I am very much a “lemon girl”, and I am always looking for new sweets to make with the juicy yellow orbs. In the past, I’ve posted about lemon cake, lemon curd and lemon frozen yogurt, lemon tart, and lemon pie; today, I want to share a lemon bread.

This quick bread is adapted from the lemon cake I linked to above. I’ve made that cake many times and it’s great…I wasn’t at all trying to improve on it. What I was trying to do was make it a bit more lemony and a bit less sweet. I accomplished this by upping the amount of lemon juice and zest, plus I cut down the sugar in the bread itself and used an icing that’s made from mascarpone cheese: it’s creamy, but not sugary.

Though I always use Meyer lemons for lemon desserts if I can find them, they’ve been absent from local markets this winter, so I used regular organic lemons here. I feel it’s very important to use organic lemons whenever you’re incorporating the zest into a recipe, as that’s where the residue from any chemicals used in the growing process will linger. If you can’t find organic lemons, use a reliable produce rinse to thoroughly clean your fruit. If you do have access to Meyer lemons, by all means use them.

Like my favorite lemon cake, this lemon bread is made with olive oil. Don’t worry about the olive oil adding a funky flavor- it doesn’t. It does impart a wonderful, moist texture, though. If you’d like to use melted organic butter in place of the olive oil, that’s fine, too.

I strongly suggest you try the mascarpone icing- watch out: it’s so yummy you might find yourself spooning it into your mouth- but you can certainly leave the bread “naked”, if you prefer…it’s delicious that way, as well.

olive oil lemon bread

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lemon olive oil bread


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  1. 1

    Kathryn — January 19, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

    I used to make a lemon and olive oil cake years ago but it’s been neglected recently. this has reminded me that I must get it out again! I love the idea of the mascarpone icing as well.

  2. 2

    Julia — January 19, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

    My mouth is watering! I have a weak spot for mascarpone!

  3. 3

    Anna @ the shady pine — January 19, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

    Delicious!! I too adore cooking with lemons and am always looking for ways to use their juice and zest for an extra kick to a dish or as the star of dish.

  4. 4

    Jessica @ How Sweet — January 19, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

    This sounds absolutely divine. I’m in love.

  5. 5

    Paula — January 19, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

    This bread looks lovely! Great tip about using only organic lemons especially when making the zest. I bet that mascarpone frosting was heavenly.

  6. 6

    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — January 19, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

    Lemon anything gets two thumbs up in my book, and this lovely little bread looks like no exception!

  7. 7

    Pure2raw twins — January 19, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

    I adore anything lemon. And I love lemon desserts and now this lemon bread sounds perfect!!

  8. 8

    Meagan — January 19, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

    My grandma ALWAYS makes lemon bread. Hers has gluten so I can’t eat it. I’ve never tried to make one grain free. I should, lemon bread is just fabulous!

  9. 9

    Amy (Savory Moments) — January 20, 2012 @ 6:45 am

    This looks lovely. I have been buying up citrus lately, especially Meyer lemons and cara cara oranges. I’m a big fan of lemon and this looks perfect for a snack with a cup of tea.

  10. 10

    brandi — January 20, 2012 @ 9:16 am

    beautiful. the only way i survive in winter is because of citrus.

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    Nancy — January 20, 2012 @ 11:03 am

    this sounds like a winner! i am such a fan of olive oil cakes, especially of the citrus variety. and that is the sweetest cast iron teapot i’ve ever seen :)

  12. 12

    LiztheChef — January 20, 2012 @ 11:11 am

    Terrific recipe – just posted my Meyer Lemon icebox cake that has mascarpone in its filling – great minds think alike?

  13. 13

    Lynda — January 20, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

    Lovely – I love everything about this recipe!

  14. 14

    The Wimpy Vegetarian — January 20, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

    I have to make this. Now. I’m serious, Winnie. This is right up my alley. If you’re interested, I love you to add it to our #citruslove Citrus Blog Hop. It’s on my site: http://thewimpyvegetarian.com/2012/01/citruslove-moroccan-orange-salad-with-arugula-and-quinoa. Pinning this one to my pinterest board right now!!!

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    Linda — January 20, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

    Lemon is my all time favorite even over dark chocolate. This looks great and I will be making it. Thank you

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    Jamie — January 22, 2012 @ 9:59 am

    Mmmm I also love everything lemon – all the time. But few things beat a simple lemon cake. Except lemon cake (bread) with this fabulous icing! I have this bookmarked. Gorgeous!

  17. 17

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — January 25, 2012 @ 11:31 am

    Lovely! I love lemon, too… Especially this time of year. It just brings so much brightness to the cold dreary weather! Love the look of this bread.

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    Liren — January 27, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

    This made me realize that it’s been over a year since I made lemon cake, and that must be remedied. This is so scrumptious, Winnie, and for me e mascarpone icing is a must. Have a wonderful weekend!

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    Becs — January 28, 2012 @ 12:47 am

    This bread was delicious. I will definitely make it again. I used slightly less sugar and some whole wheat flour. Yum!

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    Nele — February 3, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

    What is the difference between cake and bread here? Would you eat this sliced with butter or is it just a bread because it’s more savoury? (Just for future research interest!)

    Anyhoo, whatever the name, I have to make it! Sounds like exactly up my alley, not too sweet and deliciously lemony!

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    Kelli — March 17, 2012 @ 9:14 am

    I made two loaves of this bread last weekend to take home with me while on Spring Break. It was a major hit! My father (who rarely asks for dessert) gave me strict instructions to bake another loaf before I leave for school again. Thank you soo much for this recipe!! I have a feeling I will be baking this bread for years to come :)