Recipes for Twelve Lemons

Why twelve lemons?

Eight Lemons

previous recipes: lemonade, lemon cookies, lemon chicken, and strawberry lemonade, candied lemon slices, The Roger Collins

The final piece of the dozen lemon puzzle: Mini Lemon Cake in a Jar

Mini Lemon Cake in a Jar

Amazing, right? To make them I adapted this recipe for lemon cake and this technique for jar cake.

I don’t have canning jars, but I do have baby food jars. Lots and lots of baby food jars. It a hazard of the trade, really. For this recipe I used six 4oz jars. If you also have baby food jars, the first thing you want to do is make sure all the label and label adhesive is removed, or it’ll stink up your cakes. I removed mine with a combination of an exacto knife, hot water and rubbing alcohol, but I don’t recommend this technique as I ended up stabbing the crap out of my thumb (this is why I over-candied my candied lemon slices). Anyway just get all the labels and adhesive off any way you can and then wash and dry the jars thoroughly.

To make six cakes, I made two-thirds of the batter in the recipe (except for the lemon juice & zest; I think I used much more of those than was required). This means I had some pretty stupid measurements but bear with me.
Cake Ingredients:
• 2 cups flour
• 1⅓ tsp baking powder
• ⅔ tsp salt
• ⅓ cup butter
• ¾ cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1⅓ tsp vanilla
• juice of 1 lemon
• zest of 1 lemon
• ⅔ cup milk
• yellow food colouring (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat the inside of the jars with non-stick cooking spray.

In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Add in flour mixture, alternating with milk (note: I used nowhere near ⅔ of a cup of milk, so watch your consistency). Mix until smooth.

Spoon batter into jars until they are about ⅔ full.


Spoon batter into jars until they are ⅓ full. Mix yellow food colouring into the remaining batter, then fill jars the rest of the way to ⅔ full.

Place jars in a shallow baking dish, adding ¼” of water to the dish. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Once cakes are fully cooked (the tops should spring back when pressed lightly), remove the jars from the oven & dish and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, if the batter has risen into the mouth of the jar, scoop the top of the cake out of the jar before icing.

Icing Ingredients:
• 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
• 2 tbsp butter
• 1-2 tsp milk
• 1/4 tsp vanilla
• white food colouring (optional)
(note: butter & milk measurements totally guesstimated)
In a medium bowl, beat together sugar, butter, vanilla and food colouring. Add milk in small increments until desired consistency is reached.

I piped the icing into the mouths of the jars, but you could (probably much more) easily scoop it in with a spoon. Once cakes are iced, top with yellow sprinkles and serve! These are perfect for parties OR party favours, box lunches, after school snacks, or even just furtively eating alone in the middle of the night. I mean. I didn’t do that, but I could have.

Mini Lemon Cake in a Jar
Mini Lemon Cake in a Jar
Mini Lemon Cake in a Jar

I didn’t have lids for the baby food jars so I inverted a yellow cupcake liner over each one and secured it with an elastic. For Taylor and Sym’s lunches I tied a small spoon around them with twine.

Mini Lemon Cake in a Jar

(She’s home sick from school.)

lemons used: 1; lemons remaining: 0

There! I’m done! I used all twelve lemons in just one week, and I was even out of town for a couple of days. Thank goodness that’s over…

23 Mandarin Oranges

Oh wait.

6 Replies to “Recipes for Twelve Lemons”

  1. I read a bunch of these posts without seeing the initial one about the lemons and I swear this whole time I thought this was some symbolic thing–12 lemons in honor of a little boy that died of bone cancer or something

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