Sara’s Lemon Bread for Church Bake Sale is a homemade quick bread topped with toasted almonds and a delightful lemony glaze.
My church had a bake sale last weekend, so of course I wanted to contribute. What should I bring, I thought. My aunt Sara has a recipe for Lemon Bread that she’s been making for many years. She likes to make it at Christmas because it makes a great gift for neighbors and friends. We don’t live in the same state, so I’ve never gotten a chance to try hers. But I do have the recipe and now I know why she loves it so much. It is spectacular!
Sara’s Lemon Bread for Church Bake Sale has a light and airy consistency with a nice, lemony crust around the edges. Plus, the crunch of the nuts as an added bonus. Sara likes using pecans, but I thought I would try almonds. You could choose your favorite nut.
The first step in this recipe is grating your lemon. I like to use my box grater for this job, so that I can get a fine zest. Make sure you reserve the lemon for the juice.
Then you whip up a fairly standard quick bread batter with butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, salt and milk. Stir in the lemon zest at the end.
I also added my own special ingredient to this recipe which is optional. I stirred in a little bit of pure lemon oil which I ordered online. You might be able to find it at a gourmet grocer or health food store. If you can’t find it, here’s where you can get it online (affiliate):
Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Then top with almonds. This recipe makes one 8″ x 3.75″ loaf. I made it four times, so I could make four loaves.
While the bread is baking, juice your lemon. I love using this little Braun Citromatic because it’s so quick and easy.
Here’s one like mine on Amazon, if you want to try it too (affiliate):
Mix 1/4 cup of sugar with the lemon juice (you should have 1/4 cup). And this is what makes this bread extra special. As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, you pour the lemony sugar mixture on top while it’s hot.
Then, when the bread cools, it has this amazing lemon crust which is to die for!
Let the bread cool, then slice and enjoy.
It goes very well with a cup of tea and I enjoyed it as a delicious afternoon snack. It would also be wonderful for breakfast.
You can also wrap the loaves in plastic wrap and tie a pretty ribbon around it for the perfect bake sale bread.
Bake sales are my favorite. I love to see all the goodies that everyone took the time to bake at home to sell for a good cause. This is the UMW bake sale at my church last weekend. We were raising money for United Methodist Women which is a faith-based membership organization of laywomen within The United Methodist Church. UMW members are committed to growing as disciples of Jesus Christ in community with other women and advocating on behalf of women, children and youth around the world. United Methodist Women has been in mission for more than 140 years.
Sara’s Lemon Bread for Church Bake Sale
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk at room temperature, I used almond milk
- Grated peel of 1 lemon reserve lemon for the juice
- 3/4 teaspoon pure lemon oil optional
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- Topping: 1/4 cup sugar & 1/4 cup lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8" x 3.75" loaf pan with shortening (I used an aluminum foil pan). Line bottom of pan with parchment or waxed paper. Grease paper too.
Zest one lemon. Set aside. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into a measuring cup. You will need 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer; add eggs. Beat until combined. Measure flour into a medium bowl. Stir in baking powder and salt. Turn mixer on low and alternately add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, blending well. Add lemon zest (and lemon oil, if desired). Beat on medium for about 30 seconds. Pour batter into greased pan. Sprinkle almonds on top. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Meanwhile, mix together 1/4 cup of lemon juice with 1/4 cup of sugar. As soon as the loaf comes out of the oven, pour lemon juice mixture over hot bread. (You might want to loosen the sides of the pan a bit, so the juice can drip down the sides.) This bread will have a nice lemony crust. Let cool and serve. Or wrap in plastic wrap and tie a ribbon around it for a nice gift or bake sale. Keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerate for 1 week. Also freezes well too.