this was from my first real cookbook, how to be a domestic goddess…, and used to be one of my go-to recipes along with nigella’s snickerdoodles. i don’t really remember why i was turned on to this recipe. it’s really just a simple lemon cake in bread-format. i’ve never been crazy about lemon cookies or other lemon sweets, but this recipe just stuck for some reason. it’s probably because it’s super easy to make and requires very little ingredients, but the result is so good and somehow elegant in a simple way. it seems like one of those things that are so easy to whip up, so you should always have it around because it goes perfectly with coffee and breakfast/afternoon/evening tea. anyways, all i’m saying is that this is simple but good. the original recipe is called “lemon madeira cake” but i changed it to lemon cake loaf because well, i think it’s lemon cake, and bread, in a loaf pan. it’s like dessert and a snack and a breakfast all-in-one. so it’s a cakey-bread, or a bread-looking cake. whatever really. and to be honest, i’m not completely sure how to pronounce “madeira” so when people ask what it is, i sort of awkwardly mumble the name. and there’s no reason to be awkward about what i made, because it’s delicious and i’m proud of this lemony, cakey, bready… treat thing. but i did google (as always) “madeira”, and i found out that it’s an island off of Portugal. however this cake is actually English in origin, and was usually served with a madeira wine which originated from the island, as told by wikipedia. it all makes sense now.
adapted from Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess…
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4c. + 1 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. extra sugar for sprinkling
1 c. butter, softened will be easier
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
preheat oven to 350° F. in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. cream the butter and sugar in another medium bowl until smooth. you can use a hand mixer or stand mixer, but i just use a spoon to do it. stir in the lemon zest. incorporate one egg at a time with a small scoop of flour for each. stir in the rest of the flour. add in the lemon juice. (i squeeze the lemon over my hand over a separate bowl to catch the seeds, and then add the juice to the flour mixture). pour into the loaf pan, and then sprinkle the top evenly with the sugar. this will make a crispy sweet crust (my favorite part!). bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. remove to a wire rack and let cool in the pan.