Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TWD: Baking with Julia - Lemon Loaf Cake


I have joined an online baking group called Tuesdays with Dorie and we are baking our way through Baking with Julia.  I first got this cookbook for Christmas a couple of years ago and vowed to bake my way through it.  Ahem... let's just say I didn't get very far.  So when I found this baking group, I simply had to join!  The group started in February 2012, so I am only 2 months behind.  No problem!

My first recipe is Lemon Loaf Cake, which can be found on page 252 of Baking with Julia.  Several bakers in the group baked this cake before I did, and reported that they did not find the lemon taste to be strong enough.  So I altered the recipe some, which will be detailed below!  My finished product was super lemony, just how we like it!  It is a bit on the dense side, but the book does admit to that right up front.  It would be super yummy if it was toasted a little and served with a blueberry compote!

The recipe itself is fairly simple, but there is some prepping to do first.

Here is an important first step.  If you are going to use citrus zest, don't forget to wash your fruit first!  Don't even think about what yucky things could have gotten on that lemon between picking and getting into your grocery cart.  Yikes.  Don't go there.  Give that baby a good washing!

 Now, zest away!
The recipe calls for the grated zest of 3 lemons.  I decided to use 4 and to add the juice of one as well.
Do you have any grapefruit spoons?  I inherited them when my husband and I combined households.  I don't understand putting something in your mouth with a serrated edge, but NOW I have a use for them!  After juicing a lemon, use a grapefruit spoon to get those rascally seeds out of the juicer!  The serrated edge will let the juice run out of the spoon, but catches the seed!  Ah-ha!

 To enhance the lemon flavor, add the zest of the fourth lemon to the sugar.

Then rub it all together with your hands.  When you zest the lemon, some of the oils are released.  Those oils are absorbed into the sugar!  This gives you more lemon mileage!

On with the actual recipe!  Whisk together the eggs, sugar, and salt until nice and foamy.  I also whisked in the juice of one lemon.

Now sift the dry ingredients into the egg mixture in three batches, whisking lightly between each one.

Whisk in some heavy cream and then gently stir in the melted and cooled butter.

Into the pan it goes!  Now it cooks for a bit and you have time to make a glaze for the top!

This glaze was the suggestion of another member of the group, who said she used this glaze for a lemon bread.  (Thanks, Diane!)

Mix together the juice of one lemon with 1/4 cup sugar.  Tricky, huh?

When your lemon cake comes out of the oven, poke it all over the place with a toothpick.  Go to town on it!  Poke away.  Does it look extra browned in one spot?  Poke!  Feeling a bit anxious about something?  Poke!  Have a fun song on the radio with a peppy beat?  Poke-poke-poke!  You get the idea!  Pour the glaze all over the cake and watch it disappear into all those holes you just made.  It's a lemon injection!

Yum.  The glaze gives the cake a bit of a crunch on top.  We are a lemon loving family and tend towards liking our lemon desserts to be on the tart side, so the extra lemon I added was just right for us!  I cut this cake into thin slices and brought it to church for "hospitality time".  It was a hit!

To summarize, my changes were:
Add zest of one additional lemon and rub it into the sugar.
Add juice of one lemon with the eggs.
Add a lemon/granulated sugar glaze on top.

The hosts of this recipe are Truc of Treats and Michelle of The Beauty of Life.  They will post the entire recipe on their blogs today!



  1. Glad you joined the group. Great photos and like your additions.

  2. I love your photos. I found the comments in the P's and Q's section to be really helpful.

  3. Looks delicious! :) Welcome to TWD!

  4. Welcome to the group! I think getting through this book is easier with all the support. I imagine we're going to be ready for anything once we've tackled it all.

    I'm a fan of extra lemony, too. We upped our lemon taste by serving it with lemon curd.

  5. Great photos! I like your additions I upped the lemon flavor also.

  6. Looks delicious and great step-by-step pictures.

  7. Yum..your cake loaf looks outstanding! Im glad you joined us:)

  8. Welcome aboard. Extra lemony is always a good idea. And blueberry compote - yes please....

  9. Looks great. I made a glaze, too. So yummy! And I use wax paper when I am baking, too. Great minds...;)

  10. Love the glaze,I used strawberries but I really enjoyed the loaf with just some powdered sugar

  11. Welcome ! Good idea to add extra lemon to the recipe. Great photos.

  12. The glaze sounds like a great addition!

  13. Looks soo good ... Lovely cake

  14. Welcome to the group! Your cake looks great :)


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