Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake

IMG_3831The other day I drove to the store on a mission. I currently have 4 open bags of various flours in my pantry left over from gluten-free cake-baking, and I’ve been trying to use them up. Since my mom is gluten-free, I figured this was a perfect opportunity for me to bake some goodies that she could eat too. First on the list was a recipe for muffins made with oat flour, just the thing for a healthy, filling, delicious breakfast treat. A treat that also made good use of my oat flour, of course! All I needed was a box of raisins.

I should have known that I wouldn’t be able to walk out of the store with nothing but one measly box of raisins. Before I even made it through the automatic doors I spied a display of asparagus. One, it was on sale; two, our refrigerator was looking sadly barren in the vegetable department; and three, the asparagus looked so, so plump and fresh. Come on, for an impulse buy, asparagus is certainly not something to be ashamed of. But as I happily bagged up my nice green stalks, I noticed another item nestled alongside the asparagus. Limited-time-only, raved-about-by-multiple-food-bloggers, hybrid-of-a-lemon-and-mandarin-orange, Meyer lemons!

Without a second thought, I plucked up a bag of the deep yellow beauties and dropped it into my cart. I just couldn’t resist. Believe it or not, I’d never before had a chance to try a Meyer lemon, even though I’ve heard multiple people wax poetic on their sweetness, mega-flavor, and superiority to regular old lemons. The healthy oat muffins dropped down a few places on my mental to-bake list and my new beautiful Meyer lemons took front stage.

After much debate, I decided to try out a Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake that I had previously goggled over at Brown Eyed Baker. Luckily I had all the ingredients at home, because I wasn’t about to go back to the dangerously distracting grocery store. I got the cake mixed up in a jiffy, and into the oven it went. The hardest part was letting it cool for an entire hour after being drenched in a sweet lemon glaze. Waiting was pure torture!

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I now understand all the rage about Meyer lemons! They really do have a distinct flavor from normal lemons, being much sweeter, fruitier, and less acidic. The loaf cake had a soft, delicate crumb, was sweet-but-not-too-sweet, and was absolutely bursting with lemon flavor. Also, since it’s baked in a loaf pan you can absolutely call it a quick bread and eat it for breakfast!

If you happen to spot Meyer lemons being sold at your grocery store, I recommend letting yourself have a little impulse buy! You can use them in the place of lemons in any recipe you like, but of course I’m biased to this loaf cake. Enjoy!

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Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake

For the cake:

1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 & 1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 Tbs Meyer lemon zest (from about 4 lemons)

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp Meyer lemon juice

1 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

For the glaze:

1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9″x5″ loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place the sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl. Using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar until the mixture is well-combined and moist. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs into the sugar mixture one at a time, followed by the vanilla and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. While mixing, pour the melted butter into the bowl in a steady stream, occasionally scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula.

Add the flour mixture in three increments, whisking gently with each addition. Mix just until no flour streaks remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, then decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake for an additional 33-35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. When the loaf cake is golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven. Let the cake cool in its pan for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the glaze. Stir together the 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the mixture has slightly thickened.

Run a knife along the edges of the loaf cake and invert it onto a wire rack. Use a toothpick to poke holes all over the top and sides of the cake. Generously brush the cake with the lemon glaze. Let the cake cool for at least 1 hour, then cut and serve. The cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for several days.

(Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker)

 

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