Recipe Box: Lemon Buttermilk Loaf Cake

When we first started talking about coordinating posts for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Million Mile Run (check out the Scoot a Doot page, if you’d like) and there was mention of recipes with lemon, I knew exactly what my contribution would be. Maybe it should have been harder to choose, since I love lemon, and cook with it often, but this was a no-brainer for me.

Cake. (See. Total no-brainer). Cake is almost always the answer. And sometimes the question. (Cake? Cake. CAKE!) So, without further waxing poetic about my love of cake, let’s get cooking!

This is adapted from an old Weight Watchers recipe, from the Takeout Tonight cookbook. Long before Points Plus, so I don’t know those values. And I played with it a little. Because I’ve never met a recipe I didn’t think I could make better. I love baking, love the way it makes the house smell, and clearly, love the finished, baked product. But baking is like science. All the measuring and precision. I’m a ‘throw some in there’ kind of girl. But for the purposes of this recipe, I kept that in check. Mostly.

Lemon Buttermilk Loaf Cake



1-2/3 cup all purpose flour (mod: the recipe calls for 1-1/3 cups all purpose and 1/3 cup whole wheat flour. If you do this, you’ll want to use whole wheat pastry flour. I skipped the wheat because I just had regular and I don’t like eating bricks).
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
5 TBSP butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 TBSP lemon zest (basically, the zest of one good sized lemon).
1 tsp vanilla (mod: I just threw some in. It’s vanilla. I was feeling whacky.)
3/4 cup buttermilk (mod: I hate buying buttermilk for recipes because it only comes in quarts. I use a buttermilk powder that gets reconstituted, or you can make your own buttermilk).
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice (I just juice the whole lemon I just zested and use that)

Preheat oven to 350 and spray an 8×4″ loaf pan with cooking spray. I like the cooking spray with flour built in to avoid sticking. The actual recipe calls for cutting out wax paper and putting it in the loaf pan, but I’ve never bothered and I’ve always had perfect cake. Plus, I’m super lazy.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

With an electric mixer on medium, beat the butter, granulated sugar ,egg/egg whites, lemon zest and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended.

With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until done. Place pan on wire rack.



And after!

And after!

Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice ( you may have to add additional juice). Spread over hot bread. Let cool for 20 minutes. Carefully remove bread from pan to a serving plate.

Let cool completely.


Now, I forgot that the glazing gets done when the bread is hot, so I went to bed. And now it’s morning and I’m debating whether I should glaze or not. Probably no. The glaze is delicious and makes the cake more lemon-y, but I promise, it’s good without it.

If you’re thinking you can skip your trip to Starbucks for a slice of lemon cake…well, you can, but this cake isn’t the same. It’s not overly sweet and it’s not light or fluffy. This is a dense cake, but delicious, and not terribly bad for you, so all in all, it’s a winner in my book!

Hope you guys enjoy!

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