Every now and then I crave something tart and lemony, usually a lemon tart (no pun intended) or a lemon bar will do. This time I wanted a lemon loaf. I used to love the ones they sold at Starbucks, except I wasn’t fond of the icing. And the usual lemon poppy seed loaf from the nearest café is not lemony enough. Ok, and you thought I just wanted something simple. In fact, I craved something so simple – no icing, not even poppy seeds. I turned to my baker friend for a lemon loaf recipe, and he recommended the recipe from Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan so I borrowed the book from him. Huckleberry is a popular breakfast restaurant in Santa Monica in California, known for their baked goods and of course, breakfast. The book is very beautiful with lovely photography and rustic in an elegant way. I based this recipe from their lemon kumquat poppy teacake. I made some alterations and turned it into a simple lemon orange teacake.
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp / 225 g butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup / 200g sugar, plus 3 tbsp
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- Zest and juice of 3 lemons
- Zest and juice of 1/2 of an orange
- 2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
- 1-1/4 cups / 160 g all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup / 35 g pastry flour
- 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp buttermilk
- Half of a vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C. Grease a 9X5-in / 23X12cm loaf pan.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, 1 cup / 200 g sugar, salt, vanilla seeds, lemon and orange zests on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Incorporate the eggs and egg yolks slowly, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well. Pause mixing and add the all-purpose flour, pastry flour, baking powder, and buttermilk.. Mix cautiously, just until incorporated. Do not overmix!
- Scoop the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until the cake springs bake when touched and a cake tester comes clean. Do not overbake!
- Meanwhile, combine the scraped vanilla husk, lemon and orange juices, 3 tbsp sugar in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool as the cake bakes.
- Quickly remove the cake from the pan, and brush it on all sides of the cake while the cake is still warm.
The cake is best served the day it's made but keeps, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Recipe adapted from Huckleberry, Zoe Nathan, 2014, Chronicle Books.
Just what I needed, that lemon flavour and tartness with a hint of orange and vanilla. The glaze adds a nice flavour and keeps it moist – the last thing I want is a sad dry loaf. I like the texture of the loaf – the egg yolks added richness and the cake flour made it extra soft. I had a slice with a cup of earl grey tea, just can’t get enough citrus! Next time I might even throw in some homemade candied citrus or marmalade!