Lemon Loaf – I don’t know about you, but I like a varied breakfast throughout the week. I am fortunate enough to have time to cook breakfast every morning, and I often do. James is home about 5 out of 7 days in the morning so it’s nice that we get to have that meal together. While we all love eggs and toast and the infinite ways that they can be prepared, sometimes you just need to change things up. Enter this lemon loaf. It’s tart and sweet, dense and still light, and goes perfectly with a cup of coffee. It’s a true breakfast treat.
I saw this very recently over at Cook Like a Champion and the only thing that stopped me from making it that day was that I was almost out of sugar (the horror). I definitely picked up sugar during my weekly grocery store trip and made this the same day. I’m so glad that I didn’t put it off.
It does make two loaves and requires several steps but most of the cooking time is pretty hands off. I froze one loaf after applying the simple syrup and I already know what I’m going to do with it. 😉 I haven’t had the lemon loaf from Starbucks but that’s what Courtney compared it to, so if you are a fan of that treat, give this at home version a try!
Makes 2 9-inch loaves
For the lemon cake:
- 1½ cups cake flour
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2¼ cups granulated sugar
- 8 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¼ cup grated lemon zest (from about 4 lemons)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ½ Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the lemon simple syrup:
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- ⅓ cup sugar
For the lemon glaze:
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 4-6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350º F and butter the sides and bottom of two 9-inch loaf pans. Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of each loaf pan and butter the parchment, as well; set aside.
2. Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, carefully combine the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice on lowest speed.
4. While the mixer is running on lowest speed, carefully and slowly add in the melted butter. Add the Greek yogurt and vanilla to the mixture and continue mixing until combined.
5. With the mixer turned off, add the flour mixture to the bowl and gently fold the mixture together using a rubber spatula. Do not overmix.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake on the middle rack for 20 minute. After 20 minutes, rotate the pans and reduce the oven temperature to 325º F and continue baking for an additional 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans for 15 minutes.
7. While the loaves cool, make the lemon simple syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice and sugar over medium heat. Whisk the mixture until the sugar is dissolved and then cook for 3 more minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
8. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper and turn the loaves out onto the prepared baking sheet. Poke holes all over the top and sides of a the loaves using a toothpick. Brush the sides and top of the loaves with the simple syrup, repeat until simple syrup is gone (2-3 times total).
9. Allow the cakes to cool completely (at least 30 minutes). Freeze loaves at this time, if desired, for later use.
10. When the loaves have cooled, make the lemon glaze. Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 4 tablespoons lemon juice. The glaze should be thick but pourable. Add more lemon juice, if needed. Pour or spoon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the loaves sit for about 15 minutes, or until the glaze hardens. Wrap the glazed loaves tightly in plastic wrap to store. They will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days.