Iced Lemon Loaf
Satisfy your lemon craving with this moist and slightly sweet iced lemon loaf! Bursting with bright citrus, with a hint of sweet almond.
*This post originally published on January 19, 2016. I thought it was about time the pics and recipe were updated. So, the photos you see here now are new and improved! I’ve also improved the recipe and added more answers to some frequently asked questions. Hopefully you’ll enjoy this iced lemon loaf as much as my family and I do.*
Hey, hello! I’m bringing you another spring favorite today- iced lemon loaf!
Really, I think lemon works at just about any time of year. It’s great during the winter because it’s so sunshine-y and cheerful (unlike the weather outside, lol!), but it’s great in spring and summer too because it’s so light and refreshing.
I’ve got lots of great lemon treats on this site, like lemon bars, lemon poppy seed muffins, and lemon cupcakes. I love them all! But this bread slash cake is definitely a top favorite. It’s great for bringing to parties! In fact I plan on bringing it to my friends house tomorrow night.
The cake itself is infused with lemon juice, and after it’s baked, a lemon-y syrup is spooned all over the warm loaf. It soaks right in and intensifies the flavor even more. Then, the whole thing is blanketed in a thick glaze that reinforces the tart citrus flavor. The icing has lots of fresh zest, along with lemon juice, Greek yogurt, and just a hint of almond extract. I really think that sweet, fruity flavor adds something so special!
HOW TO MAKE ICED LEMON LOAF
This recipe has three main components:
- A lemon syrup that gets drizzled and soaked into the cake
- The lemon cake itself
- The topping: a sweet, lemony glaze
I’ll take you through each one step-by-step!
THE LEMON SYRUP
The lemon drizzle couldn’t be simpler, but it will lend so much bright, lemony flavor to your cake!
Just combine some freshly squeezed lemon juice and sugar in a small pot. Cook the liquid over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely. Then set the syrup aside to cool, while you get going on the loaf.
THE LEMON LOAF
To make the cake, start by whisking the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a big bowl.
Then add in the soft butter and mix everything together until the mixture looks sort of like damp sand. This should only take about a minute or so.
Next, add in the eggs. It’s important that you mix the eggs in one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of your mixing bowl with a silicone spatula after each addition.
Once that’s looking nice and smooth, stir in the Greek yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and almond extract. Beat the batter on medium-high speed for around 60 to 90 seconds, to aerate it and build the cake’s structure.
Transfer the batter to a lightly greased loaf pan, and bake it for about an hour. You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick inserted in the thickest part comes out clean.
Let the loaf cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then slip it out and onto a sheet pan. At this point, you can spoon that sweet lemon syrup all over the cake. It will soak in and make your lemon loaf so incredibly moist, with a really tangy, citrus-y flavor!
THE LEMON ICING
Once the bread has cooled completely, it can be glazed with a thick layer of icing. It’s made from powdered sugar, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and just a hint of almond extract.
Just stir these ingredients together in a little bowl until smooth, then slather it all over the top of the bread, allowing it to drip tantalizingly down the sides. It looks so tempting!
I DON’T HAVE GREEK YOGURT- IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE I CAN USE?
If you don’t keep plain Greek yogurt on hand, that’s ok. There are other ingredients that will work very well in its place.
- My top choice would be sour cream. It’s very similar in taste and texture to Greek yogurt.
- Or you could use buttermilk. It’s got the same, slightly tangy flavor, but it’s not quite as thick. So if you do use buttermilk, you may notice that your batter looks a little runnier.
- In a pinch, you can make your own buttermilk. Stir 2 tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice into 2/3 cup of whole milk. Allow this mixture to sit for about 5 minutes, and it should thicken up slightly and look almost curdled.
CAN THIS LEMON BREAD BE MADE AHEAD?
This is a great recipe for making ahead. In fact, I think it gets even better as it sits. The lemon syrup has a chance to really soak in and permeate its flavor and moisture all throughout.
Keep it wrapped tightly so it doesn’t become stale. It can stay out at room temperature for a day or so, in the fridge for 5 to 7 days, or in the freezer for a month or two.
Next time your kitchen is calling your name, think about making this yummy lemon loaf! It’s such a treat to have around, for brunch, or snacks. I especially love it with a cup of tea!
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Iced Lemon Loaf
For the Lemon Syrup
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (59.15 ml) lemon juice, (juice of 1 lemon)
For the Lemon Loaf
- 2 1/4 cups (281.25 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (170.25 g) unsalted butter, (1 1/2 sticks), softened
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup (133.33 g) Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, (zest of half a lemon)
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice, (juice of half a lemon)
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
To Make the Lemon Syrup:
- Cook the sugar and lemon juice in a small pot over over medium-low heat, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, or until the sugar has completely dissolved.
To Make the Lemon Loaf:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and mist a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray.
- Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir together on low speed.
- Add the butter and mix on low speed for about 1 minute, or until the mixture resembles damp sand.
- Mix in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula after each addition.
- Add the Greek yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and almond extract, and mix on medium speed for about a minute.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a bamboo skewer inserted in the thickest part of the bread comes out clean.
- Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the slightly cooled bread from the pan and place it on a on a sheet pan.
- Spoon the lemon syrup all over the warm bread.
- Allow the bread to cool completely, then transfer to a wire rack set over a sheet pan, and drizzle with lemon icing.
To Make the Lemon Icing:
- Place the powdered sugar, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and almond extract in a small bowl and stir together until smooth.