Nightmare on Lemon Street

March 9th

Everything doesn’t always come up tulips around here. I intended to bake to my heart’s content yesterday — trying two new recipes. The bagel shop boys are now placing orders and wanted something lemon. I also wanted to try hot cross buns, a lenten staple, for my coworkers.
The lemon cake recipe I used called for placing the cake batter in a large cake pan, and then pouring an additional sauce over the batter before it went in the oven. I thought I could replicate this in cupcake and loaf pan form. The cupcakes were okay, while perhaps slightly undercooked. The yet the sauce bubbled up all over the pan and the oven. I shouldn’t have filled the cups so high. The loaf pan? Oy. Burnt on the top, gooey on the bottom, cooked in the middle. Now that takes some baking prowess, right?

nightmare on lemon street


lemon cake gone very wrong


burnt, undercooked and gooey

Ha! Cooked in the middle. What in the world?

It isn’t often I have to throw out an entire project and start from scratch, but yesterday was the day. I returned to a lemon recipe I know well — lemontime cookies. They came out great and were enjoyed this morning by the gang.

lemontime cookies

The hot cross buns came out great and were very much worth the effort. I had to start the recipe again after I realized the yeast I was using was best used “before 2004.” Obviously I don’t bake bread very often. {And with my bagel shop routine, my jeans wouldn’t fit if I added another ounce of bread to my diet.}

hot cross buns,
cu, cranberry
hot cross buns

What is it about warm bread that makes me so happy?

Posted in
Domestic Art, Recipes
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31 Responses

  1. See, in my house that lemon cake becomes ‘self-saucing lemon pudding’ 🙂

    Love your hot cross buns!

  2. OMG~! That lemon looks SO good…the Non burned version lol

  3. You just reminded me of a great recipe that I need to make! Lemonade cookies… yum! Lemon is the perfect flavor for spring. 🙂

  4. hmmmmmm super yummy. i bet you could still eat the loaf. make a bread pudding from it? maybe?

  5. Those all look delicious! Oh course, that is coming from someone who eats a bag of popcorn for dinner because there is nothing else to eat..Yum yum! I need to live closer to you!

  6. What is it about bread that makes you so happy? Well apart from the taste, I’m betting it’s the smell… there’s nothing like the aroma of freshly baked bread wafting around the house.

  7. I’m with Flibbertygibbet here, the smell of fresh baked bread can always stir my stomach and get it growling. And being on South Beach forever doesn’t help.

    My favorite lemon cookbook of all-time: Luscious Lemon Desserts by Lori Longbottom is AWESOME. The lemon wafers I make from this cookbook are the reason that Bubba married me. Seriously.

  8. That loaf pan trick is a good one – I’m impressed! I’m trying to figure out how that might have happened, and I’m clueless.

    Also, I need to stop reading your food entries right before lunch – they make me hungry!

  9. Hmnn. Picture number one looks like one of MY secret recipe specialities! 🙂

  10. I’m not a fan of lemony baked goods (and I’m full, having just eaten a big Cuban sandwich) but you make everything look good!

  11. Is that a lemon shaped plate/placemat in photo 2? I LOVE it!

  12. Yumm, bread. Yumm, lemon cookies. I think I might need to go to the store so I can spend tomorrow baking! My Pops would love the cookies. Thanks for sharing to bad along with the good… we are all human 🙂

  13. You’re making me hungry! And now I’m singing “Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns” in my head.

  14. love the lemon! can i have some please?

  15. kelli,

    sounds like you have a question for Cook’s Illustrated! i’d be curious as to the “why” also.

    btw, you have inspired this 44-year-old mother of 3 to try her first tri…so i’m swimming girlfriend, and learning to embrace the smell of chlorine in the morning. thanks for the cyber push!

  16. Kelli, Kelli, Kelli…I don’t & won’t believe you burned something. Impossible. To me your baking skills are perfect & even your crispy delight [first picture on top]looks better than anything I ever baked 🙂 You’re still my baking/wristlet making hero!!

    Enjoy your weekend,

  17. Store your yeast in the freezer…that is what I do! 😉

  18. Sometimes we have little cooking uh-ohs but I’m glad you prevailed anyway. You always make me hungry when I read your blog! Lemons must be the current theme of things. I made homemade Lemon Verbena Ice Cream for my dinner party this Saturday night and I’m giving lemon poppy-seed cupcakes in a cute little cupcake gift box to the attendees as a take-home gift (along with an apron I made for them). I’ll take pictures and post them to my Flickr account after the party so I don’t spoil it for them.

  19. Well, now we know what *not* to do when life hands us lemons, so thanks for that. 🙂 Don’t you hate cooking disasters? But they’re inevitable. I will have to try the Lemontime Cookies, though; they sound delish. And I would like to know who would not be happy when met with the smell of warm bread. Certainly not me…mmm….

  20. I’ve been searching for lemon recipes since I read your blog!

  21. Oy!! I LOVE lemon, a whole bunch!!!!! I’ll e-mail you a recipe I have for yummy lemon cake which my best friend’s family requests for every party. It’s easy – the lemon jello in the batter makes it super moist! Love those pictures because the sauce looks so yummy – just eat the cooked parts! 😉

  22. It must have been the lemon. I decided to make poppyseed lemon muffins the other day (having already once used the recipe succesfully) and the result was similar to your burn/raw first attempt at the cake. Yuck. We picked them apart and only ate the middles of each muffin.

    I need to make somethign for a party tomorrow and will try your lemon cookies – they look delish!

  23. Sorry for the baking disappointments – it’s always frustrating when something doesn’t turn out, isn’t it? Well, that’s how we learn – and I so admire your “bounce back” spirit!

    The cookies and the hot cross buns both look scrumptdilicious!

    (When life hands you burnt lemons, make hot cross buns???)

  24. Oh it all looks delish!

    Spenser just peeked over and said in a loud voice, “Mmmmmmmm. Yummy!” (I’d say she agrees.)

  25. that looks so yummy.

  26. All I can say is: yum, yum, yum. I would have eaten your “throw-aways” in a second.

  27. ayyy… yo igual opino que como puede cocinar tanta maravilla mujer, a mi ya me dio hambre de ver tus lindas fotos…

    un abrazo

  28. Hi Kelli-
    I thought I’d try baking your lemontime cookies today but the link to the first ingredient, old school sugar cookies, is not working. MSL has changed their website. Would you pls post the recipe?

  29. Home made hot cross bun’s amazing!! You are definately going to make your co-workers happy with those.

  30. Hi Kelli-
    I’m writing again because I can’t see any msg from me and I’m not sure I pushed the “submit comment” button. So if this is redundant, forgive me.
    Anyhoo, I tried to use your link to the MSL recipe for old time sugar cookies (you know, the first ingredient in lemontime cookies) and it did not work… ;-(
    She changed her website and didn’t check with us first… what was she thinking?! And why now, just when I needed to make those lemontime cookies?
    I know you said any sugar cookie recipe would work but do you think I could settle for anything other than recipe you use? No way, Jose. So is there any chance you could pony up the recipe? Please and thank you.

  31. michelle March 12, 2007

    All of the baking looks so yummy, even if some of it didn’t turn out. Lemony goodness.