Do ya like Lemon?

I love lemon!  Also, I have a secret love of zesting lemons.  There’s something about zesting a lemon or scraping seeds out of vanilla beans that makes me feel like a real chef.  I know it’s silly but I really do get a kick out of it.  So with this recipe I got to zest up a storm!

lemon-crumb-cake-1

This week I made a Lemon Crumb Cake to take to a pot luck brunch.  This cake was a very big hit.  I didn’t think it was overly sweet and it had the perfect amount of zip from the lemon.  Well, I think that cause I actually bumped up the lemon in the recipe.  I told ya, I love zesting lemons!!!

The recipe was very easy to follow and like the recipe says, you should use a spring form pan.  Don’t try to do this in a regular round cake pan. I followed the recipe for the most part, I only changed 2 things.  The first was with the crumb topping.  In the recipe it called for using melted butter.  I have found that crumb toppings actually come out a little better if you cut cold butter into the other ingredients. I like to put the butter in the freezer for a few minutes before I use it, I think it makes the butter easier to work with and makes gives you those nice big chunks of crumb topping.  Honestly, I could probably just be happy picking off the crumb topping on some things.  The second change I made was with the glaze.  I added the zest of 1 lemon to it.  I wanted to give the glaze just an extra little bit of zip and it did!

Also, there’s a nice cream cheese layer to the cake that was just the right amount. Sometimes these kind of layers can get over sweet and make the whole thing to start tasting like cheesecake and I didn’t think that was the case here.  Cream Cheese layer just added a nice richness to the cake.

lemon-crumb-cake

This cake was super yummy and just perfect for a brunch or an afternoon snack or a dessert or a midnight snack…stop judging me! It’s good is what I’m trying to say and I highly recommend it.  Even if you’re not much of a baker don’t let the several different layers intimidate you.  Once you get into it you’ll see how simple it is.  Now leave me be so I can go zest some lemons…stop judging me!

 

If there’s fruit in the cake it counts as Breakfast Food!

strawberry cake1

My sweet treat this week was a very delicious Strawberry Yogurt Cake.  And since it contained fresh fruit and yogurt I declare it both good for you and breakfast food!!

This is a really yummy cake and I highly recommend this recipe.  It was pretty simple recipe and I only made one little change to it.  This was the first time I’ve used a recipe that had me zest a lemon into the flour mixture first instead of the butter/sugar mixture.  I was a little apprehensive of that but it really did help the zest be distributed throughout the cake and it seemed like the flavor of the lemon was much more prominent.  I think it may be because mixing it with the butter and sugar may beat it too much that it loses some of its zip.  I’m going to have to try this with other cakes to see if it’s true. Yep, make more experimental cakes to test this theory…oh the things I do to help society make better desserts. I really do deserve a medal or maybe a crown. I love crowns!  But we’re getting away from the point here. What I wanted to point out is that fresh lemon flavor with the strawberries just made the cake for me.

Now for the strawberries, the recipe called for 12 ounces of diced strawberries.  I can never figure out sometime if they mean 12 ounces of whole strawberries or 12 ounces of diced strawberries.  Because we’re talking about 2 very different things there.  I used a 1lb container of strawberries and I sliced them instead of dicing them.  I thought that dicing them would make them a little mushy after cooking and I would rather have large pieces of strawberry.  I’m glad I made that decision.  The only thing I would change for next time is I would have saved a handful of the slices to sprinkle on top of the batter once I got it into the pan.  Even though they didn’t all sick to the bottom I didn’t think they were very evenly distributed towards the top of the cake. And then of course I made your standard powdered sugar glaze for the top.

strawberry cake

But overall I would give this recipe a big A+.  It’s a great cake for social gatherings like breakfast, brunch or just to have friends over for afternoon tea and cake (which we don’t do enough of that)  It’s not overly sweet and the strawberries and lemon give it a great zip.  In fact, I’m going to go cut myself a nice big slice of this right now!