This easy Passion Fruit Lemon Loaf Cake is a moist, sweet tart quick bread that has a wonderful citrus flavor profile with a deliciously unique twist thanks to the passion fruit glaze drizzled over the top.
We love quick breads and loaf cakes like this one. Some of our other favorites are Cranberry Orange Bread, Coconut Lime Glazed Banana Bread, and Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread.
Honestly, you could call this a lemon loaf cake or lemon bread, because they're basically the same thing, right? It's right along the lines of my favorite coconut lime glazed banana bread or double chocolate zucchini bread where it's basically dessert masquerading in the form of a quick bread.
The moist, lemony cake has a tight crumb and a bright citrusy taste. But rather than pair it with a typical lemon glaze, I changed things up by going with a passion fruit glaze as part of Freaky Fruits Friday.
What Does Passion Fruit Taste Like?
I distinctly remember the first time I ever tasted passion fruit.
It was on an airplane flying to Hawaii when I was 5 or 6 years old. The airline served a popular Hawaiian beverage known as POG, which stands for Passion Orange Guava Juice, and I was immediately hooked.
I remember asking and trying to figure out what it was because it tasted so different from any other juice I had ever tasted, and it wasn't until I was older that I really had any understanding of what passion fruit was.
Passion fruit has a very strong fruity, tart flavor that is very tropical. Most of my experience with passion fruit has been with drinks or creamy, custardy desserts.
They are round and purple-ish on the outside with a greenish-yellow pulp and dark seeds inside. The seeds are totally edible, even though they may truly be a little "freaky" looking when you first slice into the passion fruit, and I chose not to strain them out when making the glaze for this passion fruit lemon loaf cake.
It gives it a more distinct look than if you strained the passion fruit glaze to remove the seeds, which would then make this look like any other lemon loaf cake.
To use the passionfruit, just cut it in half with a sharp knife and scoop out the insides, seeds and all, to use in this, or any other recipe.
With passion fruit, a little goes a long way! The flavor is so strong that even though the amount of fruit you get from one passionfruit is tiny, it packs a big punch that pairs really well with other fruit and vegetable flavors like orange, guava, lemon, and more.
But it also helps balance out sweet or rich ingredients, much like any other citrus fruit, such as white or milk chocolate, heavy cream, or butter.
If you want to remove the seeds from the passion fruit before using it, this can be done by pressing the scooped insides of the passion fruit against a fine sieve to release the juices into a bowl.
How to Make Passion Fruit Lemon Loaf Cake
This simple passion fruit lemon loaf cake recipe is made by first whisking together eggs, sugar, sour cream, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla in a bowl. The sour cream gives a wonderful depth of flavor and texture to the cake, and the oil keeps it a little more moist than butter.
I find that there is no need for lemon extract when you use the lemon zest along with the lemon juice in the cake.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then stir everything together just until it is combined without overmixing. It's completely normal for the batter to be a little on the lumpy side.
Bake the loaf for 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees F until a tested inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean with just a few crumbs, then remove from the oven and cool before adding the glaze.
The passion fruit glaze is made by simply stirring the pulp and seeds of 2-3 passion fruit together in a bowl with 1 cup of powdered sugar. At first it will seem like there is not enough liquid to create a glaze, but the sugar will cause the passion fruit to release it's juices and create a nice, fairly thick glaze.
If you prefer a thinner glaze, add a little milk, ½ teaspoon at a time, to thin to your desired consistency.
Pour over the cooled lemon loaf cake and let set for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Tips for Passion Fruit Lemon Loaf Cake
- Change up the flavor profile of this delicious loaf cake by switching out either the lemon or the passion fruit for blood oranges, which are another "freaky fruit" for a different flavor profile that would also be delicious and fun. You could even lay thin slices of blood orange across the top before baking for a beautiful design.
- Store the loaf in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature. This loaf can also be frozen, but I would recommend waiting to glaze it until after it has been defrosted.
- The recipe doubles easily if you want to make another loaf to share or have for the next day, because in my experience, this is gone overnight.
More Delicious Citrus Recipes You'll Love
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Passion Fruit Lemon Loaf Cake
Lemon Loaf Cake
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Passion Fruit Glaze
- 2-3 passion fruit pulp and seeds only
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray or line with a parchment paper sling.
- Whisk together the eggs, sugar, sour cream, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla in a large bowl.
- Whisk the the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl, then add to the liquids and stir just until combined. The batter will be a bit lumpy. Pour into the prepared loaf pan, then bake for 50-55 minutes until a tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean with just a few crumbs. Cool completely.
- While the loaf cools, make the glaze by combining the seeds from 3 passion fruit with the powdered sugar and stirring until smooth. The seeds will release their juices to make the glaze. Pour oven the lemon loaf cake and let set for 15 minutes before slicing.
Reader questions and reviews
I love that you kept the seeds in the glaze.
I want a slice! I'll bet the lemon and passionfruit are so bright together and that glaze looks luscious.
Ok I'm totally making this for my brother. Every year he wants me to make him something with passion fruit and I try but he loves lemon and passion fruit so this is his next birthday cake! It's so pretty!
A great way to switch up normal lemon cake! And the seeds probably add great texture!
Lemon and papaya sound delicious together. What a great use of the "freaky fruits"!
I just made it.... the smell around my home is indescriptible 💕 thank you so much.
Ahhh, super easy to make , with your directions
I've made this twice now already in the last two weeks! Just divine. I used only two eggs, and 3/4 c sugar in the cake instead of one cup, and maybe half a cup of sugar for the glaze. And that amount of glaze covered both cakes! For my second cake, I added some of the passion fruit pulp to the cake itself and it made for pretty pops of colour throughout the cake...orange bits from the pulp and black from the seeds. This cake or lemon-passionfruit loaf is a winner. Thanks!!
I did it!! I was delicious , thank you for this wonderful recipe is amazing !!
Question--Could I use southern maypops in this recipe? After all they are a relative of passion fruit
I have never heard of maypops before!
I followed this recipe but I’m making muffins instead. I just put it in the oven. I hope it works! I was glad I finally got to use my passion fruits!
Please let us know how it goes!
I made this into muffins instead and added one tbs. Of lemon juice and one tbs. of passion fruit juice. I did have to cut the time down to about 18 minutes to make muffins. They are so good especially with the glaze! Lovely recipe!
Adding the muffin version of this to my "must make list" now! Thanks so much for sharing!