This beautiful velvety cake is the creation of Tereza Alabanda, a famous pastry chef from Split and is perfect to nibble on during lazy afternoons, especially with a cup of tea made from lemon verbena which you can find in Villa Ella’s garden. It is paramount to find organic lemons not treated with pesticides as this cake uses both lemon peel and lemon juice, both of which contribute to the cake’s rich taste of the Croatian south.

Lemon Cake


For the cake

  • 270 g flour
  • 4 g baking powder
  • 175 g butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • Grated peel of 1 lemon
  • 260 g sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 130 ml milk

For the glaze combine

  • 135 g powdered sugar
  • Juice of ½ lemon

To decorate

  • Peel of 2 lemons, cut into thin strips
  • 150 g sugar
  • 200 ml water


  1. Sift the flour and the baking powder.
  2. In a stand mixer, mix the butter with a pinch of salt, lemon peel and slowly add the sugar. Once you have added the sugar, add the eggs, one by one.
  3. Fold in the flour and baking powder and then add the milk slowly. Mix gently by hand until you get a smooth batter.
  4. Line a 25 cm loaf tin with baking paper, fill it with the batter and cut the middle of the batter with a knife dipped into melted butter or olive oil.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes at 165°C.
  5. When the cake is baked, pour the thick glaze over it and return into the oven for 3 to 4 minutes. Let it cool before serving.
  6. To decorate: put all the ingredients in a pot and once the syrup had come to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for another 15 minutes, until the lemon peel softens and becomes translucent. Strain and coat with extra sugar if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Ana-Marija Bujić,