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March 04 2014 by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Breakfast,Dessert,Recipe » 12 comments

Citrus Buttermilk Loaf Cake

A few days over the past couple of weeks, the weather has cleared up in the late afternoon.  The morning’s low grey skies and fat rain drops swept away, quite suddenly, leaving behind a clean slate of blue sky, ready to go pink with the sunset.  And about that sunset?  It’s getting later!  Avery ate dinner the other night in our dining room, and I didn’t even have to turn on the lights.  It felt huge.
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There have even been a few days that were clear and bright all day long, after several days of rain.  Seattle’s rain is what people talk about, but it’s these clearings that I think are worth a mention.  There’s something magical about the curtain of low clouds whisking open, revealing mountains that were hidden for days.  Suddenly, you see what’s started to bloom and sprout, thanks to all that rain.  And the post-rain smell of freshness?  The best.

Citrus Buttermilk Loaf Cake

On the clear afternoons, after Avery is home for the day, we’ve blown bubbles in the backyard and scrawled chalk across the driveway and pushed a red tricycle up and down (and upanddown, upanddown, upanddown …) the sidewalk.  Those things haven’t been possible during the dreary months and shorter days, and doing them again has me (and Avery, too, I think) giddy.

Citrus Buttermilk Loaf Cake

The early inklings of spring always boost my spirits, reminding me of the lovely warmer days that I’ve all but forgotten.  This year, they’ve also got me reflecting, as we near the end of our first full year in Seattle, but looking forward, as well, to the arrival of our baby boy in late April.  If spring is just around the corner, he’s almost here; our family is almost four.

Citrus Buttermilk Loaf Cake

All of this makes me feel like I just woke up after a long night of deep sleep.  It has me craving a walk around Green Lake.  It gives me a goofy grin as I walk up and down the hills around our house under the warm-ish sun.  And it makes me want to get into the kitchen to cook or bake—just for the sake of creation.  I haven’t felt that urge in a while.

Citrus Buttermilk Loaf Cake

So, during a recent quiet stretch of weekday, when I had a short window between conference calls, I puttered around the sunlit (!) kitchen, and baked a buttermilk citrus loaf cake—fragrant with winter’s citrus, but somehow promising the light brightness of spring, too.  The end, it seemed, was in sight.

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Citrus Buttermilk Loaf Cake
Adapted (pretty heavily) From This Bon Appetit Recipe

1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons citrus zest (I used 1 tablespoon grapefruit zest (from 1 grapefruit), 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 2 small lemons))
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed citrus juice (I used the juice of 1 grapefruit)
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil, like canola)
1/4 cup yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a loaf pan.

In a medium-sized bowl, rub the citrus zest into the sugar using your fingertips, until the citrus sugar is well blended.  Whisk in the flour, baking powder and salt.

In another medium bowl, whisk the citrus juice, eggs, buttermilk, oil and yogurt.

Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture; stir until just combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 1 hour, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

12 comments so far. »
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  1. Nik says on March 04 2014 at 2:24 pm:

    Now, that…… THAT is a beautiful post. <3

    Looking forward to spring here too in NE Ohio, we've had enough winter weather to last me a lifetime.

    *off to bake something yummy now, thank you*

  2. Diane erdahl says on March 05 2014 at 7:50 am:

    I was lucky enough to sample this and it was Fabulous! A must try! MOM

  3. Dakota says on March 06 2014 at 10:24 am:

    Oh man… I love the idea of citrus in a cake and I’m going to have to try this one!

  4. lynn @ the actor’s diet says on March 07 2014 at 5:17 pm:

    It never rains where I live (in Los Angeles) but it did last weekend (a lot) and that’s definitely when I felt like baking. What a beautiful loaf!

  5. annie @ foodierobots.com says on March 07 2014 at 5:28 pm:

    Well this looks AMAZING. So so ready for spring here in Oklahoma as well…the weather just can’t seem to make up it’s mind.

    Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe!

  6. Avanika {Yumsilicious Bakes} says on March 09 2014 at 4:48 am:

    This is just… beautiful!! Love the shot of the zested citruses

  7. Linne says on March 11 2014 at 8:20 am:

    The original recipe calls for 2 sticks of butter and your version has no butter – I love that! – but is it correct?

  8. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink says on March 11 2014 at 8:52 am:

    Nik: Thanks so much!

    Mom: Glad you enjoyed. xo

    Dakota: Yes–do!

    lynn: I heard about all that LA rain! Happy baking.

    annie: Hang in there — it’ll be here soon!

    Avanika: Thank you!

    Linne: Good question. Yes, it’s correct. The original recipe is for a bundt, and this is for a loaf, so that cuts the original recipe in half (so, 1/2 cup butter instead of 1 cup butter). In my (very liberal!) adaptation, I used oil and yogurt to make up the 1/2 cup of fat. Hope that helps.

  9. Monique says on April 05 2014 at 6:29 pm:

    Hello, very dumb question here: I’m assuming you mean just plain yogurt? Unflavoured, not Greek? Thanks! I think this’ll be a good recipe for my food studies class! (Well, my advanced class.)

  10. Christina @ but i'm hungry says on April 10 2014 at 5:14 pm:

    Thank you for sharing… I attempted a recipe for a similar cake a few weeks ago, when I was swimming in grapefruit, and it turned out disastrously, for whatever reason. But the craving I had for it is still hanging on, so I think I’ll have to give your version a try!

  11. sumanto says on April 16 2014 at 12:06 am:

    Well this looks AMAZING,

    so ready for spring here in Oklahoma as well…the weather just can’t seem to make up it’s mind.

    Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe!

  12. kirti says on April 18 2014 at 9:03 pm:

    Your writing is edged with poetry ! I love the warmth exuded by summer after a long winter. Here though we have a winter that is just 3 months long, the season before that is monsoon, which is 3 months long again. So after experiencing 6 months of chill, some warmth is all that is needed! Love your writing and love love love your recipes!!

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