- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- ½ cup chopped pecans – optional
For the lemon syrup:
- ¼ cup sugar
- 4 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Generously grease a medium sized loaf pan. (Approx. 4 ½ by 8 ½ by 2 ½ ) Line bottom and ends with parchment paper. See Notes below.
Grate or snip lemon zest. See Notes below.
In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture along with the milk and lemon zest. Beat until blended and smooth. Stir in the pecans, if desired.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf come out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
Make the lemon syrup. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon juice. Set aside, stirring occasionally. Don’t worry if the sugar is not completely dissolved.
Remove the bread from the oven and set the baking pan on a wire rack. Using a fork or wooden skewer gently poke the top in several places. Stir the syrup, then slowly drizzle it over the hot bread. Let the bread cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes. Then turn loaf out and cool completely, top side up.
Notes: As an alternative to grating lemon zest, we sometimes use a vegetable peeler to carefully peel two or three long strips of zest and then use a sharp kitchen shears to snip the peel into tiny pieces. This method works fine for this recipe. Just be sure not to get any of the white pith.
Although we use a non-stick pan and have buttered generously we have found that pouring the lemon syrup over the top causes the cake to stick and come out with difficulty. We suggest that you line the bottom and sides with parchment paper so that the cake will remove without breaking. Print this recipe!
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma.com