baked goods · dessert · easy · Recipes

Lemon Craze

This is my son’s favorite cake. It’s a simple lemon cake that I sometimes serve decorated with lemon frosting or garnished with streaks of sweet-tart lemon filling, though I always prefer it unadorned. I adapted it from the ever popular Crazy Cake (a.k.a. Wacky Cake, Oil and Vinegar Cake) that everyone grew up making and eating in the U.S. My brother, whose sixth grade teacher taught the class to cook, made this cake for me growing up. It’s he who inspired in me a lifelong love of baking.



  • 3/4 c Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour Mix
  • 3/4 c rice flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 c mild tasting oil (e.g. canola)
  • 1/2 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 c water



Oil 7″ x 5″ Pryex pan and dust with rice flour. Cut lemons and squeeze out 1/2 c of juice into a medium bowl. Set aside. Preheat oven to 325 F. In a bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add oil, water, and *then* lemon juice. Mix quickly but thoroughly. Quickly pour batter into pan, using rubber spatula to remove all the batter. Carefully but quickly put in oven without disturbing batter. Bake till done and lightly golden brown on top, about 45 min.


5″x7″ cake

  • Increase temperature to 350 F if using a metal pan.
  • Have all utensils, pans, etc. on hand before adding the lemon juice, as the juice, upon contact with the baking soda, will cause the bubbling action necessary for the cake to rise. The air bubbles being created by mixing acidic (lemon juice) with basic (baking soda) are what makes the cake rise, and you want to capture those bubbles in the oven, so to speak. Fumbling around for a rubber spatula to get the rest of the batter out while the lemon juice and baking soda are interacting will only allow the batter to bubble up and go flat before you get the cake into the oven. Your cake will not rise much as a result. You want to get the cake into the oven while the bubbling action is going on! On the other hand, you don’t want to put the cake batter in too soon; doing so will result in a cake that rises quickly then falls. Just mix quickly but thoroughly and that should get you to the right point of acid/basic interaction.
  • Replace some of the water with lemon juice for a zippier, more lemony cake. Replacing all of the water with lemon juice should be reserved for only the most hard core of lemon fans.
  • Be sure to use an oil not made from an allergen. For example, if you have a peanut allergy, do not use peanut oil. Sounds obvious, but want to mention this just in case. 🙂
  • This could probably be doubled for a 9″x9″ pan. (I don’t have a 9″x9″ pan, so I can’t test this.)

Ingredient Sources

  • rice flour – Erawan, Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free
  • sugar – Florida Crystals, C&H Raw Sugar
  • baking soda – Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free
  • canola oil – Mazola, Whole Foods 365