Sunday, September 03, 2006

Lime Loaf Cake

I find that if I am looking for a recipe with nothing already in mind, one of two things happens: everything sounds good, or nothing sounds good. Because of this, I don't often stumble upon recipes competely by accident and I almost always have something in mind before I start to look for a recipe, let alone start to cook or bake.
This lime cake was not a recipe I was searching for, but once I saw it, I knew I had to try it. Perhaps it was meant to be, since I happened to have a lime just asking to be used on my counter...
The cake was incredibly easy to put together and I only made a few changes to it to boost the flavors. I added a little bit of salt, along with some vanilla extract and the zest of one lime, in addition to the juice. Once it was baked and cooled, the cake had a slight lime scent and a wonderful lime flavor, which was mellowed by the vanilla extract from being too sharp. It had a texture that was similar to pound cake, so it was slightly dense, but tender and not heavy at all.
The finished cake was a small loaf, but provided slices just the right size for serving with a cup of coffee or tea. In fact, it makes a lovely cake to serve with berries at breakfast, but it could also work with a scoop of ice cream for dessert.

Easy Lime Loaf Cake
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tbsp butter, soft
2 large eggs
juice and zest of one lime*
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease an 8"x4" loaf pan.
In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter until light and crumbly, then beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the lime juice, lime zest and vanilla extract.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt, then stir the flour mixture into the lime mixture. Stir only until just combined.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake and the top is golden brown.
Turn cake out onto a rack to cool completely before slicing.
Serve plain, or with berries and whipped cream.

Makes one loaf.

*Note: This should be about 2 tablespoons of juice and 1-2 tsp zest, but just use as much as your one lime provides.