One Bowl Ricotta Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake. It’s Meyer lemon season so that means make all the lemon recipes, starting with a lemon loaf.
The new year is off to a somewhat rocky start, to put it mildly, if you read current events. I am not going to get into any of that here, don’t want my blog getting flagged for certain words, so instead I will talk about the lemonade I will be making out of the lemons I have been handed so far.
And literal lemons since my Meyer lemon tree is bursting will lemons again this winter.
First up is this moist and delicious one bowl ricotta meyer lemon loaf cake. SO easy to make!
My love for lemons runs deep. I joke that my blog should be renamed, “Pineapple and Coconut and Lemons” since I love them so much. I use them in everything from desserts to savory dishes to cocktails. I absolutely love that my Meyer lemon tree is just outside my kitchen door and I can grab a few anytime I need them. I realize how very lucky I am to have this tree.
This Meyer lemon ricotta loaf is a one bowl recipe. It can be two bowls if you want to mix the flour and other dry ingredients together, but I have made it both ways, one bowl or two and it comes out the exact same way. I am all for less dishes, so one bowl it is.
I have a few tricks for lemon loaf cake baking success:
- Prep your loaf pan with a piece of parchment that extends over the long edges of the pan. This will help you lift it out of the pan once cool instead of having to invert it since the cake gets glazed as soon as it is out of the oven.
- Add sugar to your mixing bowl first then the lemon zest. I hold the zester over the bowl and zest away. My recipe calls for 2 tablespoons and its something I never measure exact, similar to vanilla extract, I measure with my eyes and heart. So zest away. Then before adding anything else I rub the sugar and lemon zest together with my fingers, usually thumb, index and middle, to release the lemon oils into the sugar. This releases a ton of lemon flavor.
- Next whisk together the oil with the sugar and lemon zest just for a but to get it well incorporated. No need to get things light and fluffy here like one would with a butter based cake. I used half plain extra virgin olive oil half lemon extra virgin olive oil for an extra hit of lemon flavor.
- Then after that you add the rest of the “wet” ingredients – ricotta, eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
- You can add in the flour, baking powder, soda and salt all at once here if you want. You can mix these together in a separate bowl then add but I have made it both ways and it comes out the same way each time
- While the lemon loaf is baking, make the glaze. Just powdered sugar and lemon juice.
- As soon as loaf is done baking, spoon half of the glaze over the top then let it cool completely in the loaf pan.
- Once completely cool, use the parchment paper to help lift out the loaf, and either place on a wire rack or a serving platter, plate, board, whatever suits your fancy. Spread remaining glaze over the cake and sprinkle with more lemon zest. And you’re done.
Here is the Meyer lemon loaf just out of the oven with the first layer of glaze. IF you want to have more of the glaze seep into the cake, poke holes all over with a skewer as soon as it is out of the oven, about an inch or so into the cake. Don’t go all the way to the bottom. Then glaze. Let cool and glaze again.
I know this recipe is normally called a quick bread or a loaf, it is more a cake. Sure its not a sheet cake or a layer cake, but still a cake. And a super easy one to make.
- 2 cups all purpose flour (9 oz/255g)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar (7.1 oz/200g)
- 2 Tbsp Meyer lemon zest
- 1/2 cup olive oil ( half lemon flavored olive oil if you have it) (4 oz)
- 2 whole large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, room temp
- 1 cup ricotta cheese, room temp (8.8oz/262 g)
- 1/3 cup Meyer lemon juice (2.7 oz/76g)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (6.75 oz/187g)
- 3-4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
Heat oven to 350 deg F. Butter a 9x5 inch loaf pan, trim a piece of parchment paper so it fits lengthwise and hangs over the long edges by a few inches. Butter the parchment paper then lightly flour, tapping out any excess.
In a large mixing bowl rub together the sugar and zest with your fingers until the sugar is very fragrant. Add in the oil and mix well either with a whisk or hand mixer. Add in the eggs, ricotta cheese, lemon juice and extract and mix again well. Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt then stir to combine, batter will be a little lumpy. If you want you can whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt together in a small bowl first but this step isn't really needed. It can be done all in one bowl.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden on the top and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with just a few crumbs.
While the loaf is baking whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice.
As soon as the loaf is out of the oven spread half the glaze over the top, making sure it soaks into the loaf. You can poke holes all over first, just an inch or so deep with a skewer first if you like then glaze. Cool completely then remove from the pan using the parchment to lift it. Slide the parchment paper out from under the loaf and place the loaf on a serving plate.
Spread the remaining half of the glaze slowly over the top, then sprinkle the lemon zest on top. Once the glaze has fully set it is ready to serve.
This lemon loaf comes together quickly using just one bowl for mixing. It takes me about 10 min to prep the batter, 40-45 min to bake then about an hour to cool completely.
Baking times will vary on the type of loaf pan you use. Darker pans like I used tend to bake quicker, around 40 minutes. Lighter aluminum or enamelware take a little longer 45-50 min. I have not tested this in a glass pan so I cannot tell you how long that would take.
How do you make lemon loaf cake?
See entire post above and recipe card.
Can you freeze a lemon loaf cake?
Sure. Anything can be frozen as long as it is wrapped securely but honestly this cake is so good it will barely last two days before thinking about freezing and saving for later.
Can you make lemon loaf gluten free?
Sure just substitute your favorite gluten free all purpose flour blend. I have not personally tried to make it gluten free
Can you make lemon loaf vegan?
Sure. Use whatever egg and dairy substitute you like however I have not tested a vegan version so I cannot tell you how it would come out. My suggestion would be to find an actual vegan recipe for it.
What ingredients are in lemon loaf cake?
Again. See the post above and recipe card