The Covered Dish - Lemon Dream Cake

June 27, 2024

Usually, I pen my column on Sunday evenings, this week I got up quite early on Monday morning to share my column with you. Not the norm, but it sure is nice to compose my column with a good cup of coffee in my hand!

It’s been a very busy past few days, geez, anymore it does feel like the norm! We returned our great nephew back to Kearney on Sunday by meeting his dad in Osceola yesterday. He is a jewel, and I sure wish he lived closer. It’s tempting to not go purchase cheese while we are there; but we abstained. We like to stop across the street from Osceola Cheese Company at the Amish store. It’s a great place to pick up specialty gifts like baskets, wood products and woven rugs. For those of you not familiar with Osceola, it’s due north of Springfield, Missouri about 70-75 miles. You can even stop in Bolivar or Collins and enjoy the famous tenderloins and pie at ‘Smith’s’ Restaurants. We had planned on trying a BBQ restaurant on the way home, but we forgot to bring the 2nd set of car keys with us. Rumor, our corgi, was with us, and it was too hot! So, it was lunch to go from a local fast food, I got a salad, so it wasn’t quite so bad.

Well, the season of fresh blueberries is about over and the peaches are starting to arrive. The Lemon Dream Cake is a great fit with your last blueberries of the season. You could even use the blueberry pancake sauce from a couple weeks back and serve it with a squirt of whipped cream over the cake. The history on this simple, but yummy cake, goes back to our ‘family’ chocolate birthday cake, featured in my first cookbook. If you have the cookbook compare the two recipes. It will give you even more ideas for a few specialty cakes. I think the Lemon Cake is a good substitute for a pound cake, you will find the Lemon Dream cake a great deal moister than a typical pound cake. I also think the lemon flavor is stronger in the cake format.

Lucky for me I was at Persimmon Hill Farms in Lampe, Missouri about 2-3 weeks ago and I purchased a bottle of their Amaretto Blueberry Syrup. You’ve heard me speak of the syrup/sauce many times in my column, it is divine!!! This is what I usually use with the Lemon Dream Cake. There are two specialty food businesses in Lampe, Missouri that deserve your attention while visiting the Branson, Missouri area. The second one is Bulone Enterprises, which is right on Highway 13, south of Kimberling City, MO.

I have a concept that you can make an average recipe go ‘pow’, with the addition of a good sauce or specialty ingredient. Bulone Enterprises is a great Italian spot, their canned/jarred products are delicious and now they have all kinds of things ‘to go’, like homemade lasagna and pasta, and some outstanding sandwiches. Both of these fine businesses have websites. I did not mention that Persimmon Hill Farms is infamous for their Thunder Muffins, which they also ship. Last time I was there I had a blueberry scone and it was good too. At the blueberry farm you can pick your own or purchase berries already picked. They will also have fresh grown shitake mushrooms. When we travel, I look for these out of the way family-owned businesses. Both of these stops are a within 30 minutes of our home, in Branson West, Missouri.

This week I pick up an order of peaches and make my dad a fresh peach pie. So, Friday after work I’m off to Northeast Missouri to check up on my dad. Ervin & Rumor are accompanying which makes the 6-hour journey so much better!

The last few evenings have been lovely here in the Ozarks, not too humid, making sitting outside quite enjoyable. Time to make a pitcher of tea, before I embark on a busy day. See you next week. Simply Yours, The Covered Dish.

Lemon Dream Cake

1 (18oz.) box lemon cake mix

1 (3 oz.) box lemon instant pudding

4 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon lemon extract

Zest from (1) lemon, optional

1/2 cup lemon juice fresh or bottled

1/2 cup oil.

Place cake mix with the pudding and spoon or whisk together. Make a well in the middle and continue adding all the remaining ingredients. I usually blend the cake together by hand. If you use a mixer, only mix til’ the ingredients are combined and no longer.

I like to bake it in a greased and floured bundt pan @ 325 degrees. If I have plenty of time on my hands, I’ll even lower the temperature to 300 degrees, which renders a light outer edge on the cake. How long it takes to bake will depend upon our ovens. I would let it bake for 40 minutes before checking the first time. Use the ole’ toothpick method to tell when it is done.

If you are doing icing I would do a simple lemon glaze or the pairing I mentioned in the column. This is a recipe that is simple to pull together after work, which I totally appreciate.