Every picnic needs a cake and what better than a light and zesty lemon loaf that is melt-in-your-mouth delicious and super easy to make?! Since I'm not much of a baker I used a recipe from Tana Ramsay that I saw on the BBC Good Food website for a basic lemon cake and I have to say it didn't disappoint! I had to vary the cooking times slightly as it took longer to bake than suggested in the recipe but that could very well just be down to my oven! The cake lasted no time at all however what did survive the day were just as delicious over the following days! A must for any picnic, or anytime you fancy a slice of lemon loaf with a cup of tea!!
225g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster (super fine) sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
4 large eggs
225g self-raising flour
For the topping:
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
Pre-heat the oven to 350F/ 180C. Lightly butter a loaf tin then line with baking parchment (greaseproof paper).
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a free-standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the lemon zest then slowly mix in the eggs, one at a time. If using a Kitchen Aid or other free-standing mixture, scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is evenly mixed. Once all of the eggs have been added add the flour, a little at a time until it's all incorporated. Don't over beat the mixture. Add the cake mix to the lined loaf tin, level the top so that it's even then bake in the pre-heated oven for 45-50 minutes (mine took closer to 60 minutes) or until a skewer comes out clean (with no cake mixture on it).
Make the topping by combining the lemon juice and sugar together in a small bowl. While the cake is still warm prick lots of holes in it using either a skewer or a fork then drizzle over the topping. The idea is that the juice will keep the cake lovely and moist, and not to mention lemony(!) while the sugar forms a nice crisp topping. I found mine did that although certainly not as much as in the photograph of the original recipe – however it was still delicious with the perfect balance of sweet and sour!
Leave the cake in its tin to cool completely then when ready to serve, remove and cut into slices. For a picnic you could either cut the slices and wrap them individually for everyone or just wrap up the whole loaf and don't forget a knife!