Loaves + Quickbreads Uncategorized

Iced Lemon Almond Bread

lemon almond bread | the vanilla bean blog

Happy Monday, dear readers. I woke up this morning to thunder, lightning, and two littles climbing in my bed, sort of scared but mostly using the storm as an excuse to play games on my iPad. Yesterday was 85 and sunny — our first perfect summer day, filled with a family BBQ, swimming, and so much laughing I’m still smiling. Autumn may be my favorite season, but summer is just the best.

This lemon almond bread was also a nice way to start the day, with a light lemon flavor and the perfect fluffy-but-not-too-fluffy texture that made each bite a good reason to be out of bed, even on a Monday. Next time I might stir some blackberries or raspberries in to celebrate July’s sort-lived seasonal fruits.
lemon almond bread | the vanilla bean blog

lemon almond bread | the vanilla bean blog

Yogurt Culture by Cheryl Sternman Rule | Photo by Sarah Kieffer

This delicious bread comes from Cheryl Sterman Rule‘s new book, Yogurt Culture. I’m really loving this cookbook — so many great recipes involving all types of yogurt, from slightly complex (making your own yogurt) to very easy (coffee yogurt and simple compotes) to everything in-between: cardamom pancakes, artichoke-almond soup, labneh-stuffed peppers, creamy pasta marinara, and salted caramel panna cotta, just to name a few. I’m glad to have this book on my shelf. (Also, check out her Team Yogurt page!)

Iced Lemon Almond Bread

from Yogurt Culture by Cheryl Sternman Rule

I used a Pullman pan (the 9 x 4 pan) for this bread – I liked the height it gave to the bread. I lined the pan with parchment paper instead of with butter. I also added 1/4 cup more sugar to the bread (a total of 1 1/4 cup) just because. I only had Greek yogurt on hand, so I used 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and 1/2 cup whole milk.

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup almond meal
Zest of 2 large lemons
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt or low-fat yogurt (not Greek)

Preheat the oven to 350, with the oven rack in the middle position. Butter a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan (see note).

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in the almond meal and lemon zest.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, scraping down sides and beating well after each addition. Add the almond extract and beat until well combined. Slowly beat in half the dry ingredients, then the yogurt, then the remaining dry ingredients until well incorporated. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-2 minutes to develop some structure.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until lightly browned and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Cool the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Slide a knife around the edges of the pan and invert the cake onto the rack. Cool completely, then flip right side up.  Ice the cake (recipe follows).

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt (not Greek)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Whisk in the yogurt and then the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon at at time, until the icing is smooth, thick, and drips slowly from the whisk. Wave the whisk over the cake to drizzle lines of icing, or scrape the icing over the cake and smooth with an offset spatula.

Once the icing firms, cover the cake with plastic wrap. It can be kept at room temperature for up to 48 hours.
lemon almond bread | the vanilla bean blog

  • Reply
    Maria K
    Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Very tempting cake, so simple and moist, I can imagine, but I would have added some liqueur just because… and would certainly have reduced the amount of sugar by 1/4 cup because I don’t like overly sweet desserts.

  • Reply
    Kelly R
    Monday, July 20, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    ugh something about lemony things in the summer. not to mention almond extract is one of my favorite flavors ever (is that weird??)…

  • Reply
    caitlin | back2spain
    Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    wow, i mean that crumb looks so perfectly moist … it is just a work of art.

  • Reply
    Thursday, July 9, 2015 at 10:09 am


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  • Reply
    Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 5:45 am

    This cake looks so yummy!! can’t wait to try it out!! Thanks for sharing!! xoxo

    NEW BLOG POST!! Today we are back with a RECIPE: “CHICKEN FRIED RICE WITH SOYA SAUCE AND VEGGIES” – the perfect healthy and delicious recipe to stay fit and healthy this summer!! Don’t miss it!


  • Reply
    Jessica Robinson
    Friday, July 3, 2015 at 8:54 am

    Love old-fashioned quick breads! This one sounds so yummy! Always love your pictures. Simple and just wonderful!

  • Reply
    Friday, June 26, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    I adore quick breads and this one is such a stunner – the crumb looks wonderfully light (I bet that is due to the yoghurt). In fact I have not been able to get this out of my head since I first saw the pics of it!

  • Reply
    Friday, June 26, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I just love the simplicity in your pictures. This recipe also looks like a great breakfast snack with hot expresso- yum!

  • Reply
    Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    It’s perfect for a picnic. Lovely photos too!

  • Reply
    Sarah | Well and Full
    Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I love summer thunderstorms! When I was young, my parents and I would listen to the rain fall on the front porch and watch the storm unfold from there. I just love the smell of summer rain on the hot pavement! But braving the storm with your parents while you’re young are the type of memories that stay with you forever 🙂

  • Reply
    Molly @ The Move to America
    Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 10:38 am

    I love anything lemon based, but my husband does not so I do not always get a chance to make things using it – but this looks and sounds so good, I think I will just go ahead and make it for myself!

  • Reply
    alex | spice it up
    Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    This looks amaaaazing! Delicious. Need to try!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    I’ve been thinking about purchasing this cookbook I have read so many wonderful things about it. Love your blog and the way you write, beautiful pics too.

  • Reply
    Allison from Baking: a Love Story
    Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 11:01 am


  • Reply
    [email protected]
    Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 5:37 am

    This bread is simply gorgeous! I love the flavor combination!

  • Reply
    Emma Galloway
    Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 3:41 am

    These photos are stunning Sarah! xx

  • Reply
    Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 3:16 am

    This is so lovely. I’m a big fan of these kind of quick breads + the combo of lemon and almond is always perfect.

  • Reply
    Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 1:30 am

    Sarah, this is such a lovely little loaf of bread. After seeing these photos, I’m off to buy both a Pullman Pan and a copy of Yogurt Culture (salted caramel panna cotta!!!). Summer is often a season of harsh lines and unceremonious heat waves for me, so thank you for reminding me, us, of the softness it holds. It’s most certainly there, somewhere within those morning storms and all that smiling & laughing. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Monday, June 22, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Lovely, lovely, lovely! This sounds amazing! Love the pretty drips of the glaze too.

  • Reply
    Sarah // The Sugar Hit
    Monday, June 22, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    There’s something so satisfying about those straight-sides isn’t there? It reminds me of the loaf cakes at the Rose Bakery in Paris. Totally gorgeous – happy summer!

  • Reply
    Monday, June 22, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    This bread looks delicious, Sarah, and your photos are absolutely stunning! <3

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    Monday, June 22, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    This is such a simple and yummy looking bread!! I love the lemon and almond combo!

  • Reply
    molly yeh
    Monday, June 22, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    wow, this is gorgeous. cheryl’s book is amazing, and i officially need a pullman pan in my life!

  • Reply
    Monday, June 22, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Beautiful! And lemon is so perfect during summertime. Love your work and photography!

  • Reply
    Melissa@Julia's Bookbag
    Monday, June 22, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    well this looks beautiful and delightful and I adore anything almond. And so does my husband! I can’t wait to try!

  • Reply
    Monday, June 22, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I love the beauty and artistry you bring to everything you do. That you used my recipe here as a point of inspiration is a big honor. Thank you, Sarah! Off to buy a Pullman loaf pan…

  • Reply
    Monday, June 22, 2015 at 10:13 am

    ive been baking a few quick breads recently & this one sound looks and sounds especially delicious…lemon, yoghurt and almond? Yum. a definite must make recipe for me.

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