Lemon Lemon Loaf

September 21, 2010

Hi, My name is Valerie and I'm hopelessly addicted to lemons, limes and all their nefarious dessert incarnations. I don't plan on seeking any help, rather I've decided to take the opposite route and welcome my obsession with open arms (and lips.) If that makes me the citrus fruit's moll, so be it.

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe for coffee-break muffins was selected by Rhiani, of Chocoholic Anonymous. I know that when I made the muffins last year, I said I would remake them once their turn came up, but in an effort to save money and a selfish desire to play with a new lemony recipe, I decided to skip the redo on the muffins. But they are truly worth making and twice as irresistible as any muffin you will find at Starbucks.

I was, pardon the drama, desperately craving a simple, easy to prepare lemon loaf. Nothing quite so tedious as the fabulous lime pull-apart coffee-cake. And even though I've only read positive reviews about Ina's version, I have had my eye on the recipe from Baked for quite some time.

I don't know about you, but when I read that a recipe calls for sour cream, I'm immediately interested. I love it's tangy aftertaste and creamy texture. Were it not for the potentially dire consequences, I would eat sour cream as though it were yogurt. In this recipe the lemon and sour cream unite and the result is an unbelievably moist, tart, tight crumbed cake that tastes like a burst of sunshine. It's almost impossible to be in a bad mood while you're eating a slice (or two) of this loaf. And, once again, this recipe is lemon head approved.

Lemon Lemon Loaf
(adapted from Baked)
*printer friendly Recipe*

This makes two 9x5-inch loaves. If you prefer, you can divide the ingredients in half and make one loaf (but you may regret that decision.)

lemon cake ingredients
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

lemon syrup ingredients
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

lemon glaze
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, or more if needed
4 to 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.

prepare the lemon syrup
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.

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

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.)

prepare the lemon glaze
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.


  1. Valerie, you know the key to my heart. This lemon loaf looks sublime!

  2. I love Baked recipes. This looks like another winner. Yumm!

  3. Yes lemon loaves are just the best! I love your white drizzle icing...wonderful work Valerie :)

  4. I also love sour cream recipes. This would be amazing! :)

  5. Lemons! Limes! Any way in anything! I've had my eye on that pull-apart version too. Maybe on a rainy day this winter....

    This loaf looks soooo good Valerie. Sour cream always makes a cake so moist.
    Super recipe!

  6. Valerie, your baked goods always have some sort of perfectness to their look. I don't get it (smile)! For example, my lemon loaf would taste good and be moist. However, it would probably be a bit over browned on to or something like that. Seriously...
    p.s. I was checking you out of F.B. yesterday;)

  7. As much as I love chocolate, lemon is a close second (in restaurants, I'm much more likely to order a lemon dessert than a chocolate one). This looks so inviting that I have to make it.

  8. I'm all for anything lemon. The coffee muffin were good, but I would really have preferred to have your lemon cake.

  9. I love lemon loaf, and this one sounds divine with all that butter and sour cream. Funny, I hate sour cream on its own, but love what it does to cakes. :)
    I finished my DB challenge, but ran out of patience with it very quickly!

  10. What a beautiful slice of cake. I love lemon recipes and the more lemon the better.

  11. it looks so moist....I lOVE lemon cake. Its not fair how everything you cook looks awesome... ;-D

  12. Great photos and a delicious recipe. Now you've got me craving lemons!

  13. Valerie, I'm a citrus fanatic! I love this recipe and your pictures are simply beautiful! Thanks for sharing :o)

  14. Ciao Valerie ! You really made me dream with your super delicious lemonissima loaf ! I adore lemon cake pies and anything like you !!Thanks for the very nice comments !!

  15. OMG! Where have you been? What a beautiful site... and "Hi, my name is Valerie, too!" I am also hopelessly addicted to all things lemon and all things FRENCH (must be because my mother named me Valerie because she loved a French friend with that name)
    Love the recipe!
    PS - could you install a feedburner subscribe by mail plug in to your site... or a subscribe my mail plug in of another nature? I have one on my site, but I would like to subscribe, and I never get to my readers or feeds in a timely fashion.

  16. Hi, Valerie! Nice to meet me...I mean you. :) Thanks for the lovely compliment!

    If you want to subscribe, there are two options just below my profile info. on the sidebar. One is for RSS feed, and the other is to receive an email for every new post. It's so great to know yet another lemon lover.

  17. just made this.

    like seriously intensely good.
    thanks girl!

  18. Awesome, Esther! I'm so glad you like it.


Thanks for visiting, and for taking the time to read through my ramblings!
If you have a recipe comment or question, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Baking!
♥ Valerie


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