baked occasionally ultralemony bundt cake with almond glaze

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We return this week to our regularly-scheduled programming: Baked, Occasionally. The series where Shannon from A Periodic Table and I bake our way through Baked Bakery’s latest cookbook: Baked Occasions. Each month we will bring you a new recipe from the Baked Occasions cookbook. This month’s winner? Ultralemony Bundt Cake with Almond Glaze.

This month’s decision was exceptionally difficult, as we could have made any of the May options in the book and been equally happy with any of them. With options like Strawberry Layer Cake  In fact, we almost made more than one, but then I talked myself back off that ledge and decided that, with Spring in full swing that we would dive face first into the Ultralemony Bundt Cake with Almond Glaze. This cake is filled to the top with slap-you-in-the-face lemon flavor and accented with just a slight hint of almond that works beautifully with its bright, citrusy flavor.

A mixture of all purpose and cake flours gives this cake an extremely tender crumb while still keeping it sturdy enough to move around without problem. I took my to the thinner side and ended up regretting it. So even if you think your glaze might be a bit too thick, so long as it’s still easily pourable just stick with it and it’ll make for a thick, beautiful glaze.

I was also not prepared for how brown the cake would be and almost panicked near the end of baking when I saw the bottom of the cake. Once I cracked open the book, however, their cake is even much browner than mine, so don’t be afraid. If you start to get nervous, just place some aluminum foil over the cake during the final ten minutes or so of baking.

In the book, the Baked guys say that some people complain that this cake is “too lemony” to which I would say… then why are you eating something called “ultralemony cake”?

What I liked:

  • Flavor: This cake has an amazing bright, strong, citrusy flavor that is somehow perfectly accented by the hint of almond in the glaze. That being said, if you have allergies, feel free to skip the almond and sprinkle the cake with some candied lemon peel or just a few sprinkles instead!
  • Ease: Life is hard sometimes and I would be lying if I said the ease of this cake recipe didn’t factor into my choice this month. It’s so easy to make!

What I didn’t:

There’s really nothing that I didn’t like about this cake! If I had to pick something, I guess it would be…

  • Lemon Waste: This cake uses like a million lemons (or 10, I lost count), and I felt bad that a lot of them were going to be wasted. Slice your extra lemons and make some infused water or throw them down the garbage disposal to freshen it up. Also, did you know that if you throw a lemon chunk into your blender with warm soapy water it works wonders for cleaning it? Just some tips…
  • Arm Fatigue: Zesting lemons can be really hard on your arm, so you’ll get a really good work-out but you might have to take a few breaks in between. If you end up short a lemon, your cake will probably survive, but try to stick it through (or enlist some help from a significant other, small child, or neighbor.  If you promise them cake as a reward they may be willing to help!)

ultralemony bundt cake - wee eats

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[ Get the book – Baked Occasions ]
[ Check out Shannon’s post on A Periodic Table ]

Sunday Brunch: Meyer Lemon Cake

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Two things:

1.  This cake is filled TO THE TOP with lemon flavor.

2.  It is probably the best lemon cake known to man.

Maybe not, but it might be.  I haven’t tried every lemon cake on the planet (yet). It has  a bright citrus flavor with a light and airy crumb… I don’t know how it happens, but it does.  And it’s magical.  Even though it’s no secret that I’m a chocolate girl at heart, every once in a while I crave something a little more… refreshing.  Plus, it’s not really acceptable to eat chocolate cake for breakfast.

Lemon cake, on the other hand, is totally legit.

Replacing the lemons called for in the recipe with meyer lemons allows the ctirus flavor to really shine and keeps it light and refreshing instead of having the citrus flavor assault your tongue.

Like, I love lemons, but if you give me a lemony treat I can usually only eat so much of it before my mouth is just tired of the lemon flavor.    It’s all “HEY I’M LEMON AND I’M HERE IN YO FACE,” where meyer lemon is like the regular lemon’s sweeter, more laid back cousin who is just like “Hey, what’s up? I’m kinda lemony and kinda sweet… whatevs.”

