove and allow to cool. Pour this liquid over the sliced cake, cover with cling film and allow to cool completely to room temperature before serving. (Note: you can discard the saffron strands but I like to leave them in) Alternatively, you can leave this alcohol step out if you don’t want a boozy cake. 

3 Responses

  1. This is awesome, I went to Salvador in Brazil last year and we totally brought back pinga com mel as well 😉

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