Three easy home baking recipes using Lemons

Three easy home baking recipes using Lemons

Home baking using lemons from the garden

Lemon on a yellow background
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I love baking, especially when I can use ingredients such as lemons that I have grown at home, or bought in season from local suppliers.

At the moment we have a lot of lemons on our lemon trees. I use the juice and peel of lemons in lots of recipes, particularly in baked treats to go in lunch boxes.

I usually bake in bulk and freeze portions whatever I have made. Often I double or triple a recipe, as it isn’t much more effort to make a bigger batch. It makes life easier when you can pull a few pieces of baking out of the freezer for lunchboxes or visitors.

Three easy lemon recipes

These three lemon recipes are easy to prepare, and taste great. They use store cupboard ingredients, so it is likely you will have them in your kitchen cupboards or pantry. The microwave Lemon Oat Squares is particularly quick and easy.

Coconut Lemon Loaf

Coconut Lemon Loaves, ready to go into the freezer

This recipe is adapted from an Anchor Favourites book published in 2001. I usually put a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice in, and reduce the milk slightly. Try it both ways, and see which one works best for you.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 2 teaspoons of grated lemon rind
  • 100 grams butter, melted
  • Heat the oven to 180°C. Line the base of a 21cm x 10cm loaf tin with baking paper or butter wrappers.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl. Stir in the coconut.
  • In another bowl, beat the eggs, then beat in the milk, lemon rind and melted butter (and lemon juice if you are using some).
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients in to the dry ones. Stir until the dry ingredients are just mixed in, trying not to over mix. Pour it into the tin.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 60-65 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean (I use a metal skewer as a cake tester).
  • Leave the loaf in the tin for 10 minutes, then take it out of the tin and leave it on a rack to cool.
  • Slice and serve either plain, or with butter, jam or honey.

Lemon Yoghurt Muffins

Lemon Yoghurt Muffins

This recipe has been adapted from one in the Country Calendar Homestead Baking cook book (which I found in an op shop, it’s one of my best second hand finds). Makes 12 muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup plain or Greek yoghurt
  • grated rind of 1 large or 2 small lemons
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Heat the oven to 200°C. Grease 12 standard muffin tins or line with muffin cases.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, oil, egg, yoghurt, lemon rind and juice, and salt. Carefully, without over-mixing, add the flour and baking powder, and stir gently to make a soft, thick batter. Put the mixture into the muffin tin/cases, dividing it equally between them.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until well risen and firm to the touch.
  • While the muffins are cooking, prepare the glaze by stirring the icing sugar and lemon juice together – there is no need to heat it.
  • Once the muffins are cooked, remove from the oven and let stand for 4-5 minutes before brushing with the glaze.

Microwave Lemon Oat Squares

Lemon Oat squares
Lemon Oat Squares in lunchboxes.

This recipe is a very basic adaption of a recipe from Edmonds Microwave Cookery Book. It is so easy and quick, and tastes great, as the lemon icing sinks through to the oaty base.

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams butter
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut

Icing:

  • 25 grams butter
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • chocolate sprinkles (optional)
  • Put butter and sugar into a microwave proof bowl. Cover and cook on high for 1 to 1½ minutes, or until the butter has melted. Stir to combine.
  • Add the rolled oats, flour and desiccated coconut. Mix well.
  • Press into a 18cm x 22cm microwave proof slice dish (you could use a glass or silicon dish).
  • Cook, elevated on a microwave rack (I don’t have one of these, I just use a plate) for 2½ to 3½ minutes, or until bubbling all over. Take care that the middle doesn’t start to burn.
  • Spread slice with lemon icing, and chocolate sprinkles if you are using them. Allow to cool in the fridge before cutting into squares.

Icing:

  • Place butter, water, lemon juice and rind in a 1 litre microwave proof jug. Cook on high for 1 – 1½ minutes, or until just boiling.
  • Add the icing sugar, and beat well to form a soft, spreadable icing.

Another recipe that use lemons…

Please check out my Easy Hummus Recipe which also uses lemons.

Other uses for Lemon Juice

Photo of lemons
Stock photo of lemons

Lemon juice also freezes well, I put it in ice cube trays, pop them in the freezer, then put the frozen cubes in a container and back into the freezer. I take out a few out a time, as I need them.

Lemon juice is also useful for cleaning – there are some great ideas on this post on The Spruce website.There are a lot of claims about the health benefits of drinking lemon juice. This is probably an area that you can research for yourself, as there seems to be some conflicting information out there.

Benefits of home baking

Zero waste packaging for baking ingredients
I’ve managed to source almost all the ingredients for the Lemon Oat Squares in paper packaging or from bulk refill stores, except for the icing sugar.
I’m sure that is available at bulk stores too.

Baking at home is a good way to reduce packaging waste.

I buy the basic ingredients in paper packaging where possible, or sometimes from refill stores like Bin Inn or The Store Room in Te Awamutu. Buying in larger bulk packages is also a way to reduce overall packaging.

I find that home baking often works out cheaper than buying shop bought bakery items. It does take a little time and planning though.

It’s that usual juggle of working out which is important to you right now – time, convenience, money, waste reduction, and knowing what is in your food. All these things can be important at different times, and stages of life.

Useful websites for bakers

I’d love your feedback on these recipes – did they work well for you? Did you like them? Looking forward to hearing from you.