3 ratings

Very Lemon Loaf

Not your average lemon loaf
E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune; Joan Moravek/food styling

This lemon loaf is topped with a thin syrup that's made with lemon juice and granulated sugar. 

This recipe by Leah Eskin originally appeared in The Chicago Tribune.


  • 4 large or 6 small lemons, scrubbed
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (plus about 2 teaspoons for pan), softened
  • 1 3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 whole eggs plus 1 yolk
  • 1 Cup whole-milk ricotta cheese


Finely grate zest from lemons.

Measure 2 tablespoons zest, and set aside.

Juice lemons.

Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

Drop butter into the bowl of a stand mixer.

On medium-high speed, beat fluffy, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed, about 1 minute.

Cascade in 1 cup sugar, still beating; beat fluffy, about 1 minute.

Slide in eggs and yolk; beat fluffy.

Beat in ricotta, the 2 tablespoons zest and ¼ cup of the juice.

Slide in flour mixture; beat on low speed just to combine.

Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top.

Bake until cake is golden brown on top and a toothpick stabbed in the center comes out flecked with crumbs, 55 to 60 minutes.

Cool, 10 minutes.

Run a blunt knife around the sides to loosen edges.

Turn out; set on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet.

While cake is baking, make glaze.

Pour remaining ½ cup sugar into a medium saucepan.

Measure in ¼ cup juice.

Simmer until sugar has dissolved and syrup thickens a bit, about 3 minutes.

Brush glaze over top and sides of warm lemon loaf. (You may not use all the glaze.) When cool (or just barely warm), slice and serve.