Lemon Loaf Cake with Golden Milk Buttercream

Easy Classic lemon loaf cake recipe

Lately I’ve been drawn to ultra classic recipes, those that you sometimes secretly crave in its (high quality but still) store bought version. I always like to give them my touch of course, but I’ve been enjoying the idea of keeping them as classic as they can, in the Instagram and food blogging world, possibly be. It’s like creating the perfect marriage between childhood memories and trendy food goals.

Take for example the most loved classic loaf cake, pound cake or butter cake. It was one of my favorite things growing up! I used to heat a slice and then spread some jelly or marmalade over and it was priceless during the late afternoon after being doing my school homework. That treat made me always so happy!

I decided to make my own recipe using some ingredients I love very much now. Like organic free range eggs, organic coconut milk, raw sugar and organic butter made from grass-fed cows. Basic ingredients that I always have around. And if you add some lemon and turmeric you have a mellow sweet spin to the classic butter loaf cake.

So here’s my Lemon Loaf Cake with Golden Milk Lemon Buttercream. Simple and classic but with the perfect amount of something different so you’ll be happy and excited to bake it as soon as you read this post. That yellow buttercream will make anyone happy. It doesn’t have a strong lemon flavor, though. It’s just a touch to give this cake a floral note. And even if the color is achieved by using turmeric, it’s incredible how you WON’T notice it. Caps absolutely needed here!

If you want to keep things simpler, just make a simple glaze and pour it over the cake. It’s the perfect morning or afternoon grab-and-go treat!

Recipe notes:

1.     This cake is supposed to be dense. You will notice through the procedures that you have to beat this batter in slow speed and manage it gently to prevent incorporating air.

2.     To bring eggs to room temperature faster, submerge them in a small bowl with hot tap water for around 5 minutes.

3.     I prefer the color and consistency a light loaf pan in metal yields, but if you have a non-stick pan just check it through the last 10 minutes of baking to not over bake it.

4.     When softening butter for the buttercream, make sure it is soft to the touch but it stills feels somewhat chill. If it is too warm it will breakdown during the beating process.

5.     When making the buttercream, if using a stand mixer, sift the sugar while the butter is beating. If using a hand electric mixer, start by sifting the sugar before beating the butter.

lemon loaf cake 4.jpg

Lemon Loaf Cake with Golden Milk Buttercream

Lemon Loaf Cake

Butter, softened – 8 TBSP, 1 whole stick
Raw sugar – 1 cup + ¼ cup if making a soaking syrup 
Large eggs, room temperature (see notes) – 3
Vanilla extract – 1 TBSP
Lemon zest – Zest from one large lemon
Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 1 TBSP + 2 TBSP if making a soaking syrup
Unbleached all purpose flour – 1 ½ cup, sifted (you may sift it while the butter is beating)
Fine sea salt – ½ Tsp
Baking powder – ½ Tsp
Full fat organic coconut milk, room temperature – ½ cup

Golden milk buttercream

Softened butter (see notes) – 8 TBSP (1 stick)
Confectioner’s sugar – 1 ¾ cup, sifted (see notes)
Coconut milk – 2 TBSP+
Ground dry turmeric – 1 Tsp
Ground dry ginger – ½ Tsp
Ground cinnamon – ¼ Tsp
Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 1 TBSP+

Total time - 1 hour 15 min Active time - 15 min.
Equipment - stand mixer or electric hand mixer, large sieve, medium to large bowls, 8 x4 loaf pan

To make the cake: Preheat oven to 325°. Spray an 8 x 4 light colored loaf cake pan (see notes) or grease it with butter.

Place butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large glass stainless steel bowl. Beat in slow speed (#2 in the Kitchen Aid) with the stand mixer paddle attachment or with the beaters attached to an electric hand mixer. Beat until the butter and sugar mixture is fluffier and paler in color, about three minutes.

While the butter is mixing, place a large sieve over a medium to large bowl and sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

With the mixer still in the same speed add the eggs, one at a time and waiting until one is incorporated to add the next. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice and beat just to incorporate them, less than 30 seconds.

Start incorporating ⅓ of the flour mixture into the butter mixture and then pour half of the coconut milk. Repeat this again and finish with addition of the last ⅓ of the flour mixture. Beat about 20 seconds more, just until most of the flour is incorporated. Finish by gently mixing any remaining flour with a spatula.

Transfer batter to the prepared pan and level it up. Bake for 55 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean after you insert it through the center. After baked let it cool for about 20 minutes before removing from pan. Let it cool completely before frost it.

Note: For a strong lemon flavor make a simple lemon syrup by heating ¼ cup of sugar with two tablespoons of lemon juice. Whit the cake still warm, poke plenty of holes through the surface to the bottom and using a pastry brush spread the syrup.

To make the buttercream: Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large glass stainless steel bowl. Beat it in slow speed (#2 in the Kitchen Aid) with the paddle attachments or using beaters on a hand electric mixer until butter is fluffier and paler in color, about three minutes. If large chunks of butter are sticking to the paddle, increase speed by one notch for a few seconds to force it out and then lower the speed. You can also scrap the paddle and inside of bowl with a spatula.

In the meantime (if using a stand mixer) sift the confectioner’s sugar in a medium bowl.

Start adding the sugar by ¼ cup at a time. When there’s about ½ cup of sugar left, add one tablespoon of milk and half of the lemon juice. Add the spices and beat a few seconds, stopping the mixer and scrapping the paddle and inside of bowl as necessary to make sure butter and spices are incorporating well. At this point add the remaining coconut milk and keep beating. Add the remaining sugar and when it’s almost incorporated and the remaining lemon juice. Beat just until everything seems smooth, about three extra minutes. Spread buttercream with a spatula or transfer it to a pastry bag with your favorite tip already arranged and frost the cake.

Decorate with very finely chopped white chocolate or nuts if desire.

lemon loaf cake