Hi there 🙂 This recipe is from my old pile of magazine clippings. I lost it for a few years (I have a recipe mess) and was sad. I tried some others but they were never as good! I don’t know who created it and the only thing I have changed is the flour from self-raising to standard (and added baking powder) and the syrup amount because as with this original recipe, every time I try a recipe with syrup poured over it’s never enough to really soak through, so I doubled it. I also put coconut on top because I know that people eat with their eyes and something that looks plain, like an un-iced cake won’t sell in the café, so I have to always make sure everything looks pretty.
Apart from its shape, I have never been able to tell what the difference is between a sweet loaf and a cake. I think loaves should be slathered in butter, I am horrified (even offended) if someone doesn’t want butter on it! When I bake something I want it to be eaten in a particular way, like cold, warm, with this or with that, don’t you? I think it is in a sliceable loaf shape (like bread) so you can do just that, spread butter on it…..or you would just make a cake out of it, wouldn’t you?
Anyway, this recipe is the best lemon loaf I have ever tried…..try it and let me know if you agree! 🙂
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
125 g butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup castor sugar
I tablespoon lemon zest (from one medium sized lemon)
2 medium-sized eggs
1 1/2 cups standard flour
2 level teaspoons of baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice (you will need about 5 medium-sized lemons for this)
Start by preheating your oven to 150°C fan bake or 175°C conventional oven, on bake. Place a rack below the centre of the oven, so that the top of the loaf tin is as near to the middle of the oven as possible.
Getting started, in a small bowl mix together 1/2 cup of the coconut (save the other 1/4 of a cup for later) and the milk and set it aside.
Now, get the tin ready. For this recipe I used a standard sized 21 cm L x 11 cm W x 6 cm D loaf tin.
- When I line my tins I always use cooking spray because nothing ever sticks, it’s cheaper than butter, it’s quick and easy, aaand it doesn’t burn like butter. I lightly spray the tin first so when I am fitting the paper it doesn’t slide around and then of course a light spray after.
Place the softened butter (no ‘melty’ bits), sugar and lemon rind into a medium size bowl.
- To soften the butter, cut it into small cubes and leave it out on the bench for 30 minutes on a warm day or even an hour on a cold day. I often change my microwave to half power (50) and heat it for 30 seconds and then 20 second increments until it is soft enough to beat.
Using an electric beater on medium speed beat it altogether for 3 – 4 minutes, scraping the bowl down a few times. It should have slightly paled in colour and look creamy.
Then add one of the eggs and beat it in until just combined and then…..
…..repeat with the other egg.
Time to add the flour, baking powder and the salt to one side and…..
…..the coconut mix to the other side.
Beat it all together on a medium/low speed until it’s all just combined.
Then evenly spoon the batter into the loaf tin and place it into the oven.
Bake for 50 minutes or until it is firm when you gently press the centre and a small, sharp knife inserted into the centre comes out clean (no smears of batter on the blade).
Whilst the loaf is baking……
Squeeze the lemon juice.
Place the lemon juice and the sugar into a small saucepan and leave it aside until the loaf is baked (because we want it ready to drizzle over when both the syrup and loaf are hot).
So as soon as the loaf is out of the oven.
Over a medium/high heat bring the sugar and the lemon juice to the boil, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down to medium/low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- You can over do this if you leave it too long and it gets thick it won’t be thin enough to seep right into the centre of the loaf. It should thicken slightly.
Using the pointy end of a skewer gently poke a lot of holes into the top of the hot loaf which helps the syrup soak through more evenly.
- You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, it will still be good (just for you ‘careful’ types).
Then using a normal sized dessert spoon, spoon the syrup carefully all over the loaf until there is none left.
- If the syrup wasn’t simmered long enough and is a bit too runny it will ‘pool’ a lot in the corners. When this happens to me I tilt the tin and pour the excess back into the saucepan and re-spoon it over centre of the loaf.
Then sprinkle the remaining desiccated coconut all over the top.
Once cool simply lift it and the paper from the tin and using a serrated bread knife slice it into 8 slices……nom nom nom!
My ‘better half’ likes it when it’s three days old because it’s firmer……..okaaaay. I like everything straight from the oven (well warm enough to eat anyway) because I can’t wait……no self-control whatsoever! It’s great for at least 3 days kept in an airtight container, in the pantry.
Perfect spread with butter and lemon curd with an afternoon cuppa. 🙂