Monday, September 1, 2014

Lemon Lemon Loaf Cake

Hello, and Happy Labor Day!  It's hard to believe that the summer is officially over, because it feels like it never really even arrived.  We had a mild summer, at least in New York, so it  hasn't quite hit me that the summer is ending and that fall and cooler weather will be coming in just a few short weeks.  It's even stranger to think that because I'm not in New York right now, but am actually in Florida!  My parents are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary (today!) and they wanted to take a family vacation to celebrate.  We'll be in Florida for a week to do the typical Florida vacation at Disney World and Universal Studios, and I am pretty excited.  It's been a long time since I've been at the parks, so I can't wait to see how much they've changed.  When I found out that we'd be in Florida for the first night of Disney's Halloween celebration at Magic Kingdom, I basically turned into a five year old, freaked out, and begged my parents that we absolutely had to go.  Fortunately, my mom is as much of a Disney freak as I am, so it was a pretty easy task.  Since I'll be adventuring across the various magical lands of Disney and Harry Potter (the ten year old in me CAN'T WAIT), I'm going to make this week's posts short and sweet.  There will be lots of pictures and only a few words, but I'll be sure to document my adventures closely on Instagram, so stay tuned to that!

Before I leave my computer though, let's take a second to talk about this Lemon Lemon Loaf Cake.  It's something special, truly.  My sister spied this lemony loaf in my copy of Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, and has been asking me to make it for the longest time.  Since the summer is almost over and I'm not quite ready to bid farewell to summer flavors, I figured I would make one last bright treat.  This lemon loaf cake was exactly what I needed!

I knew I would like this cake because, first and foremost, it's a Baked specialty, and I have yet to make anything from my Baked cookbooks that I haven't liked.  Second, it's a simple everyday kind of cake and I have yet to make one of those that I haven't liked.  The cake takes minutes to make, and a little while in the oven to cook through.  Then, while the cake is still warm, a simple lemon syrup is brushed all over the cake. The syrup helps add even more lemon flavor to the cake, but more importantly, helps ensure that the cake remains moist for days.  The lemon glaze that gets drizzled on top is completely optional, but I think it's what makes the cake.  It's a simple way of dressing up the cake and really finishes the lemon cake nicely.  It's the perfect amount of tart and sweet and loads of lemon flavor. 

This super lemony loaf cake comes together just a bit differently than most other cakes.  It starts off by sifting together all of the dry ingredients together into a bowl, so there's nothing new there.  The second part of the cake comes together in the food processor.  Egg yolks, lemon juice, fresh lemon zest, and sugar are processed together to create a smooth lemony base, and is then folded in with the dry ingredients, then poured into a loaf pan.  It's that simple!  The cake batter is much thinner than most cake batters, so take note of that.  The syrup and glaze come together in just minutes, so this is one cake that you can easily make in an afternoon.  The original recipe makes two loaves, but I halved it and only made one.  The amounts I used are listed below, but if you think you'll like this lemon loaf cake (and I think you will), double the ingredients and make two!

My sister was ecstatic over the fact that I was finally making this cake, and I wish I had listened to her and made it sooner.  It's simple and quick, and is a perfect way to send off summer.  The cake has a wonderfully bright lemony flavor, so if you love anything tart, this cake is just for you! Enjoy!

Lemon Lemon Loaf Cake
recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking


For the Lemon Cake

3/4 cup cake flour 
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Lemon Syrup

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

For the Lemon Glaze (optional)

1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the middle of the oven.  Spray the sides and bottom of a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and lightly spray the paper.

Sift the cake flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl, and set aside.

Add the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a food processor, and pulse a few times until smooth and combined.  With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the melted butter through the feed tube.  Remove the lid, and add the sour cream and vanilla extract.  Pulse a few more times until combined. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.  Sprinkle a third of the flour mixture into the bowl, one third at a time, folding it in gently until just combined, taking care not to overmix.  The batter will be on the thinner side.  

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes.  Rotate the pan, and then bake for another 35-40 minutes, or until the top of the cake has domed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes.

While the cake cools, prepare the lemon syrup.  In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine the lemon juice and sugar, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Once dissolved, let the syrup cook for another 3 minutes, and then remove from the heat and set aside.  After 15 minutes of cooling, invert the loaf cake onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Using a toothpick, poke holes all over the top and sides of the cake. Brush the warm cake with the lemon syrup, and allow the syrup to soak into the cake (you don't need to use all of the syrup).  Let the cake cool completely to room temperature.

Once the cake has cooled completely, prepare the lemon glaze by whisking together the sifted confectioner's sugar and lemon juice.  The glaze should be thick, but pourable.  You may need to adjust the amounts of confectioner's sugar and lemon juice until you get the glaze to the correct consistency.  Drizzle the lemon glaze over the top of the cake and let it drip down the sides.  Allow the glaze to set completely before slicing and serving.  Enjoy!

Makes 1 loaf cake


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