Lemon and berries make for perfect Summery companions in this seasonal blueberry and lemon loaf cake – a simple alternative to a traditional layered sponge, being easier to assemble and less heavy-handed with the buttercream. If you’re not a huge fan of an overly-sweet topping – as per the cupcake trend of a few years ago – then this cake (via Flora Shedden) is for you; a moist, light sponge topped with just the right amount of sweetness. The almond extract adds an extra note to the buttercream, enhancing the sweeter notes in the lemon. To make the loaf, you will need:
250g softened butter
200g caster sugar
juice of 1 large lemon and zest of 2 (unwaxed)
1 tsp baking powder
50g ground almonds
280g plain flour
For the buttercream:
75g softened butter
150g icing sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp almond extract
A scattering of blueberries and edible or crystallised flowers, or flaked toasted almonds, to decorate (I used crystallised violets).
Preheat the oven to 180C/ Fan 160C. To make the loaf, cream the butter and sugar by hand or in the bowl of an electric mixer.
Add the eggs and half the flour.
Beat until smooth, then add the remaining flour, baking powder, almonds, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat again until fully combined.
Fold in the berries evenly then pour into a 2 lb loaf tin (or two 1 lb loaf tins, as I did) and bake for 30-40 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing from the tin.
Beat the butter in a free standing electric mixer on a high speed until almost white – this will take around 5 minutes. Add the icing sugar, lemon zest and almond extract and beat again until ice white in colour, about 5-8 minutes. Turn the mixer down and add the lemon juice a wee bit at a time until you have a smooth and spreadable mixture.
Spread onto the cooled loaf and decorate with the blueberries and a sprinkling of flowers or nuts.
What are you baking this weekend? Will you be trying blueberry and lemon loaf cake?