Tuesdays with Dorie: Lemon Loaf Cakes

At my house, we don’t have good dessert compatibility. My preferences lean toward simple cakes and fruit desserts, likes crisps and tarts. My husband likes chocolate, period (well, for the most part). A lemon loaf cake is right up my alley, even though I didn’t really have anyone at home to share it with.

I could not believe how easy it was to put together this cake. No mixer required. The fanciest pieces of equipment required were a sifter and a zester, hardly exotic. Thinking I would freeze some of the cake (because I didn’t want to eat the whole cake on my own), I made three mini loaves instead of one big one. They only needed to bake for 40 minutes.

I had Meyer lemons on hand, so I used those. I always enjoy their floral undertones. Meyer lemons are a cross between lemons and Mandarin oranges, so it’s softer than the usual tart lemon.

The little cakes baked with high crowns. I’m not sure that is what should have happened, but the end result was delicious. The cake had a light crumb, and it was moist, not at all dry.

I often see recipes for cakes doused with simple syrup. This cake sounded like the right palette for that sort of embellishment. I had three little cakes to play with. I left one plain. I made a lemon syrup with the juice of my zested lemons for another cake. I made a rosemary syrup for the last one.

I liked the syrup-doused cakes even more than the plain one. I poked holes in the cake with a toothpick before liberally brushing the syrup over the cake. Unfortunately, the syrup didn’t penetrate deep into the cake. I’m wondering whether I should have used a wider, longer skewer instead a little-bitty toothpick.

Finally, I have to say that I love any excuse to use my cake dome, and these cakes cry out to spend time on the counter under glass, so that’s where they are for now.

This post is part of Tuesdays with Dorie, a new cook-along group I joined where we are working our way through Dorie Greenspan’s Baking with Julia.

You can find the recipe on the sites of this week’s hosts Truc of Treats and Michelle at The Beauty of Life . I can’t wait to see how other bloggers made out with their Lemon Loaf Cakes. You can see for yourself, by following the links here.


Posted on 17 April 2012, in Baking, Tuesdays with Dorie and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. Rosemary and lemons – yum! I love your mini loaf idea.

  2. I think dousing the cake with syrup was a good idea, even if it didn’t soak in.

  3. I agree – cake domes should be flaunted whenever possible :-)
    We have the same situation in our house – The Dude likes chocolate & sweet type desserts; I prefer fruit or desserts on the savory side. But somehow we survive.
    I like the high domes on the loaves…

  4. oooh mini cakes! rosemary syrup…. interesting….

  5. Yum..what a great idea to drench it in sweet syrup! Your cake is beaufiul!

  6. thekitchenlioness

    Betsy, how very cute these mini loaf pans are! Using herbs in the syrup is a wonderful idea! If available, lemon thyme can be a great choice too. I enjoyed reading your post a lot! Hope to read about your “friands” on Friday…

  7. Betsy, Your lemon loaves came out perfect! I bet the rosemary syrup was delicious! Nice post!

  8. Oh, is that what Meyer lemons are? Because I love Mandarin oranges the most out of all citrus fruits. Great post!

  9. The rosemary syrup sounds inspired!

  10. Wow, rosemary! I lovelove rosemary, but have never heard of it used in non-savory ways (I’m new to this, I guess!) Glad they turned out so well!

  11. What an excellent idea to make three small cakes and experiment! I love the idea of this with rosemary syrup.

  12. Your little loaves are so pretty, Betsy. I like that you got to experiment with the flavors on two of them.

  13. Your loaves look delicious and I like the idea of making the small loaves to play around with glazes etc. Very nice;-)

  14. I liked the one-bowl-ness of this recipe as well… Great idea to make mini’s for experimenting with syrup!

  15. Yes any recipe that would let me tell my husband “See! I told you we needed a cake dome.” would be worth it. :)

  16. I have no idea what Meyer lemons are but they sound so much better than ordinary lemons! I love simple cakes as well and really enjoyed this. I was wondering if a syrup would add to the taste!

  17. This cake needs to be dressed up and it is simple enough to play with. A syrup sounds like a great idea. Your loaves are beautiful.

  18. The rosemay syrup sounds delicious! I had the same issue with glaze not sinking in, oh well, turned out pretty good anyway!

  19. I’m sure your syrup was amazing and I love meyer lemons!

  20. Look at your cute mini cakes! I love this, not just for the experimenting, but also one could have some to eat now and freeze some for later. And who can resist those mini slices?

  21. nice cakes :-) Lovely

  22. Beautiful! I’m still waiting on my Meyer lemons to even blossom, but I might have to make this again when they do so I can try your simple syrup idea!

  23. Your little loaves are so cute! I am double-jealous because I really wish I would have done some sort of glaze/syrup and I have been wanting a cake dome forever. I’m sure they looked beautiful sitting on your counter ala Meryl in It’s Complicated!

  24. what sunny-looking little cakes! i also used meyer lemons and thought it was tasty.

  25. Your cakes came out beautifully. I love the look of mini-cakes. What a great idea to add simple syrup! The rosemary one sounds especially great – I’m starting to really like rosemary in sweet dishes….I’ve watched Ina Garten douse pound cakes with syrup, and I think she does use a long skewer and makes a lot of holes.

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