SUPER FLUFFY with bright lemon flavor, this lemon loaf cake is made in the style of a German pound cake, aka Sandkuchen. Thanks to the five eggs this cake isn’t overly dense and the cornstarch gives it a beautiful delicate crumb, not to mention the lemon glaze (my favorite part!).
This lemon loaf cake is the perfect summertime cake! It is a very light without being dense like a traditional pound cake. Don’t skimp on the lemon glaze – it adds the perfect punch of lemon flavor to the loaf cake!
How do I know when my loaf cake is done?
To check and see if your sandkuchen is finished baking, insert a toothpick or wooden skewer into the center of the cake. When you pull the tester out, it should be clean -without any raw dough. The edges of the cake should also begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Additionally, this lemon sandkuchen will become a deep golden brown color when it is fully baked.
How long does my Sandkuchen need to cool?
With loaf cakes, it is important to allow them to cool for at least 30-45 minutes. It should be cool or just slightly warm to the touch. If the loaf is turned out to early it may split in half or sink.
How is Sandkuchen different from Poundcake?
Poundcake originally got its name because it uses exactly one pound of flour, eggs, sugar, and butter. Sandkuchen on the other hand uses completely different proportions – the only real similarity between the two is that they are both baked in a loaf pan.
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Tips for making Lemon Loaf Cake
- Follow the order of the instructions of the recipe. Once you have whipped the air into the eggs and sugar, you don’t want to leave it sitting around while you pull everything else together.
- When whipping the eggs and sugar, make sure that they have at least doubled in size and become light and fluffy.
- I always just spray my loaf with baking spray that includes flour. However, if you want to be extra safe, line your loaf tin with butter and flour or butter and a parchment paper sling for easy removal! If you only use baking spray, wait to spray the pan until right before adding the batter, if it is added too early, the spray will run down the sides of the pan and pool at the bottom.
- Don’t under bake this loaf, it should get a deep golden brown color – otherwise otherwise the center will sink while cooling. The crunchy brown edges are my favorite part, but if the loaf starts to get too dark, lightly drape a sheet of foil over the top.
- All Purpose Flour: Any all purpose flour will work for this lemon loaf! I have not yet tried any other flours with this recipe.
- Cornstarch: This recipe uses half cornstarch and half flour. However, I have found that Arrowroot starch can be used in place of the cornstarch.
- Eggs: I use standard large eggs from the store. For this recipe, the eggs do not need to be at room temperature.
- Sugar: This sandkuchen uses granulated sugar in the batter and powdered sugar in the lemon glaze.
- Lemons: Both the zest and juice are used in this recipe. Before zesting the lemons make sure to wash them with soap.
- Salt: Salt is there to balance out the sweetness of the loaf cake as well as accentuate the lemon flavor.
- Butter: Butter adds moisture and richness to this cake. This recipe calls for the butter to be melted and cooled before folding it into the batter. This means the butter does not need to be room temperature before starting.
How to make Sandkuchen
- Preheat the oven to 375º F.Place an oven rack just below the middle of the oven.
- Line a 9″ x 5″ pan according to the instructions in the Tips section above.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and starches. In a separate microwave safe bowl, melt the butter on 10-15 second intervals until it is fully melted. Set aside to cool.
Whipping the Eggs
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the sugar, salt, lemon zest, and eggs. Use the whisk attachment to whip the eggs and sugar, first on medium speed and then increasing to high for at least five minutes until streaks are visible and the mixture has at least doubled in size.
Mixing the Batter
- Dump the sifted dry ingredients into the bowl with the whipped eggs. Use a rubber spatula or hold the whisk attachment by hand to gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Do not stir the mixture or go to quickly, otherwise you will deflate the eggs and your loaf won’t rise.
- Once the dry ingredients are fully mixed in, pour in the melted and cooled butter. Using the same folding technique, fold the butter into the rest of the batter. The butter will have a tendency to run to the bottom of the bowl, underneath the batter, so it can be helpful to tip the bowl while folding to make sure to get all of the butter mixed in.
Baking the Lemon Loaf
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 350ºF and bake for another 10 minutes (don’t open the oven). After the additional 10 minutes, rotate the pan 180º and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
- Check the doneness of the loaf by inserting a toothpick or wooden skewer into the center of the loaf. The loaf is done baking when the tester comes out clean.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool for 30-45 minutes until the pan is cool to the touch. The top will likely collapse a little but it shouldn’t sink back into the cake – this would be a sign that the cake was underbaked. Carefully lift/flip the loaf out of the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack until fully cooled.
Making the Lemon Glaze
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until a thick, but still fluid, glaze is made.
- Pour the glaze over the lemon loaf. Optionally, top the loaf with lemon wedges for decoration.
Lemon Loaf Cake
- 125 grams all purpose flour
- 125 grams corn starch can substitute arrow root starch
- 230 grams granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 lemon zest
- 5 eggs
- 180 grams butter melted
- 250 grams powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice more as needed
- Preheat the oven to 375º F. Place one oven rack in the middle point of the oven.
- Prepare/line a 9"x5" loaf pan with a baking spray that includes flour or a sheet of parchment paper.
- Sift together the flour and starches in a medium bowl.
- Melt the butter and allow to cool while you whisk together the egg mixture.
Whipping the Eggs
- Place all wet ingredients except the butter into a the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the whisk attachment to whip, first on medium speed and then increasing to high speed for about 5 minutes until it has at least doubled in size.
Mixing the Batter
- Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture with a rubber spatula or by holding the whisk attachment by hand, being careful not to deflate the egg mixture by stirring too vigorously.
- Once there are no more dry bits visible, fold in the melted butter. I have found that it is helpful to tip the mixing bowl frequently to make sure all the butter is incorporated and hasn't all sunk to the bottom.
Baking the Loaf
- Once the butter is fully incorporated, pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350º F and bake for another 10 minutes. After the timer goes off, rotate the pan 180º and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
- If it looks like it is getting too dark, cover with foil to prevent further browning – however, this loaf should get a nice golden brown color on top.
- Once a toothpick comes out clean, remove the loaf from the oven and set on a cooling rack to cool – do not remove from the tin until it is cool.
- Once the loaf is completely cooled, make the glaze for the top of the loaf.
- Whisk the powdered sugar and lemon together in a medium bowl. Add more lemon juice or powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.
- Pour the glaze over the loaf.