They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But, I'm a sucker for dessert and cake always wins out. I always have lemons on hand. While at the grocery store, I always worry that I'll need a lemon for some unnamed and forthcoming recipe so I'll throw one in the basket. The thing is, though, I live in Brooklyn and I walk to the grocery store every. single. day. So, I got a lotta lemons.
This loaf cake is super simple to throw together. It can be easily amended depending on what you have on hand, too. No lemons? Use oranges or limes. No cherry butter? Use strawberry jam. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination, and taste buds. After baking, I like to let the loaf cool in the pan for a bit and then soak the loaf with a lemon and basil sugar water. It absorbs into the cake and creates such a dreamy texture. Perfect for morning, noon, or night.
1 stick [113 grams] butter, softened
1 cup [230 grams] granulated sugar
2 whole eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup [178 grams] buttermilk, room temperature
The zest of two lemons, medium-sized
1 3/4 cup [245 grams] all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
On the sidelines:
1/2 cup [155 grams] cherry butter or jam
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Handful of dried cherries, for topping
Lemon and basil sugar water, recipe as follows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 9x5 loaf pan with folded parchment and lightly spray with non-stick spray.
In the first bowl, cream together the butter and sugar for several minutes until it's light and fluffy.
Add in the second bowl and continue to mix for another minute. It's totally OK if the mixture looks a little lumpy.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in the third bowl and add them into the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Fold in the poppy seeds and cherry butter/jam. Don't over mix the batter or else you won't have little streaks running throughout the loaf! Top with the dried cherries.
Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake in the oven until lightly browned and set- roughly one hour to one hour and five minutes. Let cool slightly.
Once cooled, pour over the sugar water while the loaf cake is still in the pan. Cover the pan and refrigerate for an hour to help the cake continue to cool and absorb all the yummy soak.
Lemon and Basil Sugar Water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
The juice of a lemon
A few basil leaves
Stir everything together and let sit for an hour. Before pouring over the cake, stir thoroughly and remove the basil leaves.