It’s time to stop being polite and start gettin’ real about Lemon Blueberry Bread, you guys. Let’s call a spade a spade. Lemon Blueberry Bread (along with its friends Zucchini Bread and Pumpkin Bread and even that troublemaker Banana Nut Bread)…THEY’RE ALL CAKE. Yes, they’re baked into a shape approximating a loaf and we slice them like bread and even toast them sometimes but they’re all cake, nonetheless. When’s the last time you had a loaf of multi-grain with a cup of sugar baked in?
I’m not mad. Cake is delicious.
And unlike other cakes, Lemon Blueberry Bread* actually gets better after it sits around for a day or so. Birthday cake don’t play that way.
I tend to crave salty things more than sweet, hence my inability to babysit an unopened bag of potato chips for longer than 12 minutes. I think that’s why I like this Lemon Blueberry Bread – it’s sweet but not too sweet and then there’s that added zing of lemon to balance it all out. Kind of like Sour Patch Kids.
I’m also a pretty terrible babysitter for Sour Patch Kids, come to think of it.
*(pseudonym used to protect the identity of Lemon Blueberry Cake)
LEMON BLUEBERRY “BREAD”
makes one loaf or four mini-loaves
For the Bread:
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup plain yogurt (you can use vanilla yogurt or substitute sour cream)
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 tbsp. lemon zest (zest of 2 lemons)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
about 1.5 cups fresh blueberries (frozen works, too)
For Lemon Syrup:
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/2 cup water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In another (larger) bowl whisk the sugar and eggs together. Add in the yogurt, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and oil. Once combined, mix in the 1 tbsp. of lemon juice. Finish by slowly adding the dry ingredients to the wet and mixing with a wire whisk until combined.
2. Using your hands, coat the blueberries in a bit of flour in a small bowl – this will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the dough. Add the blueberries to the batter and mix in carefully with a spoon, doing your best not to break up the berries. Grease your pan thoroughly with cooking spray and pour in the batter, leveling it out with a spoon. Bake about 45-50 minutes if you’re using a large loaf pan or 25-30 minutes if making four small loaves, or until a knife comes out clean.
3. While the bread (CAKE!) bakes, combine the 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. After about 5 minutes the mixture should begin to bubble and the sugar will melt completely – remove from heat as soon as you can’t feel any grains with your spoon and set aside.
4. After you take the loaf(ves) out of the oven, allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Poke holes all the way down the loaf with a thin knife or cooking skewer – as many as you can without making a mess of the bread. Using a spoon, pour all the lemon syrup over the cake, allowing it to soak in before adding more.
Notes: This cake gets better overnight so make it ahead of time if you think about it. Some people like to add a glaze, but I prefer it without. If you do, just combine powdered sugar with milk until you get the consistency you like then pour over the cake. I mean bread.
I’ve also made this cake once before without any real lemons – I just omitted the zest and used that green bottle Real Lemon stuff instead of the fresh juice. It wasn’t exactly the same, but it was still totally tasty. And oranges work in place of lemons here, too, if you feel so inclined.