Lady Bird Johnson’s Famous Lemon Cake

Lady Bird Johnson’s Famous Lemon Cake

Lady Bird Johnson was born Claudia Alta Taylor (December 22, 1912 to July 11, 2007) in Karnack, Texas. She was named for her mother’s brother Claud, but while a baby her nurse commented that she was “purty as a ladybird.”  A ladybird is a brightly colored beetle.  This nickname replaced her actual first name for her entire life.  Her family called her Lady and her husband called her Bird, which was the name she used on her marriage license.  Lady Bird Johnson was a lifelong advocate for beautifying the nation’s cities and highways.  She is responsible for the Highway Beautification Act and is quoted as saying, “Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”  Here is Mrs. Johnson’s recipe for her Famous Lemon Cake


3/4 Cup Softened Butter

1 1/4 Cups Sugar

8 Egg Yolks

2 1/2 Cups Flour

3 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

3/4 Cup Milk

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Teaspoon Grated Lemon Rind

1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

Preheat your oven to 325° F.  Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until light and lemon colored.  Blend into the creamed mixture.  Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Resift 3 times.  Add the sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk.  Beat the batter thoroughly after each addition.  Add the vanilla extract, lemon rind and lemon juice.  Beat for 2 minutes.  Bake in a greased Bundt pan in the oven for 1 hour or until the cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and cool completely before frosting.  Serves 6

Lemon Icing

2 Cups Confectioners’ Sugar

1/4 Cup Softened Butter

Grated Rind Of 1 Lemon

2 Teaspoons Cream (Or More For Spreading Consistency)

Combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter and grated lemon rinds and beat.  Add the cream until desired consistency. 


    Victoria has been cooking and writing recipes since she was a a young girl. Originally from Nebraska, her appreciation for culinary technique took off when she moved to Lyon, France. Victoria is published in Hearst Newspapers, Greenwich Free Press, New Canaanite, and more.

    Explore Similar Recipes

    Asparagus & Pea Soup

    Asparagus & Pea Soup

    English Toffee
    Peas & Cipollini Onions
    Jalapeño Cornbread 2

    Jalapeño Cornbread