Once this time of year comes around, the time of exams and revision but also sunshine and warmth, I find it very hard to stay in the library when there’s so much fun to be had outside. One of my favourite ways to survive this is by allowing myself a break in the park where I can sit with my friends and enjoy a packed lunch, and the best part is I get to do a bit of baking while I’m at it!
This week’s recipe was one of my all time favourites a classic lemon loaf, which is something my mum made for me when I was little and is something I’ve been struggling to make as good since.
I started with this classic recipe from the BBC but improvised with lemon juice instead of zest (enough to taste) which resulted in me cooking at a lower temperature of 160oc for over two hours instead which meant I was left with an incredibly moist sponge. Although be sure to check that once the top of the cake looks like it is cooked enough to cover it in foil so that the inside continues to cook whilst the top remains perfect.
- 225g unsalted butter, softened
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- Finely grated zest 1 lemon (or in my case about 4tbsp of lemon juice)
- 225g self-raising flour
For the Icing
- Juice 1½ lemons
- 85g caster sugar
- Heat oven to 180C (or 160oc if using lemon juice)/fan 160C/gas 4 (. Beat together 225g softened unsalted butter and 225g caster sugar until pale and creamy, then add 4 eggs, one at a time, slowly mixing through. Sift in 225g flour, then add the finely grated zest of 1 lemon (or juice) and mix until well combined. Line a loaf tin (I used this one from Ikea which was perfect) with greaseproof paper, then pour in the mixture.
- Bake for 45-50 mins (or for just under 2 hours if using lemon juice) until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. While the cake is cooling in its tin, mix together the juice of 1 1/2 lemons and 85g caster sugar to make the drizzle. Prick the warm cake all over with a skewer or fork, then pour over the drizzle – the juice will sink in and the sugar will form a lovely, crisp topping. Leave in the tin until completely cool, then remove and serve.
I tend to cheat and cut myself a slice while the loaf is still slightly warm as it’s perfect with a cup of tea for a revision break, not to mention this recipe is so easy it’s practically fool-proof.
I also have to say, as a girl who lives with three boys and came down to the kitchen the next day to find only crumbs left, it was obviously a success with others as well! With a review like that it’s something I’m definitely making again and I would love to know if you have any recommendations or favourites that you like to bake!