Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lemon Lemon (Lemon) Loaf

Remember when my mother-in-law bought me Baked? I'm thrilled to say I finally cracked it open. I can't believe I waited this long, and I hope I never go more than a few weeks without making something from this book. The first thing I made from the book was the Lemon Lemon Loaf, except I'm calling it Lemon Lemon (Lemon) Loaf, because it's a triple whammy of lemon flavor: cake, syrup, AND glaze.

Lemon Lemon (Lemon) Loaf

This cake is my new favorite thing ever. You may have already noticed this, but I'm a huge lemon fan-- I've been eating them plain since childhood-- and will take as much strong lemon flavor as you'll give me. In fact, I have at least 2 other lemony posts scheduled in the next week. This cake was a hit with people who don't feel quite as strongly, though, so don't let the triple dose scare you away.

The book says the glaze is optional, but I'm going to be uncharacteristically assertive here and demand that, if you make this cake, you make the glaze. It's totally 100% key to the cake's smashing success.

Lemon Lemon (Lemon) Loaf
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
Printable Recipe
Makes 2 9x5x3 loaves

For the Lemon Cake:
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
8 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup grated lemon zest (from about 4 lemons)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Lemon Syrup:
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

For the Lemon Glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, or more if needed
4 to 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Make the Lemon Cakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the sides and bottom of two 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper.

2. Sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

3. Put the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until combined. With the motor running, drizzle the butter in through the feed tube. Add the sour cream and vanilla and pulse until combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

4. Sprinkle the flour mixture, one third at a time, folding gently after each addition until just combined. Do not overmix.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F., and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

6. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the Lemon Syrup:
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper or Silpat and invert the loaves onto the pan. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the loaves.

3. Brush the tops and sides of the loaves with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cakes cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

The soaked but unglazed loaves will keep, wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap and frozen, for up to 6 weeks.

Make the Lemon Glaze:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar and 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. If the mixture is too stiff, add up to another 2 tablespoons lemon juice and whisk again, adding small amounts of lemon juice and/or confectioners' sugar until you get the right consistency. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.

The glazed loaves will keep for up to 3 days, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, at room temperature.


Juliet said...

oooh, this sounds so good. I too can never have too much lemon, so I will definitely have to give this one a try sometime soon. Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

i want some!!!

geisha_me said...

My Mommy makes this too, Amy, & it IS delicious, light & lemony! Watch out, I know I can kill half a loaf if left unattended with one. :)

Linda said...

Yummy. I'll definitely be making this.

Beth said...

Yummy! Wish I were in Eugene this weekend! Can I make a request when we come to town in November? Lol, I love checking your postings, thank you for all of the inspiration! Great pic!

What's Cookin Chicago said...

This looks gorgeous and that glaze makes it even more special!

Selma - DUSBAHCESI said...

This sound very very good!! BTW, isn't 8 eggs to much?

Amy I. said...

@DUSBAHCESI Thanks for commenting! This recipe makes 2 whole cakes, so all the eggs aren't just going into one loaf.

Delicious Dishings said...

This sounds amazing! And I'm glad you seem to like the book so far... I am thinking of getting it.

Sara said...

Yum! I absolutely love lemon loaf cakes, and I didn't even realize that this was in Baked. I just recently got it as well. I will have to put this one up against Ina's lemon yogurt cake which currently holds title for me as the best lemon loaf cake. You loaf looks amazing :)

Jenna said...

I am making this AS I TYPE THIS. I'm at the "cool for 15 minutes then syrup" stage. I can't wait to get to the glazing part.

Lara said...

I made this today -- it was pretty yum. And, well, I didn't use a food processor. Nor did I have powdered sugar for the glaze... And no sour cream/yogurt -- but I did add some normal cream, and some honey! OK, I couldn't taste the honey, and I fully admit to making several additional baking blunders. But STILL, it was good, and I think it would taste great warm on top of ice cream.

Jhonny walker said...

This loaf looks terffic...kind of I want to have it now. Nice recipes in your blog

Pamela said...

I LOVED this lemon loaf. I borrowed the book from the library in the early part of this year and it was the only recipe I got to try. But it was absolutely delicious! The only thing I skipped was the glaze, because I froze the cake. Ugh...I gotta make it again, soon!

Charlene @ Sweetchic said...

omg, this sounds divine!! I wish I had some lemons to make some right now...

DC Striving said...

Is it possible to halve the recipe and make one loaf? I only have one loaf pan and one husband! Two seems like a lot!

Amy I. said...

@DC Striving I haven't done it personally, but I don't see why it wouldn't work!

Crystal said...

This looks delicious! I've been craving a lemony sweet for the past week.....this may be it! I will have to make this at some point this week {the sooner, the better}. Just curious...how many lemons did you use?

Amy I. said...

Hi Crystal! I hope you make this, it would definitely help with your lemon craving. I wish I remembered how many lemons I used, but it's been about 6 months now.. I'd say maybe at least 6 to be safe? I always buy more than I need since I like to have them on hand to put in water, etc. It depends on how juicy your lemons are too :) Have fun!

Crystal said...

Thanks! I'm glad I looked through your archives and found this recipe. I look forward to finding many more that I can't go without trying!

Vanessa said...

This weekend I finally got around to making this for my lemon-loving husband. We thought it was delicious. I would say I wished it hadn't taken me so long to try, but my scale would disagree! The plan was to freeze all but one mini loaf (I made one big one and three mini loaves), but that definitely didn't happen! I hope you are doing well and are having a great New Year with little squish. :)

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