Yesterday was official first day of Spring so it’s kind of appropriate that today’s post is bright, fresh and colorful!
I was always a big fan of lemon cakes and all kinds of citrus desserts but there is a reason why I haven’t posted any yet here on the blog. Basically when a year and half ago I started to have nasty symptoms of digestion / gut problems, one of the food that was on the “forbidden list” (and man that list was long!!) were all kinds of citrus fruit so I stopped eating my favourite lemons, mandarins, oranges… So I haven’t eaten or drink anything citrus for about a year and I had to make sure I’m getting enough vitamin C through other food like dark leafy greens, broccoli, tomatoes (even if I also couldn’t eat those for about 6 months, talk about torture!), berries and supplements.
Once I healed my gut and started to feel much better, I was slowly introducing some of the food that I couldn’t eat and giving my body a chance to see if this agrees with it or not. As for citrus fruit, I still cannot drink lemonade and in fact, drinking water with lemon in the mornings that everybody these days is saying how great it is for us as it alkalize our bodies, unfortunately it doesn’t agree with me. I just start to have some not so pleasant symptoms so for the moment I’m just not trying that anymore. But I am so happy that I react well to eating mandarins and oranges and also lemon cakes yaaaay! Ah the little things we appreciate more when we see how it is to be without them…
For all those reasons I am so happy to share this recipe and hopefully many more with those beautiful citrus fruit! 🙂
This recipe is adapted from the one for ‘Healthier lemon loaf’ on a great food blog Grandbaby cakes and you can find the original recipe here and I changed few things as I wanted to make this lemon cake a bit more healthy but that it still stays moist, sweet and delicious. I used honey instead of sugar and a mix of spelt and all-purpose flour and I also used a very healthy and full of probiotics, live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system, – kefir (but you can still used a regular natural yogurt instead). Most of the lemon cakes are covered with lemon glaze, which of course it’s delicious but full of white sugar so I made a syrup using honey as well and it was so delicious!
I really love this cake and I hope you will too. It can stay in the fridge for few days and it stays moist but you can always make some extra honey-lemon syrup and drizzle it when serving on plates. Another thing that I want to mention is that when baking with honey, cakes can burn quite easily so make sure that as soon as you see that the cake is getting golden brown (after about 20 – 25 min in the oven) cover it with aluminium foil so you prevent it from burning on top.
- ⅔ cup olive oil (not extra-virgin)
- 1 cup light-colored mild honey
- 3 large eggs
- ⅔ cup kefir (or natural yogurt)
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup spelt flour
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- For the lemon glaze
- juice of 1 large lemon
- ¼ cup light-colored honey
- Note: 1 cup = 250 ml. Use organic, untreated lemons for the grated zest.
- Preheat oven to 175 C (340 F).
- Prepare the loaf bread baking pan by greasing it with oil (you don't have to do that if using a silicone one like I did).
- In a large mixing bowl put olive oil, honey, lightly beaten eggs, kefir (or yogurt), lemon juice and lemon zest and vanilla. whisking it until is all combined.
- In another mixing bowl combine spelt and all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Add dry flour mixture into the wet mixture and whisk until is all well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 min on 175 C (340 F).
- After 20-25 minutes of baking, when you see that the cake is getting golden brown, cover it with aluminium foil to prevent from burning on top.
- When the cake is baked, leave it to cool well before removing from the loaf pan.
- To prepare the syrup, mix over the low heat lemon juice and honey until is combined and pour it over cooled cake.
- Decorate the cake with grated lemon zest and serve on room temperature or cold.
- Keep in fridge (it stays fresh and moist for few days).