Lemons are always a good thing to have around. A squirt of lemon juice adds tartness and brightens flavors in everything from cocktails to vegetables, and you can even use them to clean practically everything in your kitchen. When the weather starts to warm up, I basically want everything to be lemon-flavored. It's time for lemonade, lemon candy, and especially lemon cake.
I'm not the only person obsessed with lemon cake, it seems. There are many lemon recipes on Pinterest, and this lemon loaf recipe by Averie Sunshine of Averie Cooks is the most popular of all of them. It has been saved 90,000 times, and it's easy to see why it's so popular, too. The photos are so bright and yellow, I feel like I need to put on sunscreen to look at them.
The loaf is designed as a copycat of Starbucks' iced lemon pound cake, which is one of the best pastries you can get at Starbucks. It's moist and tart, and the little shell of sugar icing on top has a satisfying crunch.
Recreating that lemon pound cake is a popular endeavor for the food bloggers of the world. If you google "Starbucks lemon cake," you will find dozens of copycat recipes, all of them a tiny bit different. A lemon pound cake sounds like it should be easy, but pastry takes a lot of work and experimentation. Do you use whole eggs or just yolks? Cake flour or all-purpose flour? And that's before you even get into the issue of lemon juice and zest, and figuring out how much glaze is the right amount.
The blogger behind Averie Cooks says this recipe is the result of years of trials and failures to achieve a lemon loaf that tastes like Starbucks' — and after all that research and development work, the recipe she came up with is pretty simple. You just need one bowl, and you can whisk it together without a mixer. If you have lemon extract, you probably have everything you need to make this cake in your house right now.
The recipe uses lemon extract instead of lemon juice, because apparently the lemon juice wasn't strong enough to create that bold, "lemony" flavor, and the acidity of it can alter the results of the recipe. But lemon extract plus two tablespoons of fresh lemon zest turned out a cake that reviewers seem to be quite pleased with. So far there are 30 comments on the viral pin, and 30 people uploaded photos to show how the recipe turned out for them.
"Best thing ever!!! This loaf cake is bangin!!" one wrote. "I added more lemon to the batter."
See it on Pinterest: The Best Lemon Loaf from Averie Cooks
More Delicious Lemon Recipes from Kitchn
What's your favorite lemon-y recipe?