Many years ago I made this lemon loaf cake several time with great success. I remember wanting to make a lemon pound cake, but without all the butter. I made this cake before I knew the about the awesome world of baking & cooking blogs, luckily, Ina Garten and Food Network were there to help me find this recipe. This cake is moist, rich in lemon flavor, and has zero butter. I've been wanting to post this recipe for awhile, but I have been looking for the right occasion to make it.
Every year the family Christmas party has a theme for a white elephant gift exchange. This year's theme was kitchen gadgets, I was ready to rock this. Last year my gift for the "Great Outdoors" theme was lame and I wanted to bring my A-game, plus, when you bake as much as I do, people have expectations.
My thought was to choose a recipe, not too challenging, and buy the necessary gadget to go with it. I thought about this for a few days and decided on lemon loaf cake, lame gift giver no longer! These are the actual gadget I gave: a beautiful loaf pan, lemon/lime juicer, and zester. I also included a few lemons, the recipe, and a loaf of this wonderful cake.
My mom should have taken this gift, because as it turns out, she does not have a 9" loaf pan. Instead I made three mini loaves. This turned out better because I was able to give one mini-loaf away, eat one loaf that day, and share the last loaf with my grandparents at lunch the next day. My brother ended up with the gift which is funny because he doesn't really enjoy lemon and his girlfriend is gluten-free...
Whether or not you were the lucky recipient of this gift bag, make the lemon loaf cake. It is light and tender with plenty of citrus flavor. The lemon truly shines in this recipe. After all the heavy recipes of the Christmas season, this cake is a simple and much needed reprise.
One Year Ago: Mini Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
Lemon Loaf Cake Adapted from Food Network (Ina Garten) Yield - 1 loaf (10-12 slices) or 3 mini loafs (24 slices)
1 1/2 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt 1 + 1/3 cup sugar 3 eggs 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1/3 + 1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly juiced (4 lemons)
Glaze 1 cup powdered sugar 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly juiced (1 lemon)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 9 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper. Or grease and flour 3 mini loaf pans.
- Sift together the flour, powder, and salt onto parchment paper.
- In a large bowl whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla, oil, and lemon juice.
- Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet with a rubber spatula until just combined. Pour the batter into the pan.
- Bake for about 50 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Bake the mini loafs for 25 minutes.
- While the loaf cools, cook together 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/3 cup sugar to make a simple syrup.
- Pour the syrup over the cake and then allow to cool completely.
- Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Pour over the top of the cake. Allow the glaze to harden.
(My gift wasn't the most awesome, someone brought a wine rack with bottles of wine. Booze always wins in my family. Always.)