october 10, 2003



Building community one lemon cake at a time!

By Lynn Gaylord

The first line of the Del Mar Foundation's mission statement clearly reads, "to promote civic pride and community cohesiveness in the City of Del Mar." On Sept. 14, of this year, the Del Mar Foundation held a family beach picnic which truly brought the entire town together. Complete with the first Powerhouse Paddleboard race, games, prizes, and BBQ for all, the evening was highlighted by Tim Flannery closing out the fourth Twilight concert in the park for all to enjoy.

But tucked down in the entry way to the Powerhouse was hiding a treasure of Del Mar's past and unless you knew where to look, you probably didn't find the lemon cakes. Lemon cakes were a staple of the end of summer picnics starting back in the 1960's when they were sponsored by the now defunct Civic Association. As one middle-aged man commented who was visiting his father, "Gosh, I grew up in Del Mar and I remember we had these cakes when I was growing up."

Last year when the Del Mar Foundation resurrected the end of summer picnic after a five year rest, there was a request to bring back the lemon cakes as well. We couldn't think of anyone better than the recently formed Community Connections organization to dig out those old recipes. Since Community Connections serves the seniors in town, we knew they were the right source for finding that special recipe and find it they did.

"There are probably as many recipes as there are people who ever baked these lemon cakes," said Community Connections president, Sarah Dubin-Vaughn. "Each baker would vary the recipe according to her taste. It kind of became a joke, really." Using Frieda Reid's recipe the wonderful bakers this year included: Teddy Hopper, Chiquita Abbott, Charlotte Aladjem, Carolyn Butterfield, Emily Hayes, June Strasberg, Karen Lockwood, and Mari-Ann Alford. I pass the recipe along to you:

Lemon Cake Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


1 pkg. yellow cake mix

4 eggs lightly beaten

3/4 cup cooking oil

3/4 cup water

1 small package of lemon Jell-o (3 oz.)


Juice from 2 lemons

1/2 - 1 cup confectioner's sugar

Grease and flour a 8" x 11" x 2" pan or equivalent

Mix together all cake ingredients in a large bowl until blended, about 2 minutes at medium speed or hand mix.

Pour into pan cook for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Meanwhile, squeeze lemons and mix juice with sugar.

Remove cake from oven and punch holes while still hot. Pour lemon juice mixture over the top of cake and allow to soak in.

When cake is cold cut into 20 pieces. Do not remove from pan. Cover with foil or plastic wrap.

Thanks Community Connections for helping us to build community one lemon cake at a time. And most importantly, good luck with your annual fundraiser at the Firehouse on November 8th. For more information on this fundraiser, call 792-7565.

Lynn Gaylord is President of the Del Mar Foundation and encourages all to log onto the website at www.DelMarFoundation.org for the latest