Top | spring, spring
lemon maple cake
(recipe, Sarah Gilbert)
I've been off processed sugar of all types for over a year; though it's hard to avoid, especially when it comes to baked goods, which my kids and I love. I made this cake after altogether too many requests for $3 slices of (delicious, but sugar-packed) lemon pound cake from the farmer's market. And even though maple syrup is very expensive; it's $8.99 a pound for organic maple syrup at People's Co-op; this cake ends up far cheaper than one from a bakery. If you don't have lemon, you'll want to replace at least 1/4 cup of the milk with plain yogurt, sour cream, creme fraiche, or buttermilk to provide an acidic element to react with the baking soda. (Or you can use baking powder, but it's more fun my way, and you never have to buy baking powder.)
- 5 egg yolks
- ½ cup milk
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- zest of one lemon
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 8 oz. maple syrup (about 1¼ cup)
- 12 oz. flour (about 3 cups; I use ⅔ whole wheat pastry flour and ⅓ brown rice flour)
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¾ cup softened butter (really soft, even almost melty)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Butter (and flour, if that's your thing) either two 9" cake pans or a nice-sized bundt pan. I've also used an assortment of smaller cake pans (some of the ones that came in a child's baking set from IKEA, for instance), and the kids are big fans.
- In a medium bowl, mix egg yolks, ¼ cup milk, lemon zest and lemon juice.
- In a separate large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt and mix well.
- Add butter, remaining ¼ cup milk, and maple syrup, and mix using a stand mixer or a nice big whisk for a few minutes.
- Add egg/lemon mixture in 2-3 batches, mixing after each addition.
- Scrape batter into pans (you'll want them ½ full) and bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 20-40 minutes depending on the size of your pans.