Lemon Loaf Cake

Welcome spring with this zesty lemon loaf cake that’s similar to pound cake with its buttery taste and texture. This classy cake will make you want to skip dinner and go straight to dessert! 

I love cake and I love knowing even more that there’s a cake for every holiday or season. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate and mint, Christmas is all about candy canes and peppermint everything or gingerbread, whereas in spring and summer we celebrate all the gorgeous fresh berries and fruit that are bountiful.

This year I decided to prepare in advance for Easter and planned to bake a simple lemon cake to welcome the first day of spring in a few days time. This cake is fresh, zingy and will transport your taste buds straight into the new season. You may have figured out my love for anything lemon from my previous recipe for lemon herb rice? Since I shared a savoury recipe showcasing lemon it was now time for something sweet.

Back last summer I shared a buttermilk lemon cake that was slightly different from the one I’m sharing today because that recipe had buttermilk added the batter to keep it moist and the cake was drizzled with a simple lemon sugar icing. This time I thought it would be a nice change to bake the cake in a loaf tin as you traditionally do when you’re making pound cake. This cake is made in the same way but instead of a lemon sugar icing it just has a lemon glaze soaked into the cake whilst it’s still warm and fresh from the oven.

Another thing I kept the same as I did when I made my lemon buttermilk cake is that I made my own homemade lemon sugar. Using your fingertips you’ll rub the sugar and zest together until fragrant. Doing this enables the natural oils in the lemon to be released and your cake will have a stronger and more intense lemon flavour. This is a step I will always go to the extra effort to do as you can definitely taste the difference.

My family love serving this beautiful cake with Greek yoghurt and fresh raspberries. Eating cake with yoghurt takes my sister and I back to our childhood as this is something we would always do with leftover birthday cake for breakfast. Cake for breakfast is the absolute best!

If you prefer you can serve the cake with ice cream, pouring or whipped cream instead and top with berries or fruit of your choice. You could also try warming a slice of cake in the microwave, when it’s warm it gets all extra buttery and gooey.

(Serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

Lemon Cake:

230g (1 cup/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

250g (1 and 1/4 cups) caster or granulated sugar

2 tablespoons lemon zest – approx. 4 lemons

4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

210g (1 and 1/2 cups) plain/all-purpose or cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Lemon Glaze: 

100g (1/2 cup) caster or granulated sugar

60ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160 Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with parchment paper and set aside. Toss the sugar and lemon zest into a large mixing bowl. Using your fingertips rub the sugar and zest together for a minute or two until the sugar smells fragrant. Add the softened butter and beat until creamy and smooth.
  2. Next add the eggs one at a time and mix well in between each addition. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix through. Don’t be concerned at this point if the mixture looks curdled and like it’s going wrong, once you add the dry ingredients it’ll resemble more of a cake batter.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) on top of the wet mixture and then gently fold through until you have a smooth batter. Be careful not to mix the batter too much.
  4. Spread the cake batter evenly into the prepared loaf tin. Bake for 15 minutes. Now reduce the oven temperature to 170°C / 150 Fan / 325°F / Gas Mark 3. Carry on baking the cake for a further 35-45 minutes (turning around halfway through) or until a cake tester when inserted into the centre of the cake comes out completely clean without any uncooked batter remaining. After a total of 60 minutes baking mine took a further 15 minutes to finishing fully baking so my cake was in the oven for a total of 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes – much longer than the original recipe suggested).
  5. Once the cake is completely baked through remove it from the oven and set the tin over a wire rack. Meanwhile make the lemon glaze by combining the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring this mixture up to the boil and then once it’s boiling turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer for about 2-3 minutes until thick and syrupy.
  6. Allow the cake to sit for 10 minutes then remove it from the tin. Using a toothpick poke holes all over the top and sides of the cake and brush the lemon glaze over all the cake. Leave the cake to cool to room temperature before serving. The cake will store at room temperature wrapped in clingfilm/plastic wrap or in an airtight container for up to 3 days – it may last for longer but in my house cake only seems to last more than a few days!

