Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Humble Lemon Loaf

This was one of the first cakes I had ever baked, which was about 4 years ago. I had a small fiddly little mixer made from cheap plastic, which, when turned on, looked like the mixing bowl was going to fly off the base as it rotated and rocked back and forth. But the cake still came out great, and I fell in love with it instantly, as did my cousins Soo and Rachel who also tried their hand at the recipe. I think they loved it so much that they kept taking turns baking it every other day for a while. I, too, baked another one shortly after the cake was all eaten up the next morning.

What I love about this cake is that it's super easy to make with only 6 ingredients, and as long as I have lemons at home (and I only need one!), I know I can have a nice dessert on the table within a couple of hours. This is a classic lemon syrup cake, which is like a lemon pound cake glazed and soaked in tangy lemon syrup. I always love the crusty exterior of the cake, which has little bits of crystalized sugar from the syrup after it's cooled, which gives it a nice crunch with a little zing from the lemon juice. I was pleasantly surprised that even the kids loved it, and they kept going back for more. Usually, they only eat anything that has chocolate in it. Lemon must be the new chocolate!

This recipe is from, which is a fantastic website and a regular source of recipes for me. Have a go at it if you are craving for something sweet, something lemony. It's comfort food, and an easy one too!

Recipe adapted from

Lemon Loaf


125g butter, softened
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 large lemon, rind finely grated, juiced
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional) 
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 6cm deep, 19cm x 10cm (base) loaf pan.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream butter, 1 cup of sugar and rind until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract, if used.
  3. Add half the flour and half the milk to egg mixture. Gently stir to combine. Fold in remaining flour and milk. Spoon mixture into loaf pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  4. Combine remaining sugar and 1/3 cup of lemon juice. Use a skewer to poke holes all over the loaf. Pour syrup over hot loaf while still in pan. Stand in pan until cooled.