The wonderful thing about food is that it has the ability to conjure up some incredibly powerful emotions. So much so that it can actually transport you back to a very special place in time. Personally, I have many recipes that have that ability. But what's even better is when you are able to do that for someone else with your cooking.
I spotted this Classic Lemon Loaf recipe in among my stash of my mother- in- law's recipes and I put it aside to make one day. Little did I know the power it possessed.
In addition to all the recipes she gave me over the years, I have this pile of my mother-in-law's recipes that my husband was able to collect after she passed away. Some of them I recognize, some he grew up with and there's some she likely never even made.
One day I had an overwhelming craving for lemon bread and I remembered this recipe. And OMG did it ever hit the spot - I couldn't believe what an incredibly tasty lemon loaf this was! But it was my husband's reaction that really warmed my heart because I had no idea that this was such a special recipe for him. It wasn't until he was eating it and said, 'Wow. I haven't had this in about 40 years. It brings back such great memories.' It was so meaningful to be a part of recreating those cherished memories for him through baking.
You don't need a glaze for this easy lemon loaf recipe, you simply mix it up and bake. Easy peasy! The walnuts give this loaf a nice texture and it's the perfect balance of sweet and tart. And you can sprinkle on a little additional lemon zest and walnuts if you like.
For this recipe, you'll need:
- unsalted butter - if you use salted butter, skip the salt in the recipe
- white granulated sugar
- baking powder
- milk (I use 1% but you could use 2% or whole milk)
- chopped walnuts
I also love this old-fashioned lemon bread because not only is it easy, it's simple and wholesome. You use ingredients you have around the house and it calls for fresh lemons and walnuts, just like it did 40-50 years ago. These old-fashioned bread recipes are the best because they have stood the test of time. My family's Date Nut Loaf is another recipe that has been passed on from generation to generation. And I know this Lemon Loaf will be the same; it's just too good not to pass on!
Freezing: You can freeze this recipe for up to 3 months. *It's best that you DO NOT slice it prior to freezing, but rather, freeze it whole. Wait until it completely cools, then put it in a Ziplock freezer bag.
Refrigeration: Store it in the fridge for up to 5 days in a Ziplock bag or sealed container. *Again, it's better to slice it as you need it and don't slice the entire loaf before storing, as it prevents it from drying out.
I'm so lucky to have so many of Grandma Jean's recipes to be able to share with my children. They may have only had their Grandma Jean for a short time but her recipes live on in our home.
💭What to do with the leftover lemon juice
You're going to have leftover lemon juice after you make this recipe so why not give my Healthy Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta a try! It's loaded with frozen veggies, chicken and pasta with healthy and light creamy lemon sauce.
Making others happy with food is my favorite part of cooking and baking, but being able to make them food just like Mom used to make is priceless ~
Did you make this recipe? Please RATE THE RECIPE below!
📋 Classic Lemon Loaf Recipe
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 whole eggs, beaten
- 1 ½ cup flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 whole lemon rind, grated
- lemon zest
- chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C and spray a 9X5 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cream butter with sugar (use mixer), then add beaten eggs.
- Sift dry ingredients and add alternately with milk, mixing well between additions.
- Finely grate 1 whole lemon and add the grated rind to the batter.
- Stir in walnuts.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool for 5 minutes in pan, then remove to cooling rack and cool for an additional 10 minutes.