Monday, March 13, 2017

Lemon Cake

Last week I made TheHub a small lemon loaf cake for three reasons.  He has an almost insatiable sweet tooth and is one of those people who can eat dessert every single day and never gain wait. (Yeah, if I didn't love him I would hate him.) I also had some Meyer lemons and kefir that needed to be used right away. The third reason I made it is although I like lemon cake perfectly fine, I don't love it so I can leave it alone without it screaming at me from the pan.

This is a pretty straight forward cake recipe that I found on the Lifeway website.  I am going ahead and posting this as it was written there because it is exactly how I made it.  I claim no originality but I will mention what I will change next time at the end of the recipe.

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup kefir (or buttermilk)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp grated lemon zest
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 ̊ F. Grease an 8 ½-inch loaf pan with butter or baking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a larger separate bowl, beat together kefir, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla.
Slowly pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir to combine. Mix in oil until combined.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (You may want to remove from oven after 50 minutes as the cake will continue to cook as it cools.)
While the cake bakes, make the glaze. Combine the lemon and sugar in a small pan. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved.
Set aside. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes after you remove it from the oven.
Remove from loaf pan and place on a plate or cutting board. Let the cake cool completely.
Once the cake has cooled, use a toothpick to poke several holes all around the top of the cake.
Brush the lemon-sugar mixture on the warm cake. You don’t have to use all of the mixture.

I literally just copied and pasted the recipe and now I will tell you what I would do differently. ( I know because on the Mom Birthday, Sunday lenten fasting exception I tried a bite so I could accurately tell you what I thought about it. See,  I was only thinking of y'all.  I am nice like that)

The cake had a very nice pound cake consistency, slightly dense and moist, but it was not lemony.  next time I will take out a couple of tablespoons of the kefir and replace it with lemon juice, and use 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla to up the lemon flavor .  And trust me you will want to use all the lemon juice sugar mix.  I always bake a loaf cake in a glass loaf pan and never take it out prior to serving it.  I poked deep holes in the warm cake using my favorite poking device, a single piece of uncooked spaghetti, then spooned the lemony goodness all over the cake top.  Since I made really deep holes the topping went all the way through the cake. It was really tasty and after I had a small bite of it, it started screaming at me from the pan so it had to be sliced, individually wrapped in plastic, placed in a gallon size freezer bag and hidden toward the back of the big freezer just to get it to shut up.

Next time in addition to the lemon extract and juice changes, I will probably flour about 1/2 cup blueberries and fold  them into the batter right before pouring it in the pan, and will up the lemon syrup to 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar.  I will probably pour about half on the cake and save the rest to drizzle on each cake slice as it is served

And as if this isn't enough lemon cakery and you are in the mood to read an interesting, yet odd book try The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.  We read it for book club several years ago and it sparked quite a conversation.


  1. My mouth is watering. I am making note of that book.

  2. How nice to hear of someone else who uses uncooked spaghetti sticks. I use them to test if a cake is done too.
    It sounds good but I need to avoid cake. And my partner can eat and eat and eat without gaining an ounce. So not fair.

    1. I guess life just isn't fair. We married when we were very young and since I don't like cooked fruit I would make TheHub apple pies. In one night he would eat the entire pie and not gain an ounce. I would lick a chocolate bar and gain 3 pounds.

  3. The cake looks good and the addition of blueberries can only improve it!

  4. Oh, shower planning mode and this sounds perfect for my niece's shower.Lemon cakes are so pretty.

  5. I have not read that book, but every time I handled it at the library, I lusted over the cake on the cover.

  6. Yum! Looks delicious. I like sweets like your husband, except I gain all the weight!!

  7. Oh my goodness that looks delish!!!! My hubs LOVES anything with lemon in it, except for lemon meringue pie.The egg part grosses him out.
    But I could SO make this!

  8. And it is a snap to make. I don't mind making cakes but hate to make a big one with just us here. A loaf cake will be gone in a couple or 3 days and then I can/will make another one.

  9. Yum! It sounds delicious! I have a glut of lemons, so I think I shall make this cake with the modifications you suggest (lemon juice in the batter, as well). Of course, I'll want to eat it and then I'll gain weight again!

    1. That is precisely why I tossed it in the freezer. Frozen cake can't yell as loud as freshly baked stuff can.

  10. I've made a couple of cakes for the freezer for when my brother and has family come out. That looks like a definite one for the freezer too - something that's not chocolate - although there's nothing wrong with chocolate of course! Anna

  11. Chocolate is my nemesis so I am limiting my exposure to it!


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