Some recipes have a history. And this is one of them. Lemon cake was one of the first things I learned how to bake. The story began like this: I have a severe nut allergy and consequently, at the age of eleven or twelve, I was afraid to eat just about everything. Forget about baked goods, I wouldn’t even eat yogurt (one of my all time favorite foods) for fear I would have a reaction. So my mother and grandmother taught me how to bake, so that I could create and enjoy my own cakes, breads, cookies and other treats. I discovered that not only did I enjoy eating the things I made, I also enjoyed the baking itself. From there my interest grew, and well here I am, still baking and still loving it.
Anyway, back to the recipe. This lemon cake is tart and sweet with a beautiful cakey texture and a fantastic glaze. It’s easy to make (novice level!) and is a big hit every time I serve it. Today I made it as per the request of my husband, a curious creature who oddly hates anything too sour, but loves the flavor of lemon. And since he loves coconut just as much as lemon, I decided to add some and give this lemon delight the next chapter in its history. There’s nothing better than a new twist on an old classic! Happy baking!
Lemon Coconut Cake
Yield: One loaf or equivalent
For the cake
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of whole milk
Zest of 1 lemon (2-3 tsp)
2 tbs of freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup of shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
For the glaze
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light. Beat in the eggs until well combined.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt in three or four sections, alternating with the milk. Stir in the lemon juice and zest.
In the blender or food processor, blend the coconut until it reaches a light consistency. Fold it into the batter.
Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the top of the cake comes out clean. While the cake is baking, whisk together the sugar and lemon juice for the glaze.
While the cake is still warm and still in the pan, puncture all over the top with a fork. Pour the glaze over the top and allow to cool completely before removing. Serve as is with coffee or tea, or even with a little whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for an easy dessert.