All Natural Lemon Loaf

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For the lemon lovers out there, here is a recipe full of natural tart lemon flavor.

I set out to make a lemon loaf like the one my boys {who are endless lemon lovers} drool over at the coffee shop.  I wouldn't say this is a copy cat recipe.  I would say it is BETTER!  Fluffy.  Moist. Flavorful.  And natural.

I didn't search the web for a copycat recipe because I knew a couple of things.  One, there would be way too many to choose from.  The original most likely relies on something other than real lemon for its flavor.  I don't know that; I'm just guessing.

So I relied on a few prior recipes and the recent success I had with making flavored sugar from zest {in my most recent success it was with orange zest}.  I am quite amazed at how incredible the flavor of the zest permeates the sugar crystals.  The smell of the citrus oils is beautiful.  And it adds so much natural flavor to a recipe.

So here is the results of testing and tweaking.  If you are looking for a copy cat recipe for lemon loaf, this isn't it.  If you are looking for a tart but sweet, almost divine lemon cake/bread/whathaveyou, this is it.

All Natural Lemon Loaf
2 cups white sugar
zest from 2 lemons
3 c flour
1 tsp baking powder {double acting}
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
5 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla
1 c sour cream, room temperature
1/2 c pure lemon juice*
Lemon Glaze {recipe follows}

*I juiced the two lemons and got 1/2 cup of lemon juice.  The remainder of the juice needed for the glaze was from a bottle of organic, 100% lemon juice.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour two standard loaf pans.  Combine sugar and lemon zest in jar; shake and seal for at least 10 minutes.  Recommend doing this the day before for a stronger lemon flavor.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk and set aside.  Cream butter and lemon sugar together for 5 minutes, til fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.  Add vanilla and lemon extract.  Scrape sides of bowl with rubber spatula to incorporate all ingredients.

Add 1/3 of flour mixture to butter; blend just to combine.  Add lemon juice; blend.  Add another third flour mix to batter; blend just to combine.  Add half of the sour cream; blend.  Add remaining flour and sour cream.  Blend just to combine.

Divide batter between two loaf pans.  Bake in preheated oven for 50~60 minutes, til golden and toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool on wire racks completely before removing.

To make lemon glaze, combine 2 cups of powdered sugar with 1/3 cup pure lemon juice.  Whisk to combine.  Pour over tops of cooled loaves.  Keeps for 2-3 days on counter if covered with cloth or parchment.

I used a combination of baking powder and baking soda.  Why baking powder?  Baking soda often causes cakes and baked goods to brown, especially when cooked a long time.  Baking powder doesn't so much and it's rising affect works with the heat, so more time cooking works with the baking powder.  Here's a great explanation and visual demonstration of the browning effect at Serious Eats.  One more thing.  Most baking soda sold now is double acting so that is what I used.  If you don't have double acting, just make certain you bake your lemon loaf as soon as you have the batter mixed and in the pan.

1 comment:

Catching my breath. Be back ASAP.