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Lemon Loaf Cake with Kalamansi Frosting

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Every time I go to Starbucks, I can’t resist buying a slice of its signature lemon cake. But it gets expensive. So, I baked my own version of a Lemon Loaf Cake with Kalamansi Frosting. It was  dreamy and superb.

The Starbucks lemon loaf cake is my secret guilty pleasure if we’re ever at the coffee shop. But we can’t go there every day. And we can’t eat these indulgences day in and day out. I had to take advantage of the last sweet lemons of summer. My sons often observed that when I bake with lemons in the summer season, the luscious desserts I make are the sweetest, like my classic Lemon Squares, which are also a favorite among Filipinos. And yes, I baked Lemon Squares as gifts to friends way back when we lived in the Philippines. Back then, I combined the lemons with fresh kalamansi from our backyard.

In this loaf cake I baked in my American kitchen, I once again combined both lemons and kalamansi (the Filipino lime). This time, I was inspired by a recipe from the King Arthur Flour site.

Once out of the oven, the loaf was as bright yellow as sunshine on a summer day. The thick, dense slices were moist and sweet. The combination of lemon and kalamansi fragrant flavors pierced through our senses as we savored each bite. And, when I spread the frosting on top, the citrus-flavored, snowy-white glaze dribbled down the sides, the front and the back of the loaf – taunting us to relish the last days of sweet lemons in the summer.

Lemon Loaf Cake with Kalamansi Frosting

The piercingly-sweet and citrus flavors of lemons combined with kalamansi (the Filipino lime) define this luscious Lemon Loaf Cake with Kalamansi Frosting. This was my version of the lemon cake I enjoy when I'm at Starbucks. But it's not often I can go, so I baked a similar version in my kitchen. This thick, dense loaf cake is great for desserts, snacks or the Filipino merienda. The cake recipe was adapted from the King Arthur Flour.com website. The Kalamansi Frosting is an Asian in America recipe. Serves 4 to 6.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Resting time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Dessert, Merienda, Snacks
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Filipino Lemon Loaf Cake Kalamansi Frosting
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 653kcal

Equipment

  • Loaf pans : large 9 x 5 inches [1.25 lb.]; or 2 loaf pans each 8 x 5 inches; or a Bundt-style cake pan

Ingredients

For the Lemon Cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons cream cheese at room temperature; use regular (do not use low fat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons calamansi juice fresh or frozen concentrate (thawed)
  • 5 whole large eggs

For the Kalamansi Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner's or powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons calamansi juice fresh or frozen concentrate (thawed)
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons milk

Instructions

To bake the Lemon Loaf Cake:

  • Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.
    Grease the loaf pan. Place a piece of parchment paper at the bottom. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese. Using a cake mixer, beat the ingredients together for about 2 minutes. The cream mixture should be soft and fluffy.
  • Add the salt, sugar, flour, and baking powder to the cream mixture. Continue beating for 5 minutes. The batter should be smooth and stiff.
  • To the cake batter, pour the vanilla, the lemon and calamansi juices. Add 1 egg. Beat these well for 1 to 2 minutes till smooth.
    Add the remaining eggs, one egg at a time. Keep beating for 5 to 7 minutes more or till the batter is fluffy.
  • Pour the lemon cake batter into the loaf pan. Bake in the preheated oven of 350 F degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.
    *Note: If using a Bundt-style cake pan, bake for 55 to 58 minutes.
    To test if cake is done, insert the tip of a small knife on top, in the middle. If knife comes out clean, cake is done.
  • Remove the lemon cake from the oven. Cool on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes.
    When cool enough to handle, turn the pan over and let the cake cool on a rack. Remove and discard the parchment paper at the bottom.
    Wait for the cake to cool for at least 1 hour before adding the Kalamansi Frosting.

To make the Kalamansi Frosting:

  • Combine in a large mixing bowl: Confectioner's sugar, lemon or calamansi juice and the milk. Beat with a cake mixer on high for 3 to 5 minutes till fluffy and soft peaks form.
    Cover and refrigerate the frosting for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before adding to the cake.

To assemble the Lemon Loaf Cake with Kalamansi Frosting:

  • Place the whole Lemon Loaf Cake on a rectangle or oval platter.
    Using a cake spatula, spread the Kalamansi Frosting on top. Some parts of the creamy frosting may drizzle down on the sides.
    Slice and serve as a dessert or snack.

Cook's comments:

  • You can use all lemons for this cake if Kalamansi juice (fresh or frozen) are not available. I purchase my frozen Kalamansi from Asian markets. Bottled ones are also available from online sources like Amazon.
    Kalamansi - also known as calamansi or calamundin in Pilipino are small Philippine citrus fruits similar in appearance to a kumquat. In the Philippines, the outer skins are colored dark green and turn yellowish when ripe. Those I find in America have orange-yellow outer skins and are mostly grown in the warmer states. My cousin, Susan grows calamansi trees in her orchard in San Francisco, CA and has sent me a bushel in the past for my cooking and baking.

Copyright:

  • Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 653kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 249mg | Potassium: 142mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 1140IU | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking or baking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Did you love this recipe? I have more Philippine dessert recipes in my popular cookbook How to Cook Philippine Desserts, Cakes and Snacks.

If you need Filipino Instant Pot recipes, find more in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker PotBuy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.

Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]

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