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That being said, if regular lemons are your thing (ahem, BFF), go with that.  I will happily use regular lemons later in the year when my darling meyer lemons are nowhere to be seen.

But, if you do get happen to find some meyer lemons in your basket at the store, bring them home and make this amazing sweet, citrusy cake.  You will not be sorry.  A little guilty, maybe, but not sorry.  Not too guilty though, this cake has yogurt so it’s good for you!  (Something like that)

Meyer Lemon Cake

Makes: 1 loaf

[ Printable Recipe ]

For the Cake:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt*
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

For the Soak:

  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease or line a 8 x 5 inch loaf pan

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.  In a large bowl whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, and lemon zest.

3. Slowly whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients just until mixed.  Gently fold in the vegetable oil until incorporated.  Pour into prepared pan and bake about 50 minutes or until done.

4. While the loaf bakes, make your lemon soak by heating ⅓ cup lemon juice and ⅓ cup sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved.  Set aside while loaf finishes baking.

5. When loaf is done baking, cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet.  (To make clean-up easier, line the baking sheet with foil).  Pour the lemon soak over the loaf and allow it to soak in while the loaf continues to cool.

6. Once the loaf is completely cooled, make your lemon glaze by mixing the powdered sugar and lemon juice.  Drizzle over cake to your liking.  Honestly, I think the cake was just perfect even WITHOUT the glaze, so if you want to skip this step, be my guest!

* Alternatively, you can use 1 cup of plain yogurt + 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

[ Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home ]

Lemon Bars

lemon bars

Lemon bars a great pick-me-up dessert. They have a refreshing lemony tang cut with the perfect amount of sweetness and just a bit of crunch. Also, when you have a tree full of lemons out back, you have to try pretty much anything you can to get rid of them. So when my friend Amy mentioned she was thinking about making lemon bars, I jumped on the opportunity to force her to bake them at my house.

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when life gives you lemons…

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Our little household of two goes through lemonade like woah. Boy do we love that stuff, especially the “Simply Lemonade” – plain, berry, or even lime-aid. We even have cherry syrup on hand so BF can make his own “cherry lime-aid” like they have at Sonic… well not really like they have at Sonic, but ya know… Close enough 🙂

Don’t ask me why I spend money on jug after jug of this stuff at the store when we have a perfectly good lemon tree, full of ripe lemons, in our very own back yard. For no apparent reason, the other day at the store, I picked up my usual jug of Simply Lemonade and said to myself “WHAT are you doing?!”

I placed it back in the cooler, went home, and promptly picked a bunch of lemons. Nothing is easier than lemonade. Ok, that’s not true, plain water would be easier… but not by much.

I made a simple syrup for mine, for no other reason than I wanted to have some extra for cocktails. You could just stir the sugar in, but the simple syrup ensures that the sugar is completely dissolved.

I think next I’ll make berry syrup next, and then my own berry-lemonade. Take that, Simply Lemonade-I don’t need you anymore! (Until lemon season is over…)

Add a splash of X-Rated liquer for a pink lemonade cocktail – YUM

Lemonade

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It’s basically equal parts lemon juice and sugar, then water until it’s diluted enough for your tastes.

  • 1 C sugar + 1 C water (for simple syrup)
  • 3/4 C lemon juice (just happens to be all the juice I got from my lemons)
  • 3-4 C water (to taste)

1. In a small saucepan, mix water and sugar over medium heat. Once sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let cool.

2. Juice lemons (took about 3 of our medium lemons) to get 1 cup of lemon juice. Mix with the simple syrup and water, stir and chill.

*I like mine a little less sweet, so didn’t use all the simple syrup. I also like mine more lemony, so I didn’t dilute as much. Start with 3 cups of water and go from there…

*Alternatively, you could just stir sugar (preferably ultra fine “baking” sugar) into the liquid until dissolved

*Let it chill at least 30 minutes, as it tastes much better once the flavors have mingled and it’s ice-cold