Lemon cake is like sunshine! Lemon cake is one of the very few cakes that I actually like to eat. Lemon juice takes away the cloying sweetness of a plain (but dense and fluffy) pound cake, and the cake is best enjoyed with hot tea or plain water.
I've been baking lemon cakes for breakfast and snacking purposes since maybe 2009, using this recipe, which is simply pound cake laced with lemon juice and zest, and topped with crunchy lemon glaze (sunshine).
In London, I did not like the electric beaters we inherited from the flat's previous tenants (it made too much noise and most of the time the beaters refused to release themselves for washing up), so I looked for a recipe that would only require an egg whisk. This recipe served me well there -- it uses melted butter instead of softened butter (so no creaming required), and a dose of double cream. But when I tried making the cake using the melted butter recipe when I was back in Malaysia, the cake refused to rise properly (even after I doubled the baking powder) and didn't turn out as perfectly as it used to in London. Climate effect, probably. So here's the Malaysian-weather-friendly recipe:
Easy lemon loaf cake from Nabeelah on Vimeo.
To make this cake, you will need:
1/2 cup (125g) butter, softened
1/2 cup (95g) caster sugar
2 large eggs
Zest and juice of 1 lemon (more, if you want a tangier cake)
1 cup (140g) plain flour, sifted with
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder,
and 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the glaze, you need:
1/2 cup caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Some lemon juice, maybe 3-4 tablespoons?
It's easy, really. Here's how you make the cake:
- Rub the lemon zest with the sugar, to release the lovely oils.
- Dump the butter onto the lemon sugar, and beat until creamy and fluffy. You can use an electric mixer or a large spoon, just make sure the butter and sugar are well beaten.
- Beat in the eggs, one by one. Mix well. If the mixture looks curdled, don't worry.
- Add in the dry ingredients and lemon juice alternately, ending with the flour mix. Stir until just mixed.
- Pour the batter into a greased and lined loaf tin.
- Bake in a 180*C oven for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer poked in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake for 10 minutes or so in the tin, then turn in out on a wire rack.
- Make more lemon sugar using 1/2 cup caster sugar and the zest of one lemon.
- Stir in lemon juice, until the glaze is runny but still thick.
- Pour onto the top of the cake, and let it set.