Tuesday, July 17, 2018


Last week I shared a recipe with you for some Banana Bread. Not just "some" Banana Bread but the "best" Banana Bread. I found the recipe in Mary Meade's Country Cookbook by Ruth Ellen Church who as Mary Meade was the food editor for the Chicago Tribune newspaper for twenty years. We and the volunteers at HPC Thrift Shop who managed to get a piece loved the bread so much, I just knew I had to find another recipe in the book to try.

I didn't have to go too many pages before I found this Lemon Crunch Cake. It sounded perfect for me to make and take to the thrift shop.  I also couldn't help but be encouraged by the personal note on the recipe. Ruth Ellen wrote, " After this appeared in my newspaper food column as a "Cake of the Week," it was adapted for large-quantity baking by the test kitchen staff of the Chicago Public Schools and has since become a favorite dessert in school lunchrooms." WOW!

I generally followed the recipe except for a few changes. (What else is new?!) I wanted to reduce some of the sugar calories so I used truvia sugar/stevia blend. I didn't have enough cake flour so I followed the emergency substitution directions in my Betty Crocker cookbook and used all-purpose flour and removed 2 tablespoons per cup of the flour. So instead of 3 cups cake flour I sifted and then measured out 2-3/4 cups of the all purpose flour and then removed 2 tablespoons of the flour. Another change I made is with the grated lemon rind. When a recipe for grated lemon rind, I always use McCormick's dried lemon peel - 1 tablespoon of the dried peel equals the rind of one lemon. I also use bottled real lemon juice for the lemon juice - 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice equals the juice of one lemon. The only other note I have is that the baking time was too long for my oven. She said to bake it 1 hour and 15 minutes. I set the timer for 75 minutes and went in and checked it at 70 minutes. The cake was brown and tested done with a toothpick. I would recommend baking it for 60 seconds and then check it. If it isn't done, continue baking but check it every 5 minutes.



3/4       cup butter or margarine, 1-1/2 sticks (I used unsalted butter and had it at room temperature.)
1-1/2    cups sugar (I used 3/4 cup of sugar/stevia blend)
3          eggs, well beaten
3          cups sifted cake flour (I sifted all-purpose flour and measured out 2-3/4 cups but then removed 2 tablespoons)
3          teaspoons baking powder
1/2       teaspoon salt
1          cup milk
Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon (I used 3 tablespoons bottled lemon juice and 1 tablespoon dried lemon peel)
1          cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Generously grease/butter a 10 - inch tube pan.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

Add eggs;
blend well.

Sift flour and then measure it. Resift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add mixture alternately with the milk to creamed mixture beginning and
starting and ending with the flour mixture.

Stir in lemon juice and

Cover the bottom of the pan with the chopped pecans.

Carefully spoon/pour the cake batter over the nuts.

Bake for 60 - 75 minutes, until done.

Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack,
before inverting it onto the wire rack to finish cooling.

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