Lemon Loaf

About two weeks ago an old co-worker/work bff sent me a food video of a riff on Starbuck's Lemon Loaf, with the message "I love their lemon loaf, but I don't think I could handle buying all of those ingredients and doing a million steps..." I easily took this as a challenge to recreate the recipe in a more approachable manor.

Side note really quick. The word "approachable" keeps following me around. I've really honed in on realizing my style of cooking and baking is "approachable." I work to create recipes that any one can make and enjoy. I hope you agree. 

When my friend plotted the idea in me for this lemon loaf I was more than happy to follow through. I love a good banana or pumpkin bread, but this lemon version is just what my spring taste buds were craving.

If you are planning an Easter brunch for this weekend or have any spring baking to-do's, add this to your list. It is friends and family taste tested approved! I love leaving my bake goods out on the counter, to come back to find only a plate of crumbs. This is the best compliment in my opinion.

Lemon Loaf
yields 8-9 pieces, 1-9x5 loaf

3 eggs
8 oz sour cream or greek yogurt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. lemon zest (about 3 lemons)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. lemon juice (1 large lemon)
1 Tbsp. of butter, very soft

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x5 loaf pan and set aside. 

In an electric mixer, cream eggs, sour cream (or greek yogurt) and sugar. Mix in oil. Add vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice. Scrape down the sides then add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix until fully combined. Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire wrack for at least 15 minutes. Remove from pan and place back on wire rack until completely cool (or for the impatient like myself, throw it in the freezer for a bit). While cooling, make your icing.

You want really soft butter, but not fully melted. Whisk soft butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice until the consistency of thick glue. Pour over the top of your cool loaf and let it drip down the sides. Garnish with lemon zest. Once the icing is set, slice into pieces!

Similar to Starbucks-yes? Better than Starbucks-yes. Make/bake and you will see. Happy Spring!

Take a lick?


Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin bread, there's nothing better. Pumpkin bread is the quintessential pumpkin food. It's been around waaaaay longer than PSLs, pumpkin spice puppy chow, pumpkin protein bars, pumpkin spice cookie butter and all the other commercialized pumpkin foods. 

This time of year makes me nostalgic for old family recipes. With the holidays coming up, I've been digging through my mom's recipe binder to resurface some of my favorites like her ginger cookies, sausage tortellini soup (more on that later this week) and this pumpkin bread. It's the best darn pumpkin bread around and deserves to be shared. 

I baked up eight, count 'em, eight loaves this weekend. Six of them were sent off to be used as gifts, but two are taking home in my freezer to be pulled out when the pumpkin bread hunger strikes! It took a few loads into my KitchenAid to complete all the bowls of batter, but well worth it, that is my kind of therapy. Follow below to snatch this family tested, Annie trusted and fall approved recipe!

Pumpkin Bread
yields 2, 9 inch loaves or 3, 8 inch loves

2/3 cup shortening
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
1, 15oz can pumpkin puree
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsps. baking soda
1 1/2 tsps. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
2/3 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Generously grease and flour 2, 9 inch or 3, 8 inch loaf pans and set aside.

Cream shortening, gradually add sugar beating well. Add eggs, mix well. Stir in pumpkin and water.

Combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves; add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Fold in nuts, reserving a few. Spoon into loaf pans. Top with extra pecans. If using 8 inch pans bake for 55 minutes, 9 inch pans will bake 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the toothpick trick comes out clean.

What's your favorite pumpkin recipe? Mine 100% is this bread!


Banana Bread

Banana bread is like a blanket. One bite feels like that moment when you first tuck your feet into bed and pull the covers up to your neck. Warm, cozy and comfortable...

How bout that poem? Ya it was a stupid as you were thinking it was. But in all honesty banana bread is an ultimate comfort food. Anything you can eat for breakfast, dessert or a snack is a win!

I first tried this recipe after What's Gaby Cooking posted it on her snapchat about a month ago. It makes some tasty batter and even better bread. You will get two loaves from this recipe. I like to eat one and freeze the other for a rainy day. Like when guests are in town and you want to impress them with your baked goods (cough roommates parents cough). Even though it had actually been sitting in my freezer for 3 weeks...

Banana Bread
yields 2, 8x4 or 1, 9x5 loaves, adapted from What's Gaby Cooking

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
4 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3-4 overripe bananas
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease one or two loaf pans, depending on what size you are using, with cooking spray and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter on medium for two minutes. Scrape the sides then add the eggs one at a time. Add the milk, vanilla and bananas then mix. The batter will look a little lumpy and curdled but that's right!

