Luscious Lemon Loaf Recipe

Luscious Lemon Loaf RecipeDo you love cake? I know I do. So does Jill O’Connor, who has declared her love in a delightful cookbook called Cake, I Love You: Decadent, Delectable, and Do-able Recipes (Chronicle Books, May 2017). We previously reviewed the book here on the blog, you can find the original review HERE.

Luscious Lemon Loaf Recipe

Lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon oil combine to give this simple cake real zing. Don’t be tempted to skip the lemon oil, as it adds a wonderful fragrance and intense lemon flavor that lemon extract can’t match. Cold pressed from the zest of oranges, limes, or lemons, citrus oils are concentrated and fragile. They must be refrigerated once the bottle is open, but even then they don’t last forever.

Serves 6 to 8

1-1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
2 large lemons
1/2 cup (120g) sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
1-1/4 teaspoon lemon oil
1-1/2 cups (245 g) all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup (110g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup (60 ml) canola oil
3 eggs, room temperature

Lemon Icing:

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon lemon oil
1/2 to 2 cups (180g to 240g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325º. Coat a 9-by-5-inch metal loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the pan with an 8-1/2-inch-by 15-inch strip of parchment paper so it covers the bottom of the pan and hangs over the long sides.

Put the sugar in a small bowl. Using a microplane zester, grate the zest from the lemons into the sugar. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips until the sugar is sandy and moist and fragrant with lemon. Set aside.

Cut the lemons in half. Using a citrus reamer, squeeze the juice from the lemons into another small bowl.

In a third small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of the fresh lemon juice, (you should have about 2 tablespoons remaining; set aside for the icing.) the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon oil. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and oil together on medium speed just until creamy. Add the lemon sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as you go. Decrease the mixer speed to low and beat in the sour cream mixture. Add the dry ingredients in two additions, beating on low for a few seconds after each.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes (do not check the cake until it has been in the oven for at least 40 minutes, as it might sink in the middle). The cake is done when a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the loaf, still in the pan, to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Grasping the overhanging parchment, lift the loaf out of the pan and set it on the rack. Cool completely.

To make the icing, whisk the butter, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and lemon oil with the confectioners’ sugar until smooth and creamy. Spread or drizzle the icing over the cooled cake.

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Cake - I Love You Recipes Cookbook

Recipe from CAKE, I LOVE YOU: Decadent, Delectable, and Do-able Recipes by Jill O’Connor. Chronicle Books/May 2017.



  1. Jo-Ann Brightman says:

    I have never used lemon oil in a recipe, and I can see how it would add to the flavor. My daughter-in-law loves lemon, so I would love to make this loaf for her.

  2. This would be a nice loaf to have around when people stop in during the holidays. I could see this made with Meyers lemons gosh those are so good. I bet this loaf would also freeze pretty well minus the topping . It would go well with coffee for sure.

  3. Susan Hartman says:

    I love Lemon Cake. It has such a refreshing taste that its good year round.

  4. This looks so decadent and yummy! I love lemon all year long.

  5. Peggy Nunn says:

    You have the best recipes. I love lemon cakes. I will be making this one. Thank you for the recipe.

  6. Barbara Montag says:

    Oh boy we love all thing lemon!
    Thank you for the recipe,.

  7. I like all things lemon and this cake sure has that. I can almost taste it right here.

  8. Cathy Jarolin says:

    This awesome Lemon Loaf Cake sounds Deliciously Lemon with all the different lemon types that are in it. The lemon oil must be really lemon flavored. I have never uses any of the citrus oils before..I would love to try them. Thank You for your delicious Lemon Dessert recipe..

  9. This lemon loaf sounds so refreshing! I think it would pair so nicely with a warm cup of tea! Thanks for sharing!

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