What makes this loaf a winner for me is the texture – light, moist and springy, combined with the perfect balance of sweetness, sour lemon and nutty almonds.
By adding lemon zest to the sponge mix and pouring lemon juice over the cake whilst warm, lemon lovers will be in all their glory.
Oh and did I mention the glaze? A simple icing glaze reminds me of baking with my Grandma, spreading the retro stuff over fairy cakes and biscuits and decorating them with sprinkles. This time I’ve mixed the icing sugar with fresh lemon juice to add extra tang!
You will need…
200g golden caster sugar
200g unsalted butter (I would recommend using Stork)
3 large / 4 small eggs, at room temperature
50g self-raising flour
150g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 tbsp icing sugar
Pretty edible decorations (gold stars, sprinkles, glitter)
Let’s get baking…
Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F. Line a 2lb loaf tin with grease proof paper – I use a single sheet a parchment, exactly the same length as the tin, so that it covers the bottom and the two longest sides.
Cream together the butter and sugar light, fluffy and almost white in colour. Mix in the eggs one at a time, along with a little flour each time to stop the mixture from curdling.
Add in the remaining flour, ground almonds, baking powder, vanilla extract and the zest from the lemon (reserve the juice for later!) and fold together until fully mixed.
Transfer the mixture to the loaf tin and bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. If the top of the cake begins to brown too quickly, cover the tin with a sheet of tinfoil.
Remove the cake from the oven and poke about 8 holes all over the top. Squeeze over the juice from half the lemon and leave the cake to cool in its tin.
Once the cake is cool, mix together the icing sugar and juice from the other half of the lemon until you have a thick but pourable consistency – you may need to add 1-2 teaspoons of water.
Pour the icing over the cake and sprinkle over with your favourite decorations.