Baking, cake

Lovely Lemon Cake with Crunchy Topping

LemonCake_FinishedProduct

There’s nothing quite as vintage in the kitchen as a classic tea time cake, and this one is definitely one of my favourites!

To me, springtime means light and refreshing treats that remind me that a long (and usually harsh) winter in Canada is only a temporary time.  In honour of the beginning of spring, I decided to make one of my favourite fruity treats: lemon cake with a crunchy topping.

I stumbled upon this recipe some years ago and made some slight modifications to get a fluffier texture to the cake.  I find that a lot of loaf cakes can end up being really dense and heavy, which is not what I want in a springtime treat.  While I like to make this cake with sunshine in mind, this is a great recipe to bring out at any time of the year.  Last Christmas I made a cake and put a few pieces in some tins to give out to our neighbours (who all gave me great reviews afterwards!).

This cake can be a great addition to an afternoon tea, and is easy to make on a whim as long as you have a few lemons hanging around your kitchen.  Here is the recipe for this fresh treat!

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Note:  Self-raising flour is different from all-purpose:  a self-raising flour has baking powder and salt added to the mix.  If you don’t have this in your pantry simply mix 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt into 1 cup of all-purpose flour to get the same results.  This means that if you are using all-purpose flour for this recipe you would add an additional 3 teaspoons of baking powder and 1 teaspoon of salt to the dry ingredients to get the same result as self-raising flour.

LemonCake_PreheatStep 1: Preheat your oven to 170°C/325°F

LemonCake_LinePan2

Step 2: Grease and line a 9″ square baking pan.

Note: I use vegetable shortening to grease baking pans so that the bottoms of my cakes don’t overcook like they would with butter.

LemonCake_SugarButter

Step 3: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until it becomes light and fluffy.

LemonCake_MeltedButter

Note:  I usually put my butter in the microwave first for about 30 seconds to soften it before putting it in the electric mixer.

LemonCake_SugarButterMix

This is what light and fluffy looks like.  Don’t forget to use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure a thorough mix!

LemonCake_LemonRind

Step 4:  Beat in the lemon rind.

LemonCake_Eggs

Step 5:  Beat in the eggs gradually, mixing well after each addition.

This is what partially beaten eggs look like.

LemonCake_MixEggs

This is what the batter looks like after adding the eggs.

LemonCake_AddFlour

Step 6:  Using a large metal spoon, fold in the combined sifted flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

LemonCake_AddFlour2

Note: When measuring flour make sure you spoon it into the measuring cup and then level it off with a knife.  Do not pack the measuring cup, otherwise you will have an inaccurate measurement. Then, add the flour gradually to your batter, mixing well after each addition.

LemonCake_LemonJuice

Step 7:  Add the lemon juice and mix until almost smooth.

LemonCake_FinalMix

This is what your batter should look like after you’ve added everything!

LemonCake_Pour

Step 8:  Spoon the batter into your prepared baking pan…

LemonCake_Smooth

… and smooth it out to fill all of the corners nicely.

Bake for 45 minutes in the centre of the oven, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

LemonCake_FinishedBaking

This is the finished cake!

LemonCake_ToppingIngredients

Step 9: For the topping, mix together the sugar and lemon juice (without letting the sugar dissolve).

LemonCake_LemonRoll

Note: To get the most juice out of a lemon, roll it on the countertop first!

LemonCake_FinishedTopping

Brush the mixture on top, letting the juice sink into the cake and allowing the sugar to make the crunchy topping.

LemonCake_WireRack

Step 10:  After letting your cake cool for a few minutes, lift the edges of the parchment paper and transfer the cake to a wire rack.  Cut into squares.

LemonCake_FinishedProduct

Best served warm!

LemonCake_FinalProduct3

This cake is so simple, yet so delightful.  Enjoy it with a nice cup of tea or coffee!

LemonCake_FinishedProduct4

Voilà!

AlinaSignature

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6 thoughts on “Lovely Lemon Cake with Crunchy Topping”

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