It's very tempting to bake with bright, zesty citrus fruits this time of year; the fresh, zingy lemons, limes and oranges brightening the last few days of Winter and representing the much anticipated longer, warmer Spring days. A cheery promise of what is to come.
As I squeeze, juice and zest the lemons and limes for this cake I'm reminded of a family Easter holiday several years ago that found us in Sóller, North West Mallorca. An attractive market town, Sóller is nestled among miles upon miles of abundant, lush orange groves in the very aptly named 'Golden Valley'. Breakfast each morning would start with a large glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. The citrus flavoured ice creams in the local heladería became firm favourites, enjoyed each evening in the cobbled main square. Strolling through the surrounding area, we'd greedily inhale the heady scent of citrus blossom. I'd wager my favourite bundt tin that there isn't is a sweeter, sunnier perfume to be found.
The sharp, fresh flavour of citrus fruits suits a sweet, almond cake, the addition of a tangy lime drizzle providing even more of a zesty punch. As famously quoted (ish...) if life gives you lemons, bring out your loaf tin.
Luscious Lemon Loaf Cake with Lime Drizzle
For the cake:
175g golden caster sugar
175g unsalted softened butter
2 large eggs, beaten
100g self raising flour
75g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
Zest of two lemons
1 tbsp milk, if needed
For the lemon syrup:
75g icing sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
For the lime drizzle:
Juice of 1 lime
75g sifted icing sugar
Strips of lime zest to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/170C fan/350F. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin
2. Beat together the sugar and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs until combined. Fold in the flour, baking powder, almonds and lemon zest. Add 1-2 tbsp of milk to achieve 'dropping consistency' if needed
3. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown or a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean
4. Allow to cool in the tin for five minutes while preparing the lemon syrup: gently heat the sugar and lemon juice, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. While the cake is still warm, prick holes in it using a skewer or fork and pour over the syrup, allowing to seep through the sponge.
5. Turn out the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely and make the lime drizzle: mix together the icing sugar and lime juice to form a thick icing. Drizzle over the cooled cake and decorate with strips of lime zest.
- An orange version would be super simple to bake: just replace the quantities of lemon juice and zest with orange
- This cake is best enjoyed within a day or two of baking
I'm entering this into the Foodies 100/Shwartz Flavour of Together competition. You can read more about the competition here and share your own Flavour Story here. Schwartz and McCormick are also releasing a special anniversary edition of their annual Flavour Forecast® report, a global summary of insights into what the world will be eating next. For me, I suspect that'll simply involve more cake and chocolate.