I’m not hating on lemon or anything, because it’s the best. Well, almost. I like lime even more.
See, everyone’s about that lemon loaf cake you get at Starbucks, and I guess that it’s good. I’ve never actually eaten more than a bite of it, and it’s tasty, but I wish they’d make a lime version. I wouldn’t be able to stop at just a bite.
This cake is sweet and tangy at the same time, filled through and through with fresh lime juice and zest. It’s even in the glaze. Somebody (cough, cough) couldn’t stop licking the glaze bowl.
Years ago, I learned about Seasonal Affective Disorder (also known very appropriately as SAD) and it was very much a “duh” moment. I mean, no kidding. We’re sadder when it’s cold and gray outside? Isn’t that kind of a no-brainer?
I don’t think I realized how insidious SAD could be until Kenny told me last week that every winter, he can see the change in my personality. I must not be that self-aware, because I had no idea. I guess I do get gloomy, but I didn’t realize other people could tell.
It’s like when I was pregnant. When I was in that condition, I was incredibly blunt. I’d blurt out the first thing that came into my head, and I think the only thing that saved me was that I happened to be pregnant. Otherwise, people would have gotten justifiably more irritated by it. But then one time, a student jokingly referred to me as an “angry pregnant woman,” and I was totally shocked. That wasn’t how I saw myself at all. But maybe I was being more angsty at the time.
It’s hard to see yourself accurately, and when other people offer you a glimpse, it’s not easy to decide whether to believe them or not. My students (teenagers might be too candid at times) have also told me that I am very intimidating. It’s weird for me to hear that, because in my head, I’m a harmless, literature-loving dessert addict. Intimidating? Really?
I guess we never truly know ourselves, but maybe other people don’t, either. We all project versions of ourselves outward consciously, but it’s impossible to control how others will interpret us. The sooner we realize that perceptions don’t equal truth, and that we need to consider multiple points of view, the better off we’ll probably be.
And hey, Starbucks needs to consider offering a lime loaf. Nothing will cure SAD faster than a solid zip of lime to the senses. I’ve mentioned it before, but lime is summer in a little zesty citrus fruit.
This cake is pretty delightful. It’s got butter, yes, which helps. And it’s also got the perfect balance of lime to even out the sweetness. All you need is one lime and a microplane zester. Those are the best kitchen gadgets ever.
If you’re having a rough winter, or if someone isn’t seeing you the way you perceive yourself, there’s always loaf cake. It’s a lot easier to get perspective after a sunny snack.
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest of one lime
juice of one lime (about 2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Add the lime juice and lime zest mixing again. Alternately, add the dry ingredients and milk until a smooth batter forms.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
- Cool the cake completely.
- Make the glaze. Combine all the ingredients and pour over the cake. Allow the glaze to set. Slice and serve!