Lovely Lemon Loaf

easy lemon loaf

 

Mmmm, I love a good lemon loaf! I’ve made a few before: lemon olive oil cake, and a few that I am just now discovering I haven’t actually posted before… more to come! But this is definitely the first cake I’ve ever made in a blender! Okay, so you need bowls and stuff too, but I liked how quick it was to blend up the liquid ingredients.

Anyways, this one wins points because of the lemon drizzle that adds a nice lemony kick to balance the sweetness of the cake.

The original name, in the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook, is Easy Lemon Pound Cake. And it is easy, and lemony, but there’s only 1/2 pound of butter in there!

What you need for the cake: 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 & 1/2 cups cake flour OR see instruction #2 below if you don’t have cake flour, as I did not
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 & 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

What you need for the lemon glaze:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and place the rack in the centre of the oven. Grease and flour an 8 & 1/2 by 4 & 1/2 inch loaf pan. I use the wrapper for the butter to grease the pan, then shake some flour around in it.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. (If you don’t have cake flour: measure 1.5 cups of flour, then remove 3 tablespoons. Add 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Now sift 5 times; yes, you have to do this to get the right consistency.)
  3. Melt the butter, then whisk it to combine any separation.
  4. Place the sugar and lemon zest in the blender (or food processor) and pulse about 5 times. Add the lemon juice, eggs and vanilla, then blend until combined. With the blender running, add the butter. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  5. Sift the flour mixture into the batter in 3 steps, whisking gently each time until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 325F. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the loaf is a deep golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. This should take about 35 minutes, although mine took much longer.
  8. Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes then turn it onto a wire cooling rack. Poke the top and sides all over with a toothpick. I used a chopstick, which is why the holes are so visible. Cool the loaf for at least one hour.
  9. While the loaf is cooling begin making the glaze. Bring the lemon juice and sugar to a boil and stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer until it has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.
  10. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the glaze.

This loaf will keep at room temperature for about 5 days. It will probably be gone before that, but it won’t go bad if you hang on to it.

 

Grapefruit Olive Oil Poundcake

photo by justin cathcart
photo by justin cathcart

Aside from chocolate desserts, a lemon cake is one of my favourite treats.  Since it’s also a citrus cake I thought I’d give this grapefruit cake a try, and I like it for the same reasons I like lemon cake – it is tart and sweet at the same time, and it is nicely moist.

This is the first recipe I am trying from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook that my sweetheart gave me.  And everyone who tried the cake liked it!

What you need for the cake:

1 & 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons grapefruit zest

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup olive oil

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt (I used yogurt)

What you need for the syrup:

2 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

What you need for the glaze: (optional)

1 cup icing sugar

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

pinch of salt

What you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Rub butter in a 9×5 inch pan, then coat it with flour.

2. Combine the grapefruit zest and the sugar in a large bowl.  Rub the zest into the sugar using your fingers to release the oils.

3. Whisk the oil into the sugar mixture until smooth.  Whisk in the eggs one at a time.

4. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a measuring cup combine the buttermilk and 2 tablespoons of grapefruit juice.  Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately, beginning and ending with the flour.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top down, and tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles.  Bake for 45 minute to 1 hour, testing with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.

6. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.  In the meantime, prepare the syrup.

7. In a small saucepan, combine the 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1/3 cup grapefruit juice.  Cook over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.

8. After the cake has cooled for 10 minutes and you have removed it from the pan, place it on a wire rack to cool.  Poke holes in it with a toothpick or skewer, then brush the syrup on top.

9. To make the glaze (although it would be amazing even without the glaze), combine the icing sugar, grapefruit juice and salt in a bowl and whisk until it is smooth.  Pour the glaze over the cooled cake and allow the glaze to drip down the sides of the cake.

photo by justin cathcart
photo by justin cathcart

Thank you Justin for the amazing photos!