Lemon Cake

I'm not a fan of loaf cakes.

I find them oddly difficult to bake correctly, and there is too much of a challenge looking for a recipe that is simple and creative at the same time.

So up until this point, instead of doing my best and working on improving my skills and changing my viewpoint on these little cakes, I have avoided them like the plague.

And then two things happened that caused me to change my mindset and have me tumbling into a black hole of loaf cake making: I discovered the 4/4 cake in France, and I picked up a cookbook at Powell's bookstore in Portland that included a recipe for a lemon loaf cake that was made with marzipan. Yep, you heard me correctly, marzipan.

Marzipan, to me, is everything good about my childhood in one flavor.

It is the almond flavor added into the homemade poppyseed muffins we made from scratch every Saturday morning. It is the little marzipan animals my dad would bring home from his business trips to London, which I would eat microscopic morsel by microscopic morsel until the little animal lasted me a month and was so hard by the end that I had to suck on it in order to eat it.


But I digress.

I began whipping up the lemon loaf cake recipe I had found in my new cookbook, and as I was measuring out all of the ingredients, I realized how much sugar was involved. I set my mixing bowl on my electric scale and began pouring in my sugar...and kept pouring, and pouring, and pouring. And that was BEFORE I added in the marzipan!

A little bit shocked, but still attempting to keep an open mind and respect the recipe, I kept going. I finished the entire recipe, baked it, let it cool, and then cut into it for the taste test.

Lemony? Yes. Nice touch of almond? Perfect. Sweet? Cloyingly!

Not ready to give up on the idea underlying the recipe, I decided to go a bit rogue and change enough to reduce the sweetness and cater to my own tastes while still keeping the base ingredients.

Was my version a bit dry? Okay, in all honesty, yes, a bit. Is that more manageable than a sweetness overload? I think so. Have a slice with a nice cup of coffee or a tall glass of cold milk--and maybe add a little more liquid into your batter, and you will be just find.

Interested in trying out one or both of the recipes?

Continue on and check them out! Find using your computer in the kitchen annoying, or scared you will accidentally knock over your ever present mug of coffee on your keyboard as things get messy? CLICK HERE for the PDF version of the recipe, which you can print off or just save for a later date!

Lemon Loaf Cake

Brooks Headley’s Fancy Desserts Version

230g + 100g sugar
100g almond paste
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 orange, zested and juiced
75g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 whole eggs
86g cake flour
2g baking powder
1g salt

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12x4.5” loaf pan and set aside
2) In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the 230g of sugar, almond paste, and zests. Mix thoroughly then add the butter and vanilla and mix well.
3) Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the eggs one at a time.
4) Sift the flour, baking powder and salt, then mix into batter until just incorporated.
5) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes.
6) Remove from the oven and pan, and leave to cool on a wire rack.
7) Heat the second amount of sugar with the lemon and orange juices until the sugar dissolves, then pour over the cooling cake.
8) Sprinkle the cake with sugar pearls and lemon zest, and serve at room temperature.

Maddie Brehm’s Adapted Version

100g + 50g sugar
50g almond paste
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 orange, zested and juiced
75g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 whole eggs
50g whole milk
60g cake flour
50g almond powder
2g baking powder
1g salt

Prepare the recipe following the instructions above, adding in the whole milk with the eggs, and the almond powder with the other dry ingredients.

**NOTE: The original recipe recommends to serve this cake sliced, grilled, and topped with slow-roasted fruit, basil gelato, and a drizzle of olive oil. I'm not cool enough to even attempt that, but I would serve it with a cup of coffee and maybe a schmear of mascarpone or a drizzle of honey if I'm feeling fancy.

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