(St. Barbara Cake)


December 4: Feast Day of St. Barbara

Highlander was on the swim team for his college in San Diego, California, but would occasionally compete at meets in Santa Barbara, about an hour’s drive from his hometown. The city has a scenic coastline and breathtaking beaches where he would leisurely swim sometimes.

Santa Barbara was named after St. Barbara in 1602 by a grateful Spanish explorer whose ship anchored safely in the region after a surviving a strong storm on the eve of her feast day.

Barbarakuchen is a also named after St. Barbara. There is no other food history or information given about this German lemon cake. But it is appropriate to bake Barbarakuchen for the Feast Day of St. Barbara.


(Adapted from Cooking With the Saints by Ernst Scheugraf)


  • 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons water


Grate the peel of the lemon and set aside. Squeeze out the juice into a small cup. In a bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in the eggs. Stir in the grated lemon peel. In another bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch and baking powder.


Gradually add this to the butter mixture to make a stiff batter. Spread into a greased, small (approximately 8x4x2 ½ inches) bread loaf pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and let cool.


Place the cake on a wire rack over a pan to catch the icing drippings. Make the icing by mixing the powdered sugar with the reserved lemon juice. Add the water and mix into a smooth glaze.


Pour over the cake and let it drizzle down the sides. When the icing hardens, the cake is ready to slice and serve.



  • Barbarakuchen is a dry, crumbly cake that is often served with tea or coffee.
  • Love lemon-flavored cakes? Try the recipe for lemon chiffon cake that we posted on March 29, which is National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day.