Lets be honest… the winter is tough. The days are shorter, the nights are colder, and the sky is greyer. While some may look forward to months of hibernation, thick wool sweaters, and runny noses I personally do not. [Although I do love a good fire in the fireplace… and hot chocolate].
As someone who needs a sweater when it gets below seventy-seven degrees, I just wasn’t built for the winter. My lips turn blue, my fingers turn white, and my overall being simply suffers. My middle name is Sunshine after all.
So, I decided to make this classic breakfast loaf is celebration of all things bright and cheery. Especially on groundhogs day… Here’s lookin’ at you [and your shadow] Punxatony Phil!
This loaf is like happiness in a breakfast bread. It’s practically bursting with sunshine and rainbows. I mean…. Look at it! The browned edges, the warm, golden yellow crust … the buttery, baby yellow cake…. Hello Happiness!
This lemon loaf uses the juice and the zest of several lemons, yielding a bright lemon flavor that pairs perfectly with the tang from the Greek yogurt. The rich, lemon fresh smelled that filled my apartment while this loaf was in the oven cannot be overstated.
Poppy seeds are the unsung hero here in my opinion. Although most people don’t pay them much mind, they add a subtle flavor and nice little surprise splash of color and pizzazz against the soft yellow of the cake. They also remind me of my dad, who I think is the only person on the planet that buys Poppy seed Hamantashen during Purim.
Don’t let the winter blues get you down. Keep Calm and Lemon Loaf on.
Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake
Adapted from Ina Garten
Makes 1 large loaf
1 ½ c. all purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
1 scant c. yogurt (I used plain Greek yogurt, but you can use whatever you have!)
2 T. lemon juice (1-1 ½ lemons)
1 c. sugar
¾ T. lemon zest
½ t. vanilla extract
1 T. poppy seeds (or more if you want!)
½ c. vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom of your loaf pan with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.
In a bowl, mix together the yogurt, lemon juice and zest, sugar, eggs, and extract.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds. Slowly fold into the wet ingredients.
Pour the vegetable oil into the batter, carefully folding it in. (This will take a few minutes to get in really mixed). Pour into your prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean!