Lemon loaf cakes are the epitome of Spring and Summer, all served up in one dish. It is light, it is citrussy and it is sweet. Lemon loaf cakes don’t require a ton of icing or a ton of work. They are beautiful and delicious all at the same time. My eight year old daughter is currently obsessed with lemon-flavored things, so we decided to bake a lemon loaf cake together recently. The result? The easy and flavorful recipe that you can find below.
You Need More Than Lemons for this Loaf Cake
The title makes it pretty clear that you need lemons for this loaf cake. And while you need more than just lemons, the ingredients for this cake are pretty simple. You’ll want to grab cake flour, sugar, sour cream, eggs, coconut oil, lemon extract, baking powder and salt. The sour cream and eggs need to be at room temperature, so make sure that you pull them out first. The coconut oil will need to be melted, too. Once it’s melted, let it sit for a few minutes to cool down. You don’t want it to resolidify but you don’t want it super hot either. There is a happy medium where it can still be melted and be just the right temperature.
Like most cake recipes, you’ll want to start by mixing your wet ingredients together. Once you’ve done that then it’s time to mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. My 8 year old daughter is old enough that she can do almost all of this by herself. Every now and then she gets a little bored and so I step in. Otherwise, this cake is easy enough for any level of baker to make.
Making the Lemon Simple Syrup
This lemon loaf cake is a two-part process. While the loaf is baking in the oven you’ll need to make a lemon simple syrup. I’ve made simple syrups on the stovetop plenty of times, but this time I tried making one in the microwave. As a busy mom I am always looking for cooking and baking short cuts. This one actually works!
Put the sugar, fresh squeezed lemon juice and water in a glass, microwaveable measuring cup. Put it in the microwave and cook it on high for 2 to 3 minutes, stopping it to stir about every 30 seconds. Be careful…it may actually boil in the microwave, and it will be HOT when it comes out. When it is done the sugar will be melted, and the syrup will be completely cohesive.
The Best Part Comes After the Baking
Once the lemon loaf cake is done baking, pull it out of the oven and let it sit on a cooling rack. You’ll know it’s done by doing the good ol’ toothpick trick…if you poke it with a toothpick and the toothpick doesn’t come out wet then it’s all done. After it has sat cooling for about ten minutes, poke the loaf with a wooden skewer. You’ll want to poke evenly throughout the cake, making sure to not poke all the way to the bottom of the loaf. My daughter of course had to help with this part.
After you’ve poked the lemon loaf cake, pour the lemon simple syrup over the loaf. This is what gives the loaf that moist and sticky texture. My daughter’s favorite part of the lemon loaf is it’s sticky texture.
A Lemon Loaf Cake Worth Remembering
My family loved this lemon loaf cake. It was so simple to make, and so delicious to eat. Did you give the recipe a try? If so, let me know how you liked it in the comments below! If you changed anything, I would love to hear about that, too. Until next time!
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Lemon Loaf Cake
- loaf pan
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- 1 cup sour cream at room temp
- 3 large eggs at room temp
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted and cooled a bit
- 2 tsp lemon zest freshly zested
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract
- 1 1/2 cup cake flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice fresh squeezed
- 1/4 cup water
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spray your loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whisk together in a large bowl the sour cream, eggs, sugar, coconut oil, lemon zest and lemon extract. Set aside.
- In a separate medium-sized bowl, mix together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Once you have done this, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add a little at a time and mix together with the hand mixer until everything is just combined. Do not over mix. The batter may be slightly lumpy.
- Pour your lemon loaf cake batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- While the lemon loaf cake is baking, you will want to make your syrup. Mix the sugar, water and fresh squeezed lemon juice together in a glass microwaveable safe measuring cup. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stopping it to stir about every 30 seconds. It will boil a bit. You will know the syrup is ready when the sugar is dissolved, and the syrup is a cohesive mixture.
- Once the cake is done and has cooled for 10 minutes, poke the cake in several places with a wooden skewer. Do not poke all the way through to the bottom.
- Leaving the lemon loaf cake in the pan, pour the lemon syrup evenly over the loaf. It will soak into the loaf cake via the small holes that you just made. Let it sit and cool completely in the pan.
- Once the cake has completely cooled, slice it up and serve. Enjoy!
- You can substitute Greek Yogurt, Plain, for the sour cream.
- Vegetable Oil can be substituted for the coconut oil.
- I have not made this with all-purpose flour, but I imagine you could make it with that if needed. Substitute the same amount of all-purpose flour for the cake flour.
- If you want a stronger lemon syrup, use 1/2 cup of lemon juice instead of 1/4 lemon juice, 1/4 cup water. My daughter didn’t want it to be too lemony, but go for it! I have made it both ways and it will still taste good.