I'm a firm believer that everyone should have at least one signature bake. That thing which you always get asked to make by your friends, family, or colleagues whenever a cake is needed. I've got a few signature bakes, but one of the most requested is a lemon loaf cake from The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook.
The first Hummingbird Bakery cookbook is my go-to for cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and of course lemon cake. Easy to make, these recipes always deliver. I’m yet to find another cupcake recipe which works as well! When I was asked by a friend to help with a bake sale at work, my lemon loaf cake was the first that came to mind. It’s easy to make, tasty, and it produces a LOT of cake, meaning more money for charity (hopefully).
The recipe is simple to follow, and doesn’t require too many ingredients. Aside from lemons, all of the other ingredients are store cupboard/fridge staples. The process is simple, begin by mixing together sugar and eggs. Next, alternate adding flour mixed with baking powder, and milk mixed with vanilla essence. Add your lemon zest, and finally mix in some melted butter.
I’ve made this with both a handheld mixer and my Kitchen Aid and it works well with either (although the Kitchen Aid makes it a lot easier!). It’s worth noting that although the prep time is minimal, it will need 75 minutes in the oven, so you can’t whip this up at the last minute!
In the last 15 minutes of baking, you’ll need to make a simple lemon sugar syrup is made using sugar, lemon juice and water. As soon as the cake is out of the oven, this is drizzled over the cake.
Once cooled (it’s a hefty cake, so it will take a while), slice and store in an airtight tin. Due to the lack of icing, this cake is best served with a big mug of tea/coffee, or warmed slightly with some cream. Having said that, I promise you that it tastes great.
I’m going to look at giving this a go with gluten free flour next time, but I’m pleased to say that this one went down a storm at the bake sale!
- You don’t need greaseproof paper for this cake. I’ve got a non-stick tin, which I greased with melted butter and then sprinkled with flour. Although dubious at first, it works perfectly! Take the cake out of the tin while it is still slightly warm.
- Freeze your leftover lemons. This recipe requires a lot of lemon zest, but not so much lemon juice. I tend to cut the leftover lemons into wedges and freeze to use in drinks.
- Make the most of your lemon drizzle! Before pouring over the lemon syrup, make some holes in the cake using either a skewer or sharp knife, otherwise the syrup just runs down the sides. I also use a pastry brush to apply the syrup to the top of the cake, which gives it a nice shine.