One of the best smells in the world is the scent of lemon. While this loaf was baking the whole house smelled like lemon, it was amazing! This is the perfect cake for spring- very fresh and tangy, but still perfectly sweet.
I got this recipe from One Perfect Bite and the only change I made was omitting the lemon extract. If you have it, go ahead and use it! (1/4 teaspoon to be exact.) I didn't have it on hand and "use what you have in your pantry" is my mantra. This cake-loaf-whatever-you-call-it was still so good! It was super moist, tart and just the right level of sweetness. I loved it and so did my family!
However, this loaf is VERY lemony. If you're not a huge fan of lemon, I recommend you skip the lemon-sugar mixture when the loaf comes right out of the oven. (But not the glaze! The glaze is too delicious to skip.) I tried to be semi-healthy by using applesauce instead of oil, and it turned out wonderfully- the applesauce gives a spongier texture which I just love. You can also use mashed bananas in the place of oil, if you like. Or, you can use half oil and half applesauce/mashed bananas.
You can also cheat and use the bottled lemon juice instead of fresh- but I recommend fresh because the flavour is so much more pronounced.
(Also: My method for testing if loaves/cakes/cupcakes/etc. are done is to press my finger lightly on the loaf. If my fingerprint bounces back and the loaf keeps its shape, it's done. If the indent of my finger stays on the loaf, it needs a few more minutes.)
Lemon Yogurt Loaf
Yield: 1 Loaf (8-10 slices)
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
- 1-1/3 cups sugar, divided
- 3 extra-large eggs
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or applesauce or mashed bananas)
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-1/2 by 4-1/4 by 2-1/2-inch loaf pan. Line bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour pan.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into one bowl. In another bowl, whisk together yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold vegetable oil (or applesauce/bananas) into batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, cook 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
- When cake is done, allow it to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While cake is still warm, pour lemon-sugar mixture over cake and allow it to soak in. (Note: if you're not a fan of super-lemony taste, I recommend you skip this step.) Cool.
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Combine confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over cake. Let sit till set.