LEEEEMON CAAAAAAKE. Holy moly, lemon is my thang. It was one of the first things 10 year old me felt subconscious about being so obsessed with because a) I preferred Lemonades to Oreos, which may or may not be sacrilegious, b) Lemonheads were the bomb and c) Don’t even get me started on how I felt about lemon bars or lemon meringue.
My Mom would make this fabulous lemon meringue pie for special occasions because it was my Dad’s absolute favorite dessert, and I’d get the absolute highest honor of stirring the filling over the stove until it thickened. Which is technically like the most tedious part of making lemon meringue pie, but that’s another story for another day.
Even now, sometimes I still feel like that weirdo on some next level lemon love. Especially when Roy rolls his eyes as I try to explain the reasons why I need to buy the $11 jar of lemon curd.
Naturally, I felt this lemon loaf cake deserved the very best and knew it was coming with us on our trip to Tomales Bay. By plane and car ride, this thing was going to sit in the early morning sunlight and let me take photos of it!
The Coal and Feed is the prettiest Pinterest board ready house I ever set my little Los Angelean leaden feet in. Living in the city has left me perpetually in love with the idea of moving to the country and living a secluded yet happy life with two big doggies, a minimum of one horse (more on this later), the wilderness as our backyard, and my very own chickens because that is the ultimate au naturel way to have your eggs.
The house was quaint, sitting along the Tomales Bay coast. There was a dock overlooking the bay, a small loft space with a ladder, and a separate downstairs for what seemed like entertaining large events.
I don’t think I could put into words the beauty that is waking up to views of the bay nestled between a row of big glass windows, gorging ourselves with fresh oysters on our seaside picnic, and standing under the biggest and brightest starry sky. What a life for these Northern Californians!
We filled our bellies with clam chowder and dozens of fresh oysters from the Tomales Bay Oyster Company. We enjoyed the views of the bay and trekked up green rolling hills atop horses and I didn’t want to leave.
I always forget how much I was obsessed with horses as a kid until I see one in real life. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron was my favorite movie for a good few years, I owned an embarrassing collection of DVDs called The Saddle Club, and my coolest toy was this wooden stable and pen that held 30 miniature horses of various colors. I know, I was really cool. If you asked me to go horseback riding, I’d 500% of the time say yes.
NEXT UP: I have a lot of buttermilk left over from my red velvet cake post, so stay tuned for some recipes involving that! In other news, I also want to wish you guys a very Happy Lunar New Year! Roy and I have plans to check out Chinatown for some super delicious New Year food. It’s the year of the Ram, which means I’ll be 2 Zodiac Cycles old this year. Oh, boy. See you all soon!
Lemon Yogurt Olive Oil Cake
Note: I had a lot of leftover batter, and used it to make 4 small lemon loaf donuts.
For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp grated lemon zest (about 1/2 a large lemon)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup olive oil
For the syrup:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 large lemons)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8×4 inch nonstick loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. In another bowl, whisk the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, snd vanilla together.
4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add in the wet ingredients. Whisk until fully incorporated.
5. Fold in the olive oil, mixing until smooth and combined.
6. Cook on the lowest rack in the oven for 50-60 minutes. If the top has finished browning before the rest of the loaf is finished, wrap the loaf in foil and place back in oven until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool for 10 minutes. Start the syrup by combining the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves, then set aside.
8. Set a baking tray underneath your cooling rack. Loosen the sides of the cake with a knife, and carefully remove it from the pan onto the cooling rack. While the loaf is still warm, drizzle the syrup over it. Make sure to cover it completely and that the syrup soaks in. This will keep the cake moist. Let the cake cool for one hour.
9. Once the cake is cooled, make the glaze by sifting the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Add in one tablespoon of lemon juice in at a time, stirring with a fork in between each addition until it reaches a liquid yet still thick consistency. Drip over the loaf cake and let harden.
10. Serve the cake immediately or keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. If freezing, wrap the loaf snuggly with plastic wrap and place in freezer. When ready to serve, give the cake a few hours to thaw at room temperature.
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