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Lemon-Calamansi Loaf Cake

This citrus-flavored loaf cake was one of the easiest I have ever baked. The original recipe called for the use of fresh lemon zest, but I wanted to add a touch of my favorite sweet calamansi, the Filipino lime. Two citrus flavors in one loaf with a tinge of savory thyme resulted in a delightful, lemony-fragrant loaf perfect for tea time or ‘merienda’. This recipe was slightly adapted from “Easy as Pie Pops” by Andrea Smetona. Serves 4.
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Brunch, Dessert, Merienda, Snacks
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Lemon Calamansi Loaf Cake Dessert
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 625kcal
Author: Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • Loaf pan
  • Cake Mixer


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter softened at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 whole large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme optional
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup calamansi juice fresh or frozen, unsweetened or substitute with juice from fresh Meyer Lemons
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs for garnish; optional


  •  Pre-grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf  pan. Grease the bottom and sides with cooking spray and dust with flour. Place a piece of parchment or baking paper at the bottom of pan.
  • Preheat oven at 350 F degrees ( or 176 C).
  • Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This should take about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and continue beating for a minute more.
  • In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients together : flour, baking soda, salt, thyme and lemon zest. Use a wire whisk and run it around the bowl of ingredients a few times to sift.
  • Meanwhile, blend together in a liquid measuring cup the buttermilk, calamansi juice and sour cream.
  • Alternately, add the buttermilk-calamansi mixture and the flour mix to the creamed butter and sugar. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. Continue beating till blended for about 5 to 6 minutes more.
  • Pour the batter into the pre-greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 F degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Test the cake if it is done by piercing a small sharp knife at the center of baked loaf. If knife comes clean, cake is ready.
  • Remove from the oven, let the loaf pan cool on the counter for at 15 ro 30 minutes. Turn over and cool longer on a cake rack. When serving, garnish with fresh thyme sprigs if desired.
  • Cook's comments: the original recipe in the cookbook offers an option to bake this batter into miniature loaves. (I did not have small sized loaf pans so I opted for a regular loaf). But if you want to bake miniature cake loaves, this recipe makes 8 mini loaves, baking time is 15 to 20 minutes, at 350 F degrees.
  • Disclosure: The cookbook was a gift from the publisher. I was not paid to mention the recipe or the book. "Easy As Pie Pops" by Andrea Smetona is a good reference for pop-themed desserts, snacks and treats. Available where most books are sold.
  • Hello, Friends! All the images and content here are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to use my photos or content on your website  without my permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write it in your own words and simply link back to this blog to give proper attribution. It’s the legal thing to do. Thank you.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 625kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 945IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2.9mg