Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TWD: Lemon Loaf Cake

Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan
Contributing Baker: Norman Love

                             Lemon Loaf Cake

Unfortunately I have no Love for this loaf.

With a name like [Lemon] Loaf Cake, I expected a lot more lemon flavor. Citrus (mainly lemon) is one of my all-time favorite flavors for dessert; the other is chocolate.

Reviewing the recipe I was surprised there was no lemon juice, only zest added to the batter. I went on the advice of another baker and added juice of one lemon; for me this was about two tablespoons; and that of another baker, mixing the zest with the sugar before adding. I think this would work really well distributing the zest evenly if it was being creamed with other ingredients. In this case it was added to the eggs and cream which seemed futile.

Hearing that this recipe came out a bit boring and dry I wanted to make some adjustments. I had a hard time deciding which way I wanted to go, so I decided to make three mini loaves. To the master recipe I added some lemon juice as mentioned above. One loaf I left plain and made stewed berries to accompany it, another I injected with lemon curd (as I did here for the lemon cupcakes I made for a friend's birthday) and added a dusting of powdered sugar. Lastly I draped the final loaf with a lemon glaze I made of powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest.

I'm sad to say this is one I would not write home about and for me is not worth the fat and calories consumed. You may ask why I rated this a two rather than a one on the success meter. I feel this earns a two because it is an easy and quick recipe, and in general a good loaf with a very mild lemon flavor; and for some this may be what they want. Me, I need a more intense lemon flavor - one that wows.

Success meter (1-3): 2

I forgot to bring my ingredients to room temperature.
Hence soaking the eggs and cream in warm water.

I really like the idea of mixing the zest with the
sugar beforehand for most recipes, it was
unnecessary for this one.

Has the look of stained glass.

Just look at all the lemon zest!
Unfortunately it did not impart much flavor.

Need to get the lemon curd deeper into the loaf.

For the recipe see Truc of Treats and Michelle of The Beauty of Life, our hosts for the month; if you want to add to your cookbook collection (or start one !) you can buy the book at your local bookstore or on-line.


  1. sorry to hear that none of the variations were to your liking. I also would have preferred a more lemony cake. Will have to try Ina Garten's recipe that everyone has been going on about!

  2. Agreed. Massaging zest through sugar is the equivalent of a glue-sniff aroma high for bakers. Nice add-ins too!

  3. Sorry you didn't love this one, I like the idea of curd with the loaf . The pictures are great!!

  4. I like the idea of the added berries. I also added some lemon juice, maybe some lemon extract would help to push the taste.

    On a side-note, I nominated you for the Liebster blog award, go to my blog to check it out!

  5. I love all of your combinations, you've been working hard!!

  6. I totally agree with you - I won't be making this again. But I bet the berries made it into a nice treat.

  7. Oh, I love the fruit sauce - that had to add a really nice touch. And nice job with the variations.

  8. I like your success meter, that's a great way to quickly evaluate a recipe.

  9. Totally agree with you on this loaf. Love, love, love your scalloped loaf pans. Even if the cake was blah, they looked really good.

  10. I bet the berry compote helped kick up the flavor and moisture a little, though I agree this probably isn't worth making again. There are better lemon cake recipes out there : ).

  11. I absolutely adore your photos! Great post! Although the recipe might not have lived up to expectations, your blog certainly did not suffer from that fact, on the contrary....And congratulations on receiving the "Versatile Blogger Award"!

  12. Your loaves look great! I am sorry that it wasn't a great recipe for you. I thought it was OK. The berries look so yummy also!

  13. Beautiful photos! I want to eat that whole bowl of stewed berries. :)

  14. Great photos. I was told by a lemon dessert lover this wasn't lemony enough too, which was surprising. The cake was definitely best with fruit on top!

  15. a little berry sauce is a good way to give this some wow factor!

  16. Those berries are beautiful. Great idea to inject with lemon curd. I've never tried such fancy engineering!

  17. Wow you did a beautiful work here!
    What a pity you didn't like it (to tell the true is not my fav cake neither!)
    Thanks for your post - it was a pleasure for our eyes.


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