Add the flour and baking soda and mix. Scrape down the sides and make sure everything is combined. Divide the batter among the two loaf pans, making sure to save a little bit to lick the bowl:) For 2, 8x4 pans bake for 35-45 minutes, for 1, 9x5 pan bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a knife is inserted and comes out clean.

*Saves in the freezer really well just wrap in foil then place in a large ziplock baggy. When you are ready to eat, just pull out and let it thaw on the counter. 


Cinnamon Veggie Bread

Cinnamon veggie bread--I know that sounds disgusting but ultimately that's what zucchini bread is and I just wanted a way to grab y'alls attention.  Zucchini bread is kind of like carrot cake. What ultimately tastes like a flavorful spice cake actually has vegetables and added nutrients hiding inside! I love my veggies, but love them even more when they are baked up with sugar and flour! 


After having the best zucchini bread of my life this summer from Baked and Wired, it went straight to the top of my baking list.  I raved about this bread so much I was surprised with a platter full of their zucchini bread at my internship going away party. 

I searched around to see if Baked and Wired had their zucchini bread recipe somewhere out in the Internet world, but they seem to have their recipes locked up. I then turned to my trusty food resource, The Kitchn to find an alternate recipe.  If you ever need to find a recipe, a way to cook  certain ingredient or want to know what's new in the food world, check out  The Kitchn

Zucchini Bread adapted from The Kitchn
Yields 2 loaves*

2 medium sized zucchini, shredded
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 egg
1 cup white sugar
½  cup brown sugar, packed
¾ olive or canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line two 8 x 4 loaf pans with parchment paper. Trim the stem and root-end form the zucchinis and shred on a box grater. Gather the zucchini in a dishtowel or a few layers of paper towels, squeeze out as much of the moisture from the zucchini as possible.

Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugars, olive oil, and vanilla extract.

Toss the zucchini in the flour mixture. Pour the liquids over top. Gently stir and fold just until no more flour is visible. Divide the batter between the two loaf pans.

Bake 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. The finished loaves should have a golden-brown crust and feel springy if you give the top a little pat. Let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Loaves will keep in an airtight container for several days. They can also be wrapped in foil and frozen for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge overnight or in a warm oven for 20 minutes.

*I halved this recipe and it still turned out great. After my loaf disappeared in a few short hours I wish I hadn’t, but just know that you can half it! 


Pot of Gold Irish Soda Bread

There are only 3 hours left of St. Patrick's Day, but I had to post this recipe before the holiday ended!

Irish soda bread is a "quick bread" made from only a few ingredients and studded with dried fruit. Currants are the traditional fruit used in this bread, but anything will work. I went with golden raisins to play up the St. Patrick's Day theme. I call it my Pot of GOLDen Raisin Soda Bread!

If we aren't friends on insta or you missed my bites post, I am now the proud owner of a KitchenAid mixer. After my wonderful grandmother passed back in December, she left a little bit of money for each of her grandkids. My dad was insistant on us not saving it, but spending it on something that would make G-ma proud. My grandmother was an amazing cook and baker, so I knew this is what I would put my money toward. Thanks G-ma!

I never pictured Irish soda bread being the first thing I would make in my mixer, but St. Patrick's Day came at just the right time. I'm all about celebrating holidays with the appropriate food.

Irish Soda Bread
yields 1 large loaf

4 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup golden raisins
2 cups buttermilk* (or almond milk with juice from half of a lemon squeezed in and left to rest for 5 minutes)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients and the raisins in an electric mixer with the dough hook  attachment. Slowly add milk then let the mixer knead the dough for 2-3 minutes. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides halfway through. 

Grease a cookie sheet. Turn the dough out onto the cookie sheet and form into a round loaf. Use a knife to score the top with an "X." Bake for 50 minutes. Serve with butter or jam! Warmed in the microwave or toasted is also best!

*If you don't have buttermilk on hand, there is an easy substitute. Buttermilk can be made from any kind of milk you simply add half the juice of a lemon to the milk then let it sit. After 5 minutes the lemon has added acidity to the milk and curdled it to make a buttermilk sub. Joy the Baker gives more substitutions here.

Hurry quick! If you want to celebrate the right way you only have a few more hours to make this bread. I mean I guess you could make soda bread on any average day, it's just more fun on St. Patty's Day!