meyer lemon cornmeal quick bread

A few weekends ago, my friend Michelle invited my family to join her’s for an awesome, outdoor mid-January brunch. It was unseasonably warm at the time, which just goes to show how fickle Ohio weather can be. Two weekends ago, 50 degrees and sunny, yesterday, windchill of -10 degrees with flurries. C’est la vie.Getting back to the brunch, Michelle brought me as a gift two pounds of beautiful Meyer Lemons (how awesome is that?). I mean, these little guys were gorgeous – pleasantly plump with a stunning golden yellow skin.

I was pretty intimidated though, because they were so lovely yet I knew that they would only last a short while and being that they are hard to come by, I really wanted to make the most of them.I have to admit that I had never worked with Meyer lemons before (I know, the shame…) so I looked around for a bit before coming up with several recipes to try; one being this upside down cornmeal quick bread.

I really wanted to showcase the beauty of these little lemons and I am fascinated with upside down cakes. I mean, they’re like magic. You put everything at the bottom, cross your fingers and hope it all turns out beautifully. And when they do it is truly something to behold. Plus, one of my favorite cookies are cornmeal and lemon so to me, this texture and flavor combo was going to be a sure bet.

The results were incredibly mouthwatering. A sour and tart meets sweet cakey-bread treat. In fact, I debated over calling this a cake or a bread, but in the end went with a quick bread description. It’s baked in a loaf pan, after all.While the Meyer lemons are considerably more sweet than a traditional lemon (I ate a whole one by itself to test out the flavor before diving into cooking with them) it is still a lemon and therefore a very lemony tasting dessert. And for a girl who used to steal the lemon wedges of her mom’s teacup saucer at restaurants and eat them whole, a strong lemon flavor is a-okay.

The juices from the lemon caramelized a bit with the sugar to create a beautiful, jewel colored top on this striking bread. Next time I make this, I think I’ll even throw in some poppy seeds or ginger.

There are just so many things you can do with lemons, let alone these awesome little Meyer lemons. I’m a total convert and will never let another winter season pass without scooping up as many of them as I can.

Plus, the unbelievable color of this Meyer lemon cornmeal quick bread added some much needed sunshine to our day.  Oh, and did I mention? It tasted awesome.

Happy Wednesday!

Meyer Lemon Cornmeal Quick Bread
Serves 16
Adapted from Cooking Light


2 Meyer lemons, ends and seeds removed, very thinly sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon all purpose  flour
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fat free buttermilk
Zest from 1 Meyer lemon
Juice from half a Meyer lemon
2 eggs


Preheat oven to 350°.

Generously grease a 9×5 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom if the pan and press it into the bottom. Grease the parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine sliced lemons, sugar and a teaspoon of flour in a small bowl, tossing to evenly mix.

Line bottom of the pan with the Meyer lemon slices. This will probably take two layers. Pour any additional sugar or juice from the bowl over the lemon slices.

In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.

In a small bowl, mix together remaining wet ingredients.

Gently pour wet the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined.

Pour batter over lemons.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out with only moist crumbs clinging to it.

Allow to cool completely in pan on wire rack. When the bread is cooled, cut off an major doming of the top. Run a sharp, thin knife around the edges of the bread to ensure a clean release. Place a plate upside down over the pan and holding both the pan and the plate, flip both over and shake gently to help release the bread into the plate. Discard parchment paper.

Slice and serve!

18 Responses to “meyer lemon cornmeal quick bread”

  1. Michelle — January 23, 2013 @ 6:11 pm (#)

    Holy mother this looks so GOOD Em! You did them justice, my friend!

    • Emily @ Jelly Toast — January 24, 2013 @ 9:09 pm (#)

      Thanks, Michelle! They were seriously so pretty I really wanted to make something that let them shine 🙂

  2. Amber | Bluebonnets and Brownies — January 23, 2013 @ 6:52 pm (#)

    I cannot find Meyer Lemons anywhere 🙁 But I so want this bread in my life. Maybe I’ll try it with some oranges instead..

  3. Susana — January 24, 2013 @ 3:22 am (#)

    Looks lovely! I also cannot find Meyer lemons here. Amber’s idea for oranges sounds perfect though. Maybe I’ll even use blood oranges for a fancy version!

    • Emily @ Jelly Toast — January 24, 2013 @ 9:10 pm (#)

      I love the blood orange idea, Susana! They are also quite stunning to look at (not to mention, delicious 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!

  4. Dea — January 24, 2013 @ 6:14 am (#)

    Beautiful photos. Looks delicious! I needed another excuse to hoard Meyer lemons… 😉

  5. Isabelle — January 24, 2013 @ 7:00 pm (#)

    Love this! I have a horrible habit of snapping up bags of Meyer lemons and then letting them wither away while I try to figure out what awesome and perfect recipe I can make with them. At least now I know what I’ll be doing with my next bag of Meyers! 🙂

    • Emily @ Jelly Toast — January 24, 2013 @ 9:12 pm (#)

      I was so afraid my brain would lock and not let me come up with a recipe to make before mine withered. I totally know how you feel! Thanks for stopping by, Isabelle!

  6. My Graceful Self — January 29, 2013 @ 4:59 am (#)

    I made this yesterday and it turned out great! Thanks for the recipe. It looked beautiful. My post can be seen here.

    I linked to your site as well! Thanks again!

    • Emily @ Jelly Toast — January 30, 2013 @ 7:17 pm (#)

      I’m so glad to hear that!! Thanks so much for stopping back 🙂

  7. Vanessa — February 6, 2013 @ 3:22 am (#)

    Any idea how this bread would freeze?? I have a tree full of lemons!!

    • Emily @ Jelly Toast — February 6, 2013 @ 4:28 am (#)

      I’m not sure, Vanessa. It was rather sturdy, so it might work beautifully. If you try it, let me know how it turns out! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  9. Laura@bakinginpyjamas — August 26, 2013 @ 4:45 am (#)

    What a beautiful cake and a beautiful blog. Saving recipe and subscribing.

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