Lemon bread is one of the baked goods my mom made growing up that I loved, devoured, and ate without caution. I think of my mom every time lemon bread crosses my path. Sad to say, though, it seems that lemon bread has come and gone in popularity. Is it just me or does anyone else feel that way? It seems like lemon bread used to pop up at nearly any occasion (especially the girlie ones) but at least in my neck of the woods, it has long since been usurped by other baked treats.
When my sister sent me the lemon bread recipe you see here claiming it was even better than mom’s (which is saying a lot) and I would never go back to another lemon bread recipe, I had to take the challenge and make it. And, um, wow. There is a reason lemon bread needs to be part of your life. And this is it. Light and extremely moist, this lemon bread seriously rocks. The bread itself is tender with a lemony fragrance and combined with the killer lemon and sugar glaze, it is crazy delicious.
Whether you want to see lemon bread come back into food fashion or not, this recipe is worth making. We’ve taken to enjoying it for mid-morning snacks, after-dinner treats and anywhere in between.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon zest from about 3 large lemons
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt, lowfat or regular
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from the lemons that were zested for the bread)
- 4 tablespoons sugar, more or less according to how sweet you want it
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2 inch pans with cooking spray (I always use the Baker's Joy spray with flour in it). You may have a bit of batter leftover to also make 1-2 mini loaves or a few muffins.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest and rub the mixture together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Stir in the eggs, vanilla, oil, applesauce and yogurt. Fold in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pans about 2/3 full (if you have leftover batter you can make mini loaves or a few muffins) and smooth the top. Bake the bread until the top of the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes for a normal sized loaf and anywhere from 16-25 minutes for muffins or mini loaves.
- While the bread is baking, combine the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and let it come to a boil. Take it off the heat until the bread is finished baking. When the bread is done baking, carefully turn it out onto a cooling rack. Gently pour the warm glaze over the top of the warm bread (if the glaze runs off without soaking in, poke tiny holes with a toothpick over the top of the bread and then pour on the glaze). Let the bread cool completely. Store in an airtight container. It will stay moist for 2-3 days at room temperature.