Friday, January 30, 2009

"Baked" Lemon Loaf

This recipe came from one of my newer cookbooks. I've seen the authors, Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, who own a bakery called "Baked" in New York City, on the Martha Stewart Show. Their brownies were also mentioned on the Oprah show as one of Oprah's favorite things. Since then, they've been mentioned on various blogs that I follow and their cookbook has gotten great reviews. So, being the sucker for cookbooks that I am, I purchased a copy of Baked - New Frontiers in Baking for myself. The cookbook contains all the elements you'd like to see from a baking cookbook, but it seems that each recipe has a unique twist which makes this cookbook special. The lemon loaf, although not the dense pound cake I was looking for, is quite delicious, moist, and light.

The cake itself has a good amount of lemon zest and some lemon juice. Then you drizzle the underside of the cake, which you've pierced with a toothpick, with lemon sugar syrup. After that's soaked in, dress the cake with a lemon glaze. One taste and you'll be in lemon paradise!

Lemon Lemon Loaf from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
Makes 2 loaves

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

For the syrup:
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

For the glaze:
2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
4 to 6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the sides and bottom of two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment and spray the parchment.
Sift both of the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl using a whisk.
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 in 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 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make 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 or waxed 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 with lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the loaves and brush again. Let the cakes cool completely, about 30 minutes.
The soaked but unglazed loaves will keep, wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap and frozen, for up to 6 weeks.
While the cakes are cooling, make the lemon glaze...
In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar and 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. If too stiff, add up to another 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, a little at a time until the right consistency is reached. 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. The glazed loaves will keep up to 3 days, wrapped tightly in plastic, at room temperature.


  1. mmmm, sounds good! I agree with tennis - recipe please!

  2. Hi, I'm doing a post for this recipe on 8/8/10. I am having a GIVEAWAY. Check it out.

    I'm linking your post to my site.


  3. Another recipe for you and the visitors. This delicious loaf makes the perfect companion to a tall glass of iced tea or a steaming mug of tea. Use fresh blueberries when they're in season, or frozen ones anytime of year.

    * 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) all purpose flour
    * 2-1/2 tsp. (7 mL) baking powder
    * 1/4 tsp. (1 mL) salt
    * 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
    * 1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, softened
    * 2 eggs
    * 1 lemon (peel grated, juice squeezed)
    * 1/2 cup (125 mL) milk
    * 1 cup 250 (mL) blueberries, fresh or frozen (don't thaw if using frozen)

    Lemon glaze:
    * 1/4 cup (50 mL) granulated sugar
    * juice from one lemon (above)

    Cooking Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F (180 degree C). Grease a 9 x 5-inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan.
    2. In a bowl, stir together the flour, the baking powder and the salt.
    3. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the sugar and the butter for a few minutes until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each one. Beat in the grated lemon peel. Add the flour mixture in two or three portions, alternately with the milk, beating just until the batter is smooth. Quickly fold in the blueberries, just until they're evenly distributed. If you're using frozen berries, the batter will turn blue -- don't panic, it will look fine when it's baked.
    4. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick poked into the middle comes out clean. Leave it in the pan while you prepare the lemon syrup.
    5. In a small microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, combine the 1/4 cup (50 mL) of granulated sugar with the lemon juice. Microwave on high power for 30 to 45 seconds -- just until the mixture boils. Remove from microwave and give it a stir. With a toothpick, poke holes all over the top of the Blueberry Loaf. Using a wide pastry brush, brush the top of the hot loaf with the hot syrup. Let cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan, then remove to a rack and cool completely.



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