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Lately I’ve been absolutely loving my new kitchenware from Leila’s General Store. I love this denim apron with its cute pineapple design and I’m also enjoying baking using my silicone spatula. If you like the look of these items you can get a 20% discount using the code “whatjessicabaked” (excluding electronics and gift cards). This discount code is valid until 23rd of April on leilasgeneralstore.com!

Enjoy!

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Banana Bread

Fluffy and moist banana bread loaf. A fantastic recipe for using up any leftover overripe bananas. 

banana-bread

Banana bread is one of my favourite things to bake so I was shocked when I discovered I hadn’t yet shared a banana bread recipe with you, I figured it was time to share our family favourite recipe.

This recipe is possibly one of the, if not the easiest banana breads I have ever made. It can be made either one of two ways, using an all-in-one method or with a mixer using the creaming method, it’s totally up to you as both ways produce an amazing, fluffy and soft banana bread.

The other day it snowed and was too cold to go out, so on my day off work I decided to stay in the warm and spend the day doing some baking. After looking in our fruit bowl, I noticed we had a couple of bananas that looked like they’d seen better days. Whenever I have overripe bananas hanging around on the kitchen counter the first thing I will bake is banana bread or some kind of cake/muffin.

banana-loaf

To make good banana bread you’ll need to use fairly overripe bananas. Ideally you want your bananas to be yellow and spotty, overripe bananas will add extra flavour, moistness and sweetness to the bread.

With this recipe you can experiment with different add-ins, sometimes I will even add a couple of handfuls of chocolate chips or nuts such as pecans or walnuts to the batter. Today, I just fancied a traditional banana bread that used ingredients that I already had in.

Don’t worry if your banana bread forms a crack down the centre just like mine did, this is a common trait of banana bread and loaf bread/cakes in general. I personally think it makes the bread look lovely and rustic, banana bread isn’t meant to look pretty it’s definitely all about the taste with recipes like this one!

Ingredients:

100g (4 ounces) unsalted butter or margarine, softened

175g (6 ounces) caster or granulated sugar

2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

2 large ripe bananas, mashed

225g (8 ounces) self-raising flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons milk

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160 Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line and grease a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with parchment/non-stick baking paper.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or a handheld electric mixer, beat all the ingredients together for about 2 minutes until well combined. Alternatively, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and smooth for about 2-3 minutes. Next add the eggs one at a time making sure you beat well between each addition. Fold through the mashed banana, flour and baking powder until completely incorporated. Finally add the milk and continuing mixing until the batter is smooth.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the lined loaf tin. Bake for an hour or until golden and well risen. Check the banana bread is cooked all the way through by inserting a wooden skewer or cake tester into the centre, if it comes out clean without any uncooked batter remaining then the banana bread is completely baked.
  4. Allow the banana bread to cool in the tin for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the tin and leave to cool set over a wire rack.
  5. Once cool, slice the banana bread up. It’s delicious served as it is or toasted and spread with butter. Banana bread will keep stored in an airtight container for about a week.

Recipe Notes:

  • You’ll need to use very ripe bananas to make this recipe. The bananas need to be spotty and turning brown, this will bring extra sweetness and moistness to your banana bread.
  • The butter or margarine needs to be really soft in order to be completely incorporated into the batter. I recommend leaving your butter/margarine out overnight to soften.
  • Feel free to add chocolate chips or chopped nuts if you’d like. You could even decorate the top of the banana bread with nuts or stud with chocolate chips, I’m going to try that next time!
  • Try adding a teaspoon or so of ground cinnamon, ginger or mixed spice. I particularly love adding cinnamon to banana bakes.
  • Remember all ovens bake differently. This recipe requires a full hour baking, check the banana bread after 45 minutes of baking, if it’s colouring too much then cover the top with a piece of aluminium foil to prevent it browning any further. Continue baking for the remaining 15 minutes until the a cake tester comes out completely clean, with no uncooked cake batter on it.

Recipe from Mary Berry’s 100 Cakes and Bakes

Enjoy!

jess

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