General Robert E. Lee Cake II Recipe -
General Robert E. Lee Cake II Recipe

General Robert E. Lee Cake II

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"A luxurious lemony cake with a lemon curd filling, and a coconut citrus frosting. A beautiful cake for Easter."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 four layer 9 inch cake Change Servings
  • PREP

    35 mins
  • COOK

    30 mins

    1 hr 10 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch pans. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and cream of tartar. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together the 8 egg yolks and 2 cups sugar until thick and pale. Stir in the 2 teaspoons lemon zest and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Fold whites into the egg yolk mixture alternately with the flour mixture. Spread evenly into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let layers cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting onto wire racks to cool completely. Using a long serrated knife, slice the layers in half horizontally.
  4. To make the filling: In the top of a double boiler, combine the 1 1/3 cup sugar, 4 egg yolks, 2 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest and 1/3 cup lemon juice. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and mixture thickens. Remove from heat, and stir in the butter. Cool to room temperature before filling cake.
  5. To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, cream the 1/3 cup butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners sugar and mix in the orange zest, orange juice, lemon zest and lemon juice. Finally, stir in coconut. Frost the outside of the filled cake.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 18, 2007

This is an old and grand recipe and worth all the effort. BUT, it is a LOT of effort and very time-consuming. I admit, over the years I cheat and adapt. You can have basically the same cake, minus the jellied bits, by buying lemon cake mix, doubling the frosting and mixing in a bit of coconut. I make this "cheaters" RELee cake and no one ever notices the difference. It's a great adaptation if you're pressed for time (and who isn't!)

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 11, 2014

I was excited to try this recipe because of the combination of lemon and coconut. Like other reviewers have said, this recipe does take some time. I think the prep time listed in an underestimation. I was a little concerned when I separated the layers because the cake did seem dry and bland, but once I poured the delicious lemon filling on and let it soak in, the cake had a great lemon flavor. Definitely let the cake sit a couple of hrs before serving. The cake does have a dense texture, and is not comparable to the texture of a boxed cake mix. This was the main negative for me. The frosting is really sweet but tasty. For me, the best part is the filling which has a wonderful lemon flavor.


11 Ratings

Feb 11, 2010

It's unusual to find a new cake recipe so good. I've had this saved to my recipe box for, no joke, 10 years. Finally tried it out this weekend for my MIL's birthday. A real show-stopper. Very special. Not at all hard to make, although the zesting/juicing of all of those lemons/oranges took a lot of time. Only modification: I thought it was strange that the cake recipe had no oil/fat in it. I thought of how oil makes chiffon cakes so nice and tender, and added 1/3 cup canola oil to the batter. Taste and texture of cake was superb. I will make this again for a special occasion. Thank you for sharing!

May 17, 2007

well, regardless of the name of the cake, I thought it was delicious!

Feb 23, 2011

Cake is more like a sponge-cake than I was anticipating, but the lemon curd is AWESOME

Jun 21, 2010

Best cake ever. Enough said. But to elaborate: The recipe is wonderful; the only change I made was to add more zest than was called for in all parts of the cake. I might try to convert this to a sheet cake for more common every-day use, but it was superb. Received rave reviews from my parents and my family, and I loved it. Thanks so much!!!

Jan 03, 2014

Delicious cake and icing. Definitely a bit labor intensive. Make sure not to overbeat the egg whites or the cake will fall in the center as it cools. I also had trouble with the lemon curd. I was expecting it to thicken, like pudding as I was cooking it. It never did, as a consequence I over cooked it and it ended up more like lemon jelly, rather than curd -still tart and delicious, bit not the right consistency. Looking at other recipes perhaps a better stopping point is until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. The frosting is delicious; the combination of orange, lemon and coconut was perfect for this cake. I will definitely make this cake again, a bit wiser for the experience.

Jul 25, 2012

For the actual cake: I followed the recipe exactly, except I didn't have lemon zest... I found the cake to be dry and lacking the lemon flavor I was looking for. Why is it so difficult to find a good lemon cake recipe?! I did not try the frosting so cannot rate that, I did a lemon chocolate and was disappointed in the cake's outcome.


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  • Calories
  • 523 kcal
  • 26%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 99.2 g
  • 32%
  • Cholesterol
  • 196 mg
  • 65%
  • Fat
  • 12.4 g
  • 19%
  • Fiber
  • 1 g
  • 4%
  • Protein
  • 6.4 g
  • 13%
  • Sodium
  • 161 mg
  • 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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