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Cravings–we all get them. Yet there are some flavour cravings that I rarely get. Salt, for example, or anything sour. Lemons fall into that latter category.

And yet, every once in a while, they happen. A couple of weeks ago, I was hit by a major craving for something lemon-flavoured. Especially a lemon-flavoured baked something. I tried staving the craving off with something a little more healthy, but that attempt didn’t work (mostly because that recipe didn’t work out for me).

So, I went back to an old favourite of mine: lemon loaf. This time, though, I added a little something extra, which led me to a new spin on the old classic. I ended up with this Strawberry-Swirled Lemon Loaf.

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Admittedly, the end result is somewhere between a loaf and a cake. Whatever type of baking you want to call it, though, the result is the same: it’s utterly delicious.

This recipe still highlights that sour tang of the lemons, but it’s cut a little bit by the sweetness of the strawberry mixture. And both pair perfectly with the slight buttery-ness of batter itself.

One of my favourite parts of the loaf is the top. The lemon glaze that gets poured on at the end saturates the top couple of centimetres, making them both extra sweet and extra sour at the same time. It gives them such an interesting texture, too, that I can’t help but love.

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Strawberry-Swirled Lemon Loaf

Ingredients

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup strawberries, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/8 cup whole wheat flour (or 1 1/2 cup white all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Directions

  1. Mix the strawberries and 1 tbsp of sugar in a small pot. Let sit for 10 minutes. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the strawberries break down. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 egg. Beat in the second egg. Blend in the milk.
  4. In another bowl, thoroughly stir the flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon rind. Pour over the the butter mixture. Stir just to moisten. Spoon half of the batter into a greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Drizzle half of the strawberry mixture on top, swirling with a fork to ensure it’s distributed evenly. Repeat with each the second half of the batter and strawberry mixture.
  5. Combine lemon juice and sugar in a small bowl. Warm in microwave for about 30 seconds, or in a small saucepan over low heat, and stir until the sugar is disolved.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour, until a fork or cake tester can be inserted and removed cleanly. Remove from the oven and pour the glaze over top. Allow it to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely before cutting.