I think it’s time for some sunshine around here! Don’t you? The dreary months of winter are dragging on, and where I live, we have days-on-end of grey cloudy skies, caused by this tricky little weather phenomenon called inversion.
As you may have noticed, the dreary winter skies (along with some extra shifts at work) have sapped my motivation, which is why I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, I cannot control the sun or the clouds. So, in lieu of sunshine I have deemed it appropriate to brighten up my day (and yours!) with the delicious sweet tanginess of lemons! Because lemons are, of course, the closest you can get to taking a big bite out of the sun (or, wait… maybe a hot pepper is a better approximation??) Anyhow… citrus fruits scream bright sunshine to me, especially the sunny yellow color and super tang of lemons.
While I have always adored lemons, I recently developed a little bit of an obsession after a friend asked me about posting something with lemons. As a result, I have been craving all things lemon-y for the last several weeks. And then I just had to buy a giant bag of lemons at the grocery store to appease my sudden lust for lemons. First, I tried some lemon scones, but that recipe still needs a bit of work…. This lemon yogurt bread, on the other hand, is perfectly delicious.
(Want to make muffins? Try my Sunny Lemon Zucchini Muffins – they are awesome too, albeit with a slightly milder lemon flavor and sweeter glaze.)
Lemons are like a giant burst of sunrays directly to your tastebuds… which is exactly what I need right about now. Lemons bite right through my foggy-minded winter doldrums. After being lulled into a food coma by the subtle heat of chili, the creamy warmth of soup, cornbread and biscuits, winter squashes, and Christmas/Valentine’s cookies, my tastebuds seriously need a wake up.
And this Lemon Yogurt Bread is it! It’s the perfect amount of tart and sweet, with a sunny and bright homemade flavor. The glaze is essential and adds the perfect extra lemony oomph. The tartness of the glaze keeps this bread from being too bland or too sweet, and really gives your tastebuds a little jolt! The pure lemon flavor shines through and if you close your eyes, you can just about feel the sun’s rays on your face.
Soon…. oh, so soon.
- 3 cups flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 tbsp lemon zest (or the zest from about 4 lemons)
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted (or canola oil)
- ½ cup applesauce
- 1½ cups plain low-fat greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- 4 tbsp sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 8½-inch by 4½-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside
- In a large bowl, mix the sugar and lemon zest, and rub the mixture together gently between your fingers, until the sugar is uniformly moistened and fragrant. Stir in the eggs, vanilla, oil, applesauce, and yogurt. Fold in the dry ingredients, and mix just until combined. Batter may still be a bit lumpy.
- Divide the batter evenly between both pans, filling about ⅔ full. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
- While the bread is baking, heat the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently and simmer gently for 1-2 minutes; remove from heat.
- Turn bread carefully onto a cooling rack. While the bread is still warm, poke tiny holes in the top of the bread using a toothpick. Gently brush the top and sides of each loaf with the warm glaze. Cool completely. Keep loosely covered.
This bread tastes best on the 2nd day after the glaze has soaked in and the flavors have melded.
Recipe slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.