It may be psychological, but in my house a little loaf cake goes a long way! Maybe it’s because it looks extra cheeky if you help yourself to two slices or maybe they’re just more satisfying than your average cake (I’m not so sure on that one – all cake is good cake). It does just always seems to last longer on the cake stand though. That’s not a problem either, because loaf cake always tastes better the next day. Once all those flavours have had time to settle right in it tastes extra yummy with a cup of tea.
So with all of that in mind, today’s bake is a beautiful Lemon & Mint Loaf Cake. When you think of loaf cake chances are you probably immediately picture a lemon loaf. That beautiful golden sponge with white icing cascading over the sides. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! It’s the epitomy of loaf cake and today I want to bring you a little bit of a modern twist on the traditional by adding one of my favourite ingredients ever – mint.
Being completely honest, the inspiration from this cake came, strangely, from a limited edition can of San Pelligrino. My other half brought me home a can of their lemon and mint soda on a really hot summer day and it was the most perfect combination. I’ve been obsessed ever since. It was the only ingredient I could possibly add to lemon loaf to bring it to another level.
I wanted this to be the ultimate lemon and mint loaf so rather than just a sponge topped with icing there are four elements to this. A lemon and mint sponge, lemon syrup, lemon and mint icing and candied lemon slices on top. I know you’re thinking that sounds like lemon overload. It isn’t. The mint balances it all so well and gives such a fresh, light feel to this bake.
After I made this I put the rest of the lemon syrup from the candied lemons into a squeezy bottle. I hate waste, and that lemon syrup is divine! It’d go perfectly with most things; in your tea, on top of pancakes or as my husband done when he got home, drizzled over a slice of this cake for even more lemony goodness. Please don’t just throw it out. It’s too good to go in the bin.
There are no major musts for this recipe other than following the instructions step by step. The ingredients aren’t hard to find and are all relatively cheap. This cake makes your money go a long way and it’s one of the reasons I’m so fond of loaf cake if you’re feeding a big crowd. Like I said earlier, people tend to be less greedy with a loaf too. This cake just wins on every level. Add it to your repertoire today.
If you want to go all out and make this with the syrup then you need to make your candied lemons first. Follow the recipe here and retain the syrup for later.
- 125g unsalted butter
- 175g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- zest of 1 & 1/2 lemons
- small bunch of mint, finely chopped
- 175g self raising flour
- pinch of salt
- 100g icing sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- a few leaves of mint, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
- In a large mixing bowl cream together butter and caster sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the lemon zest and mint.
- Sift the flour and salt in a bit at a time and carefully fold these together until fully incorporated. Pour into the loaf tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 40-45 minutes.
- Allow the cake to cool in the tin for around 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, poke a few small holes over the top of your cake and pour a half cup of syrup over the top of your cake. Leave for a further ten minutes.
- Make your icing by sifting icing sugar into a bowl and slowly adding a half teaspoon of lemon juice at a time. When it forms a thick icing add your mint and ease it over the top of the loaf cake, allowing to drizzle down the sides. Leave to set.
- Top with your candied lemon slices from earlier and a sprig of mint.