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When life gives you lemons: Lemon Cake

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Sugar Bowl Mix: When life gives you lemons: Lemon Cake

Sunday, March 6, 2011

When life gives you lemons: Lemon Cake

Life has taken some interesting twists and turns over the last six months. So I'm trying to adopt a when life gives you lemons, make lemonade attitude.

As it happens, we have three lemon trees. Here's one of them:

It's full of fruit that smells of lemony fresh spring.

The lemons come in all shapes. This one was my favorite pick today:

Its gently gnarled, mature form reminds me of a wise grandmother. As it happens, my wise mother-in-law is visiting from Tennessee right now to help me get our house ready for sale. She brought Southern Living magazine with her and, as it happens, it contains a recipe for lemon-coconut pound cake.

Katie loves the lemon loaf at Starbucks. So when she asked if I would try to replicate it, everything came together: Lemon tree, lemons, mother-in-law, Southern Living, Katie, baking.

I based my recipe loosely on Southern Living's recipe. I omitted the coconut and made it more breakfast friendly because that's when Katie likes to eat it. I added wheat germ, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, replaced the butter with olive oil, and the sour cream with fat-free Greek yogurt.

Here's what we got:

Moist, tender, slightly crunchy (thanks to wheat germ), and full of zesty lemon freshness. Katie declared this the best lemon loaf ever. Way better than the Starbucks version.

Here's how you make it:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons wheat germ

1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
3 eggs (replace with egg whites if you're going for lower cholesterol!)
2 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup fat free Greek yogurt

Mix the olive oil and sugars together. Add the eggs one at a time.

Stir together the flour, the wheat germ, the salt, and the baking soda.

Add 1/2 the flour mixture to the oil mixture. Stir in the lemon juice. Add the rest of the flour mixture and then add the yogurt.

Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 50 - 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing.

Spoon the lemon glaze over the cake.

If you can, wait to eat the cake until the following day, giving the lemon flavor time to soak through.

Lemon Glaze:
Mix together 2 cups powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of milk.


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