Moroccan Lemon Cake (Meskouta)

Moroccan lemon cake

The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
321 Calories
11g Fat
52g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 321
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 63mg 21%
Sodium 280mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 35g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 3mg 16%
Calcium 117mg 9%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 68mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Moroccan cakes (meskouta) come in many flavors, and this Moroccan lemon cake is wonderfully light, fine-textured, and flavorful. This recipe takes only minutes to mix and get into the oven. It can be served while still warm and no frosting is needed, or you can add the quick glaze.

One-half of a large lemon should yield the small amount of fresh lemon juice called for in the recipe, but you can add more lemon juice if you like tarter flavor.

Try these equally delicious recipes for Moroccan Orange Cake and Moroccan Chocolate Cake.

“This tart but sweet cake was really delicious and easy to make. The oil-based cake recipe was really fluffy and light and the lemon flavor would make this an ideal cake for a daytime brunch or midday snacking cake.” —Tracy Wilk 

lemon cake/tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Cake:

  • Cooking spray

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, more for the pan

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Glaze:

Steps to Make It

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make Moroccan lemon cake

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  2. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350 F/180 C. Grease and flour a small (about 9 cups) bundt or tube pan.

    A bundt pan that has been greased and floured

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer (or by hand), beat together the eggs and sugar until thick. Gradually beat in the oil until smooth.

    A mixture of eggs, sugar, and oil in a large bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  4. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt, and then the milk. Beat just until smooth.

    Flour, baking soda, salt, and mix added to the egg mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  5. Mix in the lemon juice and zest, and the vanilla extract.

    Lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract added to the bowl of batter

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

    Cake batter in the prepared bundt pan

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  7. Bake until the cake tests done (a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean), about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan on a rack for 7 to 10 minutes.

    Fully baked cake in a bundt pan

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  8. Loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with a butter knife or spatula, then turn out the cake onto the rack to finish cooling. Glaze, if desired.

    Moroccan lemon cake on a cooling rack

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Make the Glaze

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make lemon glaze

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  2. In a small bowl, mix together the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice until smooth.

    A bowl of confectioner's sugar and lemon juice

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  3. Drizzle over the top of the cake, allowing the glaze to run down the sides.

    A glazed Moroccan lemon cake

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati