Lemon & Berry marbled loaf cake

Lemon & Berry marbled loaf cake

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There are several reasons why I conjured up this cake. Firstly, IT’S HALF TERM!!! and for once I don’t have exams straight after the holidays so I don’t have to work and revise quite as religiously as normal. So I’ve been trying to restrain myself from working too much and instead take some time out to bake lots of goodies for my family. My dad is especially happy as he has been deprived of homemade treats for months because I’ve been so busy. So, the second reason for this recipe was that my dad requested a lemon drizzle cake. Thirdly, all this week it has been sunny and it was as if spring was final creeping onto the scene. I was so excited which is unusual for me, I usually hate the transition of seasons because I hate change. Anyway… by the end of the week the sky was bleached grey again and it rained for almost a whole day!!! So to try and overcome my disappointment I decided to put spring into this cake… no I haven’t gone crazy. I made a summer fruit compote with blueberries and strawberries and marbled dollops of it throughout the cake, inspired by the peeping sunshine we have had all week. 

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The cake has a moist crumb as the lemon sponge batter is made with sour cream and the tangy flavour of it offsets the sweetness of the fruity goo and lemon icing, preventing the loaf cake being too sickly. The juicy berries and sharp citrus pair so well together and the acidity of the lemons lifts the cake keeping it light and fresh tasting. 

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The marbled effect is created by alternating spoonfuls of the two mixtures into the cake tin  and then simply swirling a skewer through the the tin when the mixtures have been layered creates the rippling effect. 

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This cake is delicious and simple, two things I think are very important when it comes to baking. This cake is so easy to knock up and yet the reward is so yummy so, I suggest you go turn the oven on! 

INGREDIENTS:

fruit compote

  • 100g blueberries
  • 100g strawberries (chopped)
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • squeeze lemon

sponge

  • 250g soft butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml sour cream
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • zest 2 lemons

drizzle

  • 100g sifted icing sugar
  • juice 1/2 lemon

METHOD:

1. Begin by making the fruit compote. Place all the compote ingredients into a small pan and on a high heat let the fruit come to the boil. When it reaches a boil turn down the heat and let the fruit simmer for 10-15 minutes until some of the blueberries have burst and the strawberries are soft. Stir occassionally whilst the fruits are cooking to prevent the sugar burning. When the compote is ready pour it into a heatproof bowl and place in the freezer whilst you make the sponge.

2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees or 170 for fan assisted ovens. Line a 1 litre, 9×5 inch loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Cream the butter until pale and then add the sugar beating until nice and fluffy. Add the eggs and sour cream and beat again. At this point the mixture will be curdled but don’t worry add the flour and the batter will become smooth as the flour becomes incorporated. Finally, add the lemon zest giving a final stir to make sure the zest is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

3. Dollop a third of the batter into the tin and spread the mixture into an even layer. Dot two tablespoons of the fruit compote ontop of the batter. Try and drain some of the juice you mainly want to add the soft fruits to the sponge not the juice which will just make the sponge soggy and it won’t cook properly in the oven. Repeat this layering pattern twice more so that you finish with two dollops of compote ontop of the sponge. Finally swirl a skewer or knife through the mixture, don’t over mix otherwise you will just blend the dots of fruit and sponge together and you won’t end up with a marbled effect.

4. Place the tin into the oven for 1hr-1 hr 10minutes until golden brown, springy to the touch and when you insert a skewer into the centre of the cake it comes out mostly clean with a few crumbs. Leave to cool in the tin for an hour or so before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

5. When the cake is cold mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice to make a drizzle. It should be thick enough that it won’t run completely off the cake when you pour it over. With a spoon or using a piping bag drizzle over the icing until your satisfied. Serve the cake cut into thick slices with afternoon tea!

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