This week, I baked for my colleagues as a way to say farewell as I move on to pastures new. My lovely colleagues have been the recipients of my bakes so often – sometimes to mark a special event or occasion, sometimes to raise money in a bake sale, and sometimes just because I happen to have some going spare.
Baking for me is a way to give a piece of my (usually stony haha) heart and I love how it brings people together. Who doesn’t love a treat??!!
As I thought about what to bake, I remembered once reading that if you’re choosing a gift, you should always choose something you’d like – and the recipient will like that it reflects you, the giver. With that in mind, I baked what I love to eat most of all – lemon cake.
This is my all time favourite treat. It’s what I look for in coffee shops, what I hope for on a buffet table, and what I definitely am utterly selfish about when it comes to licking the bowl 🙂
All hail to the humble lemon loaf cake!!
Lemon Loaf Cake
For the cake:
- 175g butter, softened and cubed
- 175g caster sugar
- 175g self-raising flour, sifted
- 3 eggs
- zest of a medium sized lemon
- 2 tbsp plain yogurt or milk
For the icing:
- 150g icing sugar
- juice of the zested lemon
- Heat the oven to 170 C fan
- Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar using a wooden spoon or electric mixer until smooth and pale
- Add the eggs and beat well
- Add the flour, zest, yogurt/milk and mix again until a smooth batter is formed
- Transfer the batter to the loaf tin and smooth down
- Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes or until a skewer placed into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Baking can take up to an hour but regular checking pays off as it’s easy to catch the edges when baking in a loaf tin
- Once fully baked, remove from the oven and stand for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack and gently peeling away the greaseproof paper
- Allow to cool completely before icing
- To make the lemon icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually add the lemon juice. It’s unlikely that all of the lemon juice will be needed; add a little at a time until a thick, slightly runny consistency is achieved
- Once the loaf has cooled completely, drizzle over the lemon icing and allow to set before cutting into fat slices
Tip: Store the lemon loaf in an airtight container and eat within 